The need for acceptance in relationships
The word ‘acceptance’ can have so many different connotations when used in terms of human behaviour and experience. No matter how important we know it to be in almost every aspect of relationships, there still remains that strong part of our nature that is loathed to settle for anything less than perfect. We strive to get exactly what we want, to be exactly who we want and we like to only involve people who we deem worthy of our time and efforts. Acceptance and perfection can reside at completely different ends of the needs spectrum and this is why we have to be really clear on which we value most and the impact that it has on our lives.
Within the context of relationships, acceptance doesn’t mean that we learn or train ourselves to put up with things that should never be okay. For example, abuse of any sort or incompatible life goals. What it does mean is that we learn to appreciate our human qualities and recognise that not only is perfection unobtainable, but also that it’s not as attractive a quality as one might expect.
Before we ask others to accept us, it’s really important that we acknowledge and own the parts of our personality and physical self that others may not find so desirable. You don’t have to fall madly in love with your own flaws or stop trying to better them, but pretending they don’t exist won’t work. Making constant attempts to change for the sake of other people is also doomed to failure in the long term. Perfection can sometimes come off as robotic and in order to retain our human qualities of sexiness, intrigue and fascination it’s helpful to have a few quirks here and there. They make you who you are. Everyone knows that confidence is attractive and being able to say ‘this is me, this is who I am’ is one of the many high points of a life where you don’t need, seek or expect validation from others.
Some individuals believe that you get from your life experiences the lessons that you most need to learn. These lessons can also come from the people who you’re romantically involved with and there is much humility and patience that can be learned from intimate relationships. A sure-fire way to do this is to always remember your own imperfections and think carefully and compassionately before judging someone else’s vulnerabilities or eccentricities. We all, each and every one of us, have parts of our personality that others would love to alter or remove entirely. What makes for a beautiful relationship however, and in fact a beautiful person, is love that is freely given and shared regardless of this.
Know your ultimate goal
Whilst it’s crucial to accept that nobody is perfect, including yourself, there is another end of the spectrum to stay alert to and that’s ‘over acceptance’, otherwise known as settling. Knowing what your end goal is for any situation or relationship, will make you way more savvy in reaching your full potential, so be ultra mindful to not play fast and loose with the things that really are significant to you. For example, you may indeed find that you’re able to balance your active lifestyle with a partner’s who is more of a homebody. Ultimately however, if you want a life filled with trekking holidays and cycling tours then you need to double check your choices. Is accepting someone who’s so different to your dream of a passionate and adventurous life really such a good option for you?
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