Learning to accept people just as they are is one of the keys to good relationships. If you are not constantly trying to change people, looking for everything that could be made better, and figuring out how to improve everything, but instead accepting, enjoying, allowing, and embracing what is right now, then you will be a much easier person to be around—and I mean that on every level: you will be easier for yourself to be around as well as for others to be around! We tend to learn, women especially, that it’s our job to set things to right, and we have to keep our eyes peeled for anything that might be wrong so we can fix it. We extend that to our loved ones, feeling like it’s our job to make sure they are good people.
In truth, we can never change other people. They will change when they are ready and not one moment earlier. The art of loving someone is to accept him or her exactly the way that s/he is right now. The art of communication is about listening to what someone is saying without critiquing it, without making any judgment about it, just hearing what is said. When we can do that, a person feels really heard—and it’s a wonderful sensation. On the other hand, the sensation we feel when someone wants to change us is not pleasant—and even if it’s never spoken, everyone knows the difference between the two. The desire to change one’s partner creates a lot of friction in a relationship even when it’s never verbalized.
So letting go of judgments is a good thing to do. I don’t mean that we simply accept what we don’t like, welcoming everything into our lives willy nilly. We need to be clear about what our personal preferences are, and that is the second essential aspect of clear communication: knowing what you want and being able to state it. But that doesn’t make someone else bad for wanting something different. Labeling what we don’t want as bad is not useful.
The really extraordinary thing about accepting things the way they are without trying to change them is that they tend to change of their own accord once they are completely accepted. It is a profound truth that what we resist persists; and the corollary of that is that what we accept changes.
We tend to have particularly strong judgments around sexual desire. Arguing about whether it’s right or wrong is a waste of time–it’s just what one person likes and another doesn’t. It’s the same as one person liking to go running, and another liking to watch TV. Because those are not such loaded situations, solutions tend to fall easily in place – you just decide to do them separately. We tend to attach much more importance to what goes on in the bedroom, yet if you can communicate clearly with your partner, it may well be that solutions will unfold easily there too. As in all areas of life, you both need to make a commitment to working together so that you both get what you want. That is the true meaning of the word, partnership.
Mikaya Heart is author of The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm and other books.