When you hear the expression, “Love is blind,” what do you normally think of first? Do you conjure up an image of blind dates from hell? Does it bring up a rationale for overlooking something about someone (or yourself) that you really ought not to be overlooking? Is it a pathway to be able to find something to love in your partner that drives you batty more often than not? Maybe it’s the phrase you use to truly believe that love is enough to overcome anything and everything.
What I find a lot in my work wtih couples is that “love is blind” would be more accurately stated as “love is important enough to stay blind, so you don’t lose it and don’t look where it might be uncomfortable.”
When couples get together, there’s so much of the initial infatuation/lust that truly is blind…you can start feeling such strong emotions and drives without really having much of a clear sense of why you feel that way…you just do. The feelings are SO strong, we let them carry us away and transport us to an emotionally and hormonally driven run down a semi-blind trajectory to what we’re sure will be romantic Nirvana. But, sure as Carter’s got liver pills, when that bio-chemical fever dream wears off, you get down to where the rubber really meets the road…building, growing, and nurturing a thriving relationship versus a “good” one…which is what most people I see have come to settle for.
This is where love can’t afford to be blind. Whether you’ve been together for 3 years or 30, I’ve found that one of the single biggest causes of relationship discord is what you don’t say…and, not so much what you don’t say to your partner, but what you’re not saying to yourself first!
Most couples I’ve met, when they really dig down into the truth within themselves, have KNOWN their relationship was not in great shape. Yet, by the time things have gotten bad enough to actively (and often desparately) seek help, the stagnancy has already gotten pretty thick, often with a high level of resentment to go with it…resentment that often can be the death knell to possibility and to the relationship itself.
Why is that, you may be wondering (or not)?
In my opinion, it’s often due to a few key factors that are consistent among most couples that I’ve helped out:
- You’re terrified of pain
- You don’t want to see what you don’t want to see in yourself (good, as well as not so good, by the way)
- You’ve gotten complacent with where you are in your life, and aren’t willing to risk discomfort by challenging status quo
- Your fear has lulled you into believing that a good relationship isn’t one that’s great, but is one that doesn’t suck…period, or more than it has in the past.
- You’ve forgotten that you have the inherent strength to stare change squarely in the eye and embrace it as the only alternative to being part of the walking dead or numb, even if it scares the wee-wee out of you.
I certainly can say that any or all of these have been factors that have been part of where I’ve been astonished at what I haven’t seen until it’s blown up in my face and/or others’.
One key way to avoid this, or start turning it around, is to decide that, as Eckhart Tolle said, “Evolve or die” has proven to be demonstrated in so many areas of life and the world. that it is actually true…and, that your relationship is not an exception.
If you choose to operate accordingly, then you will see that rigorous honesty must be combined with an equally huge commitment to never allowing the thought “I don’t want to upset them” to be the centerpiece of how you show up – and how you don’t – in your relationship.
What you don’t say to your partner to avoid bad feelings or conflict…start looking at what you’re not wanting to upset in yourself, challenge that, and start trusting your love for each other more than you trust the fear of risking pain.