Relationship Etiquette

If you are on a spiritual journey, good manners and awareness come with the territory. It should be as automatic as flossing your teeth, and yet, as we are earth-bound; we forget — especially when we’re engaged in relationship. It’s strange, but when it comes to our partners, all our sensibilities occasionally fly out the window. Though we’d like to be perfect as lovers, above all we’re just spirits having a human experience. With that in mind, here are some tips to keep you on track.

Maintaining Boundaries
Sometimes our auras merge. We lose ourselves and become co-dependent. We forget — is it me who doesn’t like raw onions or is it my significant other? We make soup and all our vegetables get mixed up in a stew. In short, we mistake the other person for ourselves. And that, is a definite don’t!

“Try to recognize where you end and the other begins,” says Charisse Landise, a Los Angeles-based Chakra Shiatsu Healing Artist at

When you enter into a relationship with another, you are two separate entities — not two halfs that become a whole, but rather two wholes that create a third thing, which is “the relationship.”

“Don’t surrender your ego to the other person, give it away to the union. Remain true to yourself, at all costs, with good feelings as your guide. Get busy figuring out how to feel good…the rest will fall into place,” adds Charisse.

There can be no role-playing. Don’t pretend to be someone your not. You must be who you are. When you get swept into another person’s drama, you begin to feel sour too. Look for telltale signs of souls merging. Stay centered and grounded and be aware of what is your stuff and what is theirs, says Landise.

Consequently there should be an underlying energy between you that says, ‘I love you for who you are. I accept who you are and encourage all that supports your growth.’ And there is also the energy of, ‘I love myself for who I am. I will explore the depths of my being and transform to become all that I can be.’

Surrender to the Bio-rhythms
As individuals, we have ebbs and flows, ups and downs that don’t necessarily coincide with our partner’s. There are times when you will come home at the end of day and feel decimated while your partner is polishing his dance shoes, ready for a night on the town. You have to respect the space that each of you are in, says Landise. “You can play ‘tit for tat’ and let him force you to go out just because he accompanied you the week before to a family gathering. But that’s the beginning of the end.”

Now, it’s common to sacrifice what you want to do for the one you love. But if you do something for your lover with a bad attitude, you give less than unconditional love and you create resentment. You can’t be the end all be all. Your lover may have to get their needs filled somewhere else (and I don’t mean in the arms of another person). Sometimes you have to explore and develop interests and abilities that the other may not be involved in. A misconception on this earthly plane is that in a relationship, all things must be done together. This can create energy blockages or negative energy flow if it is taken as a rule.

With that said, it is important to have shared interests and activities. Elements of joy are essential, whether these are found in hobbies, spiritual pursuits, energy work, gardening, games, sexuality, music, or parenting.

Don’t Take Anything Personally
Perhaps you recognize this phrase from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. Well this ‘agreement’ deals with understanding how other people’s behaviors really reflect a lot about them. So, if your lover criticizes you, he is really saying something about himself and the way he views the world. As you know, we all have our biases and filters that we use to form our perception of things. At the same time, it’s important to take an honest look at our negative patterns and biases. As M. Scott Peck says in The Road Less Traveled, “the problem of distinguishing what we are and what we are not responsible for in this life is one of the greatest problems of human existence.”

So simply keep yourself in check and know that if your partner is bad mouthing you, it’s really because they’re at odds with themselves. Once you realize this you can breakthrough to compassion. It’s not about you, it’s about their pain.

Working as a unit spiritually means understanding and being clear about what the relationship is and what your desires are. You must also address areas of unbalance when they arise (and they will). Be open and honest.

“State exactly what you need, don’t be shy, straight talk is the healing way. When you are true to yourself, your relationships with others improve,” says Landise. “It’s important to communicate what is stirring in your heart and not withold it from your partner. It may be difficult but it must be done.”

It’s important to embrace that when you speak from your heart, it allows for divine timing to unfold. So even if you come to the conclusion that the realtionship is no longer serving either of you, that’s okay. Everything is still working out perfectly. Try not to judge, and allow for the next best thing to enter.

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