Modern couples make all types of arrangements nowadays to accommodate lifestyles. Men and women commit but live in separate residences or split time between domiciles. They choose alternate living situations to fit schedules, careers, finances or preferences. Many of the unions have a big challenge. It seems that mainstream does not embrace these relationships the same as conventional ones.
Traditional ways suit a vast number of couples in society. However, it should not be exclusive or expected to fit everyone. People have different beliefs and situations which may call on a new design. Unfortunately, out of the box solutions don’t necessarily run in line with views of the popular vote. So, what do you do when others look to define what you have with your partner? How do you manage outside opinions of your relationship?
For a while, my experience of two divorces left me asking “What am I doing wrong?” It all unfolded in front of me providing answers to how my decisions and actions affected these relationships, I just didn’t see it at the time. Sufficient time has passed allowing me to process and interpret the lessons. My semi-traditional ways of thinking have significantly influenced my love life. I’ve wanted to play the role of modern woman within the confines of a traditional setting. Not a match made in heaven because it is usually one or the other for many of us. The key is finding a balance while making sure you live an authentic life. This requires that you know what you want, as well as figure out what you are capable of giving in the relationship. Seek a partner that is compatible, where you understand each other’s needs. As we evolve those things we ask for may change. But once you have a healthy, fulfilling relationship you’re happy in, embrace it. It does not have to look like anyone else’s, as long as you understand it.
I have been blessed with a relationship that provides my needs. It is not conventional as bound by the guidelines set by society. Not married or engaged after being a couple for over 5 years, it can be an eye popper for inquiring minds. I’m not sure whether this natural curiosity from people derives from a need to place women in a box or judge them according to old world views. However, long-term relationships often beg the question “Do you plan to get married? Move-in? Commit?”
It is an unfair position to be put in, unknowingly by most. Firstly, the lack of legalization or formalizing the relationship does not mean it is less serious. A commitment of mutual love and respect is significant. Sadly, some people view the togetherness as an arrangement of sorts because they don’t know how to classify it. Many times, I’ve been guilty of trying to define the relationship by society’s standards. The battle of measuring up against how things “should be” in others eyes can be exhausting mental work.
If you find yourself defending your relationship or status. STOP. Do not let anyone tell you what your relationship is or what it means. Only you and your partner know and understand the feelings shared. You cannot live on what outsiders think because it will never be good enough. Besides, the opinion that matters – the most important person is you. No approvals required.
The only arrangement you need to worry about is the one you make with yourself.
If it makes you happy…
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