Earlier I was listening to motivational speaker Lisa Nichols’ Periscope video where she read sections from her upcoming book Abundance Now and I was inspired to share some of her insights. (If you’re on the Periscope app and would like to watch inspiring scopes about self-love and personal development, follow me on Periscope and Twitter @Coach_Akopyan).
Lisa’s video about romantic relationships was powerfully deep and insightful. It resonated strongly with me, because the information she shared is what helped me heal the pain I had experienced in past relationships as well and what essentially helped me to attract the amazingly loving relationship I am currently in today.
She talked primarily about the three types of romantic relationships categorized by Iyanla Vanzant: lifetime, life-giving, and purposeful. Knowing which relationship you are either experiencing currently or have experienced in the past can actually help you heal past hurts and embrace a new energy of love– amplifying your ability to create more love in your life as you move forward.
All relationships serve to help us evolve and grow as individuals. Each are a reflection of who we are and how we are showing up for ourselves and others—what our strengths are, our blocks and our deepest desires. They bring out the best and worst qualities in us.
Every person who you build a relationship with has a specific purpose, a function and role in your life. It helps to view each person as a loving teacher who has come into your life to push you in becoming the best version of yourself.
The purpose of each relationship can vary and mean different things at different times in your life. One partner may teach you strength and patience while the next can teach you the value of setting healthy boundaries– it all depends on your evolution and what is necessary to prepare you for the next level of growth.
So what are these three types of romantic relationships?
- Lifetime Relationships
A “lifetime” relationship is, as the name suggests, one that lasts a lifetime. These relationships flow with ease. Both partners are deeply committed and have a mutual affinity towards one another. Their love and connection is so strong that nothing can really break them apart.
Even in times of struggle and disconnect, they endure no matter the circumstances. There may be times when the partners do not see eye-to-eye with one another, experience frustration, or grow beyond the relationship; however, they always find a way to create balance and reconnect with each other in a healthy and loving way.
Lifetime relationships are the ones that everyone dreams of having one day with their ideal partner and strives to create. These are the true “fairy-tale” love stories.
- Life-Giving Relationships
A “life-giving” relationship is meant to put the spark back into your life and add a spring in your step. This partner comes into your life to remind you of your values, your worth, and never to settle for less than you desire. He or she pushes you out of your norm by adding lots of fun and passion into your everyday so that you can live again. The relationship is full of energy and excitement.
You’ll know when you are in a life-giving relationship, because the relationship will be very intense. As Lisa shares, life-giving relationships are either “fun, passionate or filled with chaos.” With this type of relationship, you can expect to experience lots of drama and eventually burn each other out with the ups and downs.
What’s important to understand with life-giving relationships is that they do not last very long. They may last anywhere from a brief “fling” to a two-year relationship; however, they are finite in duration.
The reason these relationships do not last long is because the person is not meant to be your lifetime partner. Instead, he or she has been sent to you as a soulmate to prepare you for your actual life partner—by serving as the doorway to your ideal relationship and teaching you all of the necessary lessons so that you can be a perfect match for someone else.
The biggest challenge most people have who are in these intense life-giving relationships is that they try to turn it into a lifetime relationship, to stay together forever. They try and try so hard, going back and forth, and struggling to make it work that eventually the relationship becomes more toxic and draining than healthy.
When these relationships end, know that this person will always be in your heart, you’ll love them dearly and possibly even have a hard time letting go. But when releasing this relationship, understand why he or she came into your life, what they were there to teach you, and also acknowledge why it is best for the relationship to end.
- Purposeful Relationships
The most common and prevalent relationship that many tend to experience is the “purposeful” relationship. Two people are “tethered” together for a specific purpose, whether the purpose may to be help each other heal, spiritual growth, build a family or business together—whatever the purpose may be.
One purposeful relationship I had in the past was to help me overcome a previous heartache and to teach me to value myself more. Through that relationship I learned to feel comfortable with being vulnerable and letting my true self shine.
Purposeful relationships can last anywhere from one year to even decades. However, as with life-giving relationships, they too aren’t meant to last forever. Generally, when the purpose of having come together has been fulfilled, the relationship will reach a natural conclusion.
You will know when you are in the purposeful relationship when the relationship ends or takes a drastic turn. This is when cheating, disconnect or disappointment is likely to occur. The relationship and connection changes, but no matter what, the previous warmth and love is nearly impossible to relive.
The purpose for the relationship may not always be clear. You may believe it’s meant to last forever, but for some reason the relationship doesn’t seem to progress beyond a certain point—at least not to that deeply loving and committed lifetime level that you may desiring. Often times, it isn’t until the relationship has ended and you have either moved on or had time to reflect that you realize the purpose for which you two came together in that particular time and space.
The most pain and frustration occurs when one or both partners try to make a purposeful relationship into a lifetime relationship. It isn’t meant to go the distance, and no amount of efforting will push it to that level. Many have a hard time with this harsh reality and refuse to believe the relationship essentially is over, causing them to hold on tightly and stay in unfulfilling relationships longer than necessary, thus causing more pain and heartache.
If all you are experiencing is pain and feeling as though you are fighting an uphill battle in the relationship, it is important to stop all effort and pay attention to your emotions. It may be time to let go and allow in a new phase.
Releasing relationships to feel complete
When you haven’t healed from past hurts or found closure, there will inevitably be unresolved feelings that carry over into new relationships and experiences.
Have you ever found yourself repeating certain relationship patterns over and over again, yet you don’t understand why you experience the same unmet needs, disappointments and challenges? Chances are that there is an important message that someone came into your life to teach you, but you have yet to embrace the lesson.
How do you find resolution and feel complete even when a relationship has ended?
It is important to first categorize what type of relationship you either had in the past or are currently in now. Pay attention to the predominant emotions that you experienced. What was the overall dynamics of the relationship? Was it a whirlwind romance that started intensely yet fizzled out just as fast? Are you experiencing a plateau and no amount of trying to reignite the flame is bringing you two close again? Are you completely content and trust that your bond is strong enough to withstand any challenge?
Once you have categorized the relationship, ask yourself, “What did this relationship give me?” What have you gained from having shared that time with the other person? What do you feel in your heart that person was meant to teach you? Trust your inner voice and embrace the lesson.
Find peace in the relationship for what it meant to you, cherish the time you spent and treasure what you learned from having gone through that experience—good or bad, painful, blissful, and all.
Once you have decided to move on, no matter what you do, end the relationship with grace. So many people have bitter and dramatic breakups and continue to talk negatively about the other person, calling them “crazy,” “psychotic” or whatever name they use to describe their former partner. Attacking the other is a sign that there is still some emotion, perhaps anger and resentment that still lingers causing you to energetically keep holding on.
Let go of the need to make the other person wrong or blame them for the pain they may have caused. This person meant something beautiful to you at one point– keep their dignity intact and accept responsibility for your part as well. In the end, he or she was there to serve you in the most powerful way ever by showing you more of who you are. Honor that.
Remember, people come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime.
If you need help determining what type of relationship you are in, releasing pain from a past relationship or moving forward in dating and relationships, schedule a free call, I’m here to help!