Love Shouldn't Tie You Down; It Should Be Your Excuse To Run Wild

by Paul Hudson

Most people I know run into a wall when they're in a relationship. Things start off smooth and sometimes even continue sailing smoothly.

You argue -- but not too much. You fell for each other, and you believe that you’re entering eternal happiness.

Then, almost out of nowhere, something changes. You’re having a difficult time pinpointing what it is that’s different, but all you know for certain is that you feel different. And you don’t want to feel different.

If you used to feel happy, does feeling "different" mean that you're now sad?

The confusion sets in. You begin to question whether or not the person you’re with is the right person. You begin to feel claustrophobic, as if you’re having difficulty breathing.

You remember loving your partner, but now you feel tied down.  The only way to get air is to make a break for it and run for the hills.

That's naturally what people want to do. They want to run. They want to feel free and unburdened. They definitely don't want to be held back -- and the prospect of spending a life with someone can trigger this sensation of being trapped. People want to be wild and free -- the way nature intended.

But love shouldn't tie you down. It should give you an excuse to run wild and live life to the fullest. If something's wrong, chances are that your partner isn't the only problem.

You're probably just as likely to blame. But don't fret; it's not your fault. You just don't know better. I’ve been there myself, so let me share with you a few things that I’ve learned:

You’re focusing too much on your emotions.

Emotions aren't the best at indicating whether or not the love you share with your partner is real. Feelings can be the difference between now and a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, a minute ago, a second ago...

You may have noticed that you only get emotional when what you’re experiencing triggers emotions. Either the moment you’re living makes you emotional or the memory that the moment triggers makes you emotional.

What matters is that your thoughts are what make you feel -- not the other person. Not directly.

Yes, your partner should make it easier for you to feel good and happy. But at the end of the day, that's up to you. You control how you look at things and how you understand them.

Your perception is what's making you feel a certain way. You're feeling sad, happy or angry because of your interpretation of reality.

When your interpretation mirrors actual reality, everything is balanced. Most of us, however, aren't very good at understanding actual reality. Work on that, and you may find that the things you used to care a lot about are actually pretty trivial.

You need space.

Being in a relationship does have its responsibilities and obligations. If you aren’t prepared for those, don’t be surprised when things fall apart. If you want complete freedom, you should choose to be alone.

When you realize that you can’t live your life alone and that the loneliness is eating away at you, you need to decide that you're willing to compromise.

If you've considered compromising and still feel that your partner is asking too much, you need to have a talk. You need to let your partner feel your love. But your partner also needs to know that you need space to yourself.

People are egocentric. We can live reality from just one perspective: our own. We don't just want space; we NEED space. Your partner does, too. Issues happen when you try to claim your privacy.

Your partner will do his or her best to keep you close. You two are in love, and pushing your partner away can feel like rejection. The more rejection your partner feels, the tighter he or she will cling to you.

You need to establish that you don't want space from your partner; you just want to make space for yourself. Not everyone is going to be able to accept this.

It takes someone with a good amount of experience in love and life to be comfortable giving someone space. But that's the only way you can fix things.

Sometimes relationships aren’t meant to work.

If you're certain things really won't work, be really certain. If you bail feeling that you could have done more -- that things could have worked out had you been smarter, older, wiser or more experienced -- then you're going to hate yourself.

There's nothing worse in this world than losing the person you loved above all else. I guarantee that your partner will move on. He or she knows it was your fault. Your partner is guilt-free and can look towards a new future.

You, on the other hand, will regret letting go. If what you had was true love, you won’t be able to move on. You’ll blame yourself for screwing things up. You’ll beg your ex to give you another chance, but it's unlikely you'll be granted one.

True love still doesn’t guarantee a "happily ever after." It’s certainly possible that the two of you will meet and love other people, and your lives will diverge. But this will be easier for one person than the other.

True love ends well only when both people are committed to helping it end well. Don’t expect that things will work out in your favor.

The universe doesn't operate like that. You create the life you live, and if you’re blaming anyone else for your problems, you’re a fool.

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