The Best Reason to be in a Relationship According to Jordan B. Peterson
I'm just going to say it: when friends tell me they aren't looking for a relationship and they justify it with some nonsense reason like they're not ready, or they're working on their career, I fight my urge to yell at them like a grumpy grandma, who, really just wants the best for them.
The truth is, they're telling themselves a crock of bull. Yes, there are times when we just get out of a long-term relationship and we need to commit ourselves to personal growth before we can be ready for another partner, but: a)People extend this time for way too long, and b)They use it as an excuse to not date because they are afraid of being vulnerable, or getting hurt; they let their deeper fears masquerade as self-love. Essentially, they're deluding themselves.
So why should we look for a partner? What are the benefits? Jordan B. Peterson, clinical psychologist recently made famous after his controversial interview with Cathy Newman and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos , gives several reasons why it's beneficial to be in a relationship (video below), such as stability (he provides the image of one rope linking with and intertwining with another, resulting in an increased fortitude for both of them) and having two brains, or two perspectives to approach life, rather than one. The reason he offered that really struck me (as it has been my thinking all along), is that being in a relationship is optimal for our personal growth.
"You want someone to contend with...because you learn through that wrestling. You learn where you're an idiot and where you should stop being, and vice versa; so that's the spiritual aspect of marriage - the fact that you have to contend with someone - under all sorts of circumstances, theoretically - it's a manner of promoting psychological or spiritual growth," says Peterson.
That is the best reason for wanting a partnership: It will further our spiritual and psychological growth (and substantially quicker than possible while single, might I add), as being in a relationship asks much of its participants; it asks for open-mindedness, generosity, and a willingness to be vulnerable and authentic, just to name a few. It's easy to go on a few dates, or have casual encounters with people who don't ask to really see who we are, to keep things loose and easy, but as soon as we get in a relationship, we have to stretch. We get the benefit of our partner showing us our fears, shortcomings, and limiting beliefs. We learn how to compromise, how to communicate honestly, and how to love another person for his best traits, as well as his shadow. As Peterson says, we have someone to contend with.
One reason why people don't manifest a relationship is because they're not ready for this level of growth. They haven't done the personal growth work to get you emotionally and psychologically prepared to see their shadow, or to be vulnerable or intimate with another. Being in an emotionally healthy relationship demands that we present our highest, most loving self, and that we shed anything unlike love - our fears, insecurities, and doubts - for the benefit of the relationship. It is a tool for growth.
Check out the entire video from Jordan Peterson Advice for Strong Relationships.
Hi, I’m Jessie! I’ve been on the spiritual path for 15 years, and this blog is where I share mindful dating advice, thoughts on awakening & lessons I’ve learned. If you’re interested in setting up a coaching session (more about that here) send me a message.