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How Do I Balance the Power in My Relationships?

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Question: How Do I Balance the Power in My Relationships?
Dear Mona,

Okay, so I have dating issues. I never seem to be able to get past that two-month mark. I've worked on my own issues and have noticed, through dating, that there is a pattern to my relationships. Usually, one of us becomes clingy, which pushes the other away. It just seems like I can't create balance in my relationships when the power scales begin to tip. When I'm pushed away, I see a version of myself in the other person. I just don't know a solution. Have I just not matured enough?
Answer: Dear Pink Power Ranger,

In The Matrix Reloaded, one naive Neo is led on a path by the Oracle to find the Key Maker, who's held by one of the most dangerous programs, the Merovingian. Neo inquires about the Merovingian's motive- not realizing he already knows the answers to his own questions. "What does he want?" Neo asks. The Oracle responds wisely, "What all men with power want... more power!"

In relationships we tend to attract a pattern of people. These individuals are a combination of the best and worst qualities within us- which explains why few people can make us as mad or as happy as the ones we love. They represent all the things we like and dislike about ourselves. When you're chasing your loves away, what you're really doing is running from yourself. Sticking around is not a sign of maturity; it's a badge of courage.

That being said, power struggles are a normal stage of healthy relationship development. But is your ego willing to relinquish some of the power that your alter ego (represented by your partner) longs for? Are you running from your relationships or an aspect of yourself that you are not yet willing to face?

The power play in relationships is merely the battleground for both of your best and worst qualities. The ultimate goal is to face these demons and settle into a harmonious partnership. In order for this to happen, you'll have to continue to determine what you're willing to give up personally and what you expect from him.

You've already noticed the pattern; now put it down on paper. Think about the reasons why you pull away. If you think he spends too much time with his friends, for example, dig deep and ask yourself why this bothers you. Do you have issues with your friends? Do you lack strong friendships and thus your partner's friends spark an inkling of jealousy? There could be a myriad of reasons for any issue. The important thing is to identify them and then evaluate whether you're willing to quell the warrior within you. The warrior that is on a mission to eradicate the source of your discomfort (or so you think) by pushing him away. Once these issues are identified, don't attempt to rid yourself of them, make peace with the little buggers as a part of you. By doing so you set the stage to better understand your partner and yourself. After this crucial step, begin the process to change the things you no longer desire.

As my mother, who reminds me of the Oracle, always says, "Anything worth keeping is worth fighting for." Do you have the stamina to hash out your relationship differences? Can you figure out a way to be sensitive to his needs while at the same time being receptive to his attempts to please you? Is he worth it? Healing relationship issues comes with many rewards. You begin to see your partner for the qualities he adds to the union, not the deficiencies that remind you of your own issues. And best of all you begin to accept and become one with yourself. Only you can decide when it's time to start believing in what you already know- you are "The One" and you don't have to do it alone.

Yours in love,
Mona

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