Portrait Of Love: A look into the lives of partnerships that thrive
What is it that makes a relationship last long after the initial attraction? How do two people live together in a mutually beneficial cohabitation? How can there continue to be intimate passion and a fierce fire of love? Why do some succeed while others fail miserably?
These are questions that piqué my curiosity and which seem to elude most people in this modern society.
All of my previous relationships have been rather short and I have yet to maintain a long lasting intimate relationship. It's no fault of the females I've dated and I don't blame myself, but sooner or later things always turned sour. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect and there's multiple facets of myself that need attention. I also understand that the obstacles set before me could be external manifestations of my own inner conflict. The universe could be reflecting myself in the form of seemingly separate individuals.
At last, it may be all an illusion anyway because nothing is mutually exclusive, everything is interrelated and it appears as though we're all united as one in light of the grand architect. When two hearts synchronize, it's a divine union and creation conspires to nurture that love for the spiritual advancement of our souls. It can be fun too and I'm getting better at it as I practice the art of love.
The intention of this article is to highlight the achievements of my empowered peers. I've decided to seek the counsel of seven committed couples whom I know and personally believe to seamlessly thrive together through all circumstances. I admire them for being able to remain autonomous, adventurous and inspired to advance their own social and professional pursuits while simultaneously sculpting a shared space of love. They're all in their own ways visionaries and leaders in the communities of their respective fields and I salute them for their successes.
I hand picked these couples for their expertise and asked them three simple questions. Their answers are refreshing and revealing perhaps of a golden thread woven into healthy relationships of all kinds. May you find as much inspiration as I have through the humble guidance of these peaceful warriors and artists of life. Follow the accompanying links next to their pictures to find out more about these intriguing men, women and all their exciting endeavors.
- How long have you been together as a committed couple?
- What are your top three insights for maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship?
- What's your dual vision to co-create for the future?
3 1/2 years committed living together and 1 1/2 years we've been married.
1. Encouraging growth spiritually, through discussing the wonders of our reality, listening and questioning.
2. Full communication of thoughts and concerns, always speaking your truth.
3. Enjoying fun activities together and making time for just us.
1. Clarity in communication. Being fair, rational and understanding of what we're going through in order to appreciate all facets of the sacred journey together.
2. Openness to explore states of mind and heart in order to sustain a bond that can traverse both bliss and challenges.
3. Create the condition to nurture each others' creative dreams and aspirations.
Enter into higher states of understanding and knowing of ourselves and each other. Participate in a community that nurtures a similar vision. To have some type of learning center/community center that inspires healthy and balanced living, cultivating healthy mind and body, and exploring higher states of consciousness.
Jen Warr & Kelly Johnson Chocolatree
1. Clear transparent communication, while being compassionate and truly listening.
2. Share days with other friends especially women friends. Don't expect him to fulfill all my needs. That's why God made so many people.
3. Breathe and then share from your heart
1. Listening with patience.
2. Loving with tolerance.
3. Laughing along the way
Together we breathe life, love, respect and appreciation into each moment creating a space of love around us. Our thoughts and actions center around love for Mother Nature in a simple way which creates the world around us at large.
Franky G & Camille Rose Giglio Three Lily Farm
4 years - committed couple since day 1.
Talk it out - being open to communication, taking the time to have healthy discussions, work out indifferences and coming to a resolution.
Making time for intimacy on a regular basis - mutually benefitting each other and not keeping the equation one sided.
Allowing alone time and space - taking the time to experience separate passions, activities, and time away from each other in a healthy way.
Creating a space on our land where people can come for retreat and education. Expanding the family. Continue to inspire and educate the world by sharing our love for food and health.
3 . Our vision is to continue loving each other for all that we both are and are becoming as individuals & respecting and accepting each other on our own individual paths as well as on our path as partners. We are co creating fun and adventure filled with grace and ease on our life's path as a couple and visioning a co-creation of leaving a legacy for our community and pachamama.
Nadine Artemis & Ron Obadiah Living Libations
Eons, plus 10 years and 3 months
Focus on each other's strengths ~ your relationship to each other is your relationship to everything. Commitment is a Living Thing ~ Keep it Real to the Feel ~ after the ecstasy, there is often laundry and so on.
With great appreciation, we live in a daily co-creation of our dual vision which launches us further into blossoming moments of serious joy.
Morgan & I, Puma, have been together almost 7 years and we knew almost immediately that our vision and purpose in life was very similar and coupled with a deep attraction for one another. We knew that we had what it took to create a long, loving and sustainable relationship and that our mission together was to create a retreat center that was focused on helping people get back into their "flow state". The most important thing was we knew that we wanted to create and work together on helping to make people's lives easier and more graceful. Creating that process and leading groups back to health has been our passion and purpose together which helps feed the relationship.
Our top 3 insights for maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship has been:
Allow the other person to maintain their own individuality and to allow them their own processes without taking everything personally.
Support each others' purpose and vision and if you can't be supportive because it's not your mission then gracefully step aside. Just because 2 people come together and have similar missions it doesn't mean that both people will have the same vision of how to accomplish that mission, so have patience with each other while you strive for harmony.
Remember that each person in the relationship is a unique individual with very different pasts and as two people come together, honor where each other have been, don't bring the past into the present, enjoy the gifts that come from merging two lives together and be easy on your relationship when there are some moments that are harder to intertwine.
Alexandra and I have shared 3 years of our lives together... but who's counting?
Here are 3 that have been really important for us... I am not sure if they are the "top" 3, but they have all been crucial.
a. There has to be healthy dynamic chemistry there, otherwise whats the point of even getting started? Friendship has been critical, we like each other and like being together. Thats the foundation. As friends we communicate, and can be vulnerable together. We both encourage the other to open up and share deeper and deeper layers of themselves. It sounds obvious but this very thing is lacking in many relationships that do not survive or thrive.
b. A commitment to personal growth that supersedes the relationship itself. I have witnessed countless relationships where one partner wants to grow and develop when the other partner wants to remain stagnant or in a comfort zone. For us, both partners are fully committed to growth and so we mutually support one another to grow as well. Neither of us can even entertain the idea of suppressing our growth, and personal development is our spiritual practice.
c. Exploring our sexual polarities. In our relationship, Ali is fully supported in her pursuit of the development of her femininity and all that comes with it. I am fully supported to pursue the masculine without the cultural guilt or shame that can come from being a man in our modern era. These two forces - Man and Woman - are strongly represented in our relationship, and help to create the dynamism that fuels the love between us.
Daniel and I have been together as committed counterparts for three amazing years now!
My top three insights for maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship are...
a. Communication: This has been one of my biggest teachings from our relationship. Being a Scorpio who tends to hold things back, in a relationship with a Libra who is very communicative and wants hear what is going on for me, has encouraged a beautiful unfolding in me. I have learned the power of speaking my truth in all relationships, even outside of my relationship with Daniel, yielding a much healthier and happier experience as opposed to holding in challenging emotions. Active communication in our relationship keeps us on the same page with where one another is at emotionally and avoids any long-term resentments from manifesting.
b. Sex... and more sex: Nurturing our sexuality encourages our expansion, connection, and love with one another, as well as individually. I find that balance in our sexual relationship always supports balance in all the other areas of our relationship including how we relate to one another, as it automatically inspires more trust and deepens our bond.
c. Friendship: Since the beginning of our relationship, Daniel and I have not only been cultivating an intimate connection as a couple, but also a friendship. We have always shared interests and passions, so we have always loved spending time with one another. Our relationship started on the basis of adventures together, because for the first seven months of our relationship, we traveled back and forth from Vermont to New Hampshire and vis versa, visiting one another since we lived in different states at the time. We would always plan fun adventures while the other was in town visiting and the adventures have remained consistent ever since. We spend lots of time together and the consistency of sharing in a close friendship with one another has been a really important grounding force for our connection.
- Daniel and I are extremely happy in our relationship and feel like we have a great working "formula". We'd like to continue to nurture and grow every aspect of our relationship simultaneously, while also continuing to develop spiritually as individuals! We see a future full of shared excitement, adventures, and success.