Are you in love or do you just like being liked?

ImagePhoto credit: andreyutzu 

After realising that I left my ex-husband for things that I needed to be giving myself, I have learnt a new way to be in a relationship with myself and others. I have much more energy, I am happy within myself and my relationships are blossoming.

We all love to be liked by someone else, don’t we? This is a natural condition of being human. It is flattering, comforting, it is great to have a companion to do things with, it feeds our need for human connection and many more desirable things. But if “liking being liked” is the basis of your relationship, is that really loving our partners? Is it being loving to ourselves?

What is it that we love? The person? Or the fact that the other person takes care of things that we think we don’t have to worry about when we are in a relationship? Things like not feeling lonely, having a companion to do things with, feeling good about ourselves, having an interest, feeling connected, and numerous other things.

What is it that we are missing and not giving ourselves? If we expect our partners to take responsibility for the things that we can be responsible for, is it any wonder we have so much conflict in relationships! We don’t have to think about what we want, or how to make friends with others, or what interests us, as our partner will do all that for us! When we start to do what our partner suggests and it is not what we want, do we accept responsibility for not liking what they suggested? Not likely, more often than not we blame our partner for not getting it right! If we do not know ourselves what we want, what friends we like, what makes us happy, how to resolve our own inner conflicts, how can a husband, wife or partner know how to do this for us?!

More than likely our partner does not know the rules of the game as often these things are unspoken. So, we think our partner will take care of our unwanted emotions, it is just that they do not know that!

Perhaps they go away for work and it does not seem like they are paying attention to our needs, so we start to notice feeling lonely. If we are not taking responsibility for keeping connected to ourselves and others, we are more than likely going to blame our partners for not being there and hence being lonely. They are often shocked as they had no idea that they were supposed to be filling up or fixing up our unwanted emotions. So we come across needy, and guess what, when we are needy often our partners are repelled and either withdraw or “fight” and we do not get what we wanted in the first place. Then we are really on the downward roller coaster.

So, how do we move from creating a worse situation than we started with?

How do we create a flourishing relationship where we both support ourselves and each other?


Perhaps there is another way…


What is different in the New Way?

  1. Accepting that many things in life trigger unwanted emotions, and often these have nothing to do with the current situation or our partner. It is likely they are from a past memory of an event.
  2. Letting go of the need to “talk” about our problems immediately and giving ourselves time to communicate with ourselves to understand what is happening and what we can do for ourselves
  3. Being present to our body sensations and emotions and allowing them to be acknowledged and released through the body.
  4. Taking responsibility for caring for ourselves on the inside emotionally and spiritually as well as physically, relationally, financially, etc., on the outside.
  5. Giving up blame and projecting our issues onto others and looking outside ourselves for our solutions.
  6. Taking actions that nourish ourselves, feeding our souls, body, mind and spirit! Learning what gives us energy.
  7. Sharing our concerns in a way that communicates that we don’t want to be “fixed” up by anyone else.
  8. Sharing the love and connection we gain from doing the things that bring us joy with our loved ones.
  9. Accepting our imperfections, and having tolerance and understanding for ourselves and others.
  10. Being a supportive partner to each other as we grow into our loving adult selves throughout our lives.

How many relationships have ended as a result of us not taking responsibility for the things that we could have been taking responsibility for? It is a tragedy, but it is a consequence of the transition we have been making from dependent relationships to inter-dependent relationships.

This is a new shift in the way we view relationships and has broader implications for overcoming the power struggles in relationships. We have been making this shift since the days of women’s independence. At first, in the western world, we made structural shifts in the external things such as equality, jobs, voting and legal rights.

I now see the shift in both men and women taking responsibility for their inner life and partnering with each other to share each other’s journeys in life as we grow our loving adult selves. This is a new form of power. When we take on responsibility for our inner life there is the possibility of a new freedom that we may have never even considered.

Please email me what you are doing to create a new loving relationship. I would love to hear your story.

Does this provoke more questions than answers? Email me and I will respond.

Deborah Lange

About Deb Lange


“A Sense of Place”

Going to another “place” to create a new relationship when there is a history of conflict is one aspect that is sometimes overlooked in understanding and letting go of conflict.
I believe we have forgotten or perhaps not even realised how important “place” is.

After books were written and published and humans learnt from the written word that is now recorded in different places globally, we have gradually lost a “present consciousness of place”, the energy in it and the memories.

I learnt this the hard way but a very memorable way! In my early days as a Consultant I facilitated a session with Directors across a large organisation. I facilitated multiple sessions over separate days with a week’s break each time. In the first session I led the Directors in a meditative process where they became present to how they perceived themselves as Directors and the culture within which they worked in the present. I then asked them to draw an image representing themselves now. In silence they drew images and then when they were finished they were posted on to the wall which became a mural of the present reality of the values, beliefs and actions inherent in their present identity and the culture of the organisation.
I then invited the Directors to walk across the room imagining they were walking into their future and as they walked to bring into their full sensory awareness how they would see themselves, what they would feel, how they would be talked about, what they would hear themselves saying in the future and to be that and feel that now. I then invited them to sit in their future, which they felt now and draw images to represent what they felt, saw and heard. These were then stuck on the wall and another mural emerged.
The first mural had images of lone rangers with masks on, people holding up shields to stop the bullets being fired at them, people with knives in their backs, and more.
The picture of how they saw themselves in the future was very different, there were images of people in teams holding up trophies and awards, smiling faces, hands clapping, cheers for success, pride and shaking hands and arms over shoulders.

We then discussed the images of the present state first. People were confronted by the images that they had drawn of themselves and the current reality of the culture in which they worked and contributed to creating. One person attacked me, saying that somehow I had planted these images in the sub-conscious of the Directors and this is why they had surfaced. Another Director had the wherewithal to say, no, the images came from the minds and hearts of the group right here and now and drawing had enabled the images to surface that would possibly have been to be difficult to bring up via conversation at first.
We did work through the current state and people realised that if that was how they felt now but what they aspired were two different things, that they could take responsibility for creating the future they wanted in the second set of images.
We left that day, reflective and feeling that it would be a challenge but the Directors could do something about the current state of the culture of the organisation.
We came back the following week to continue. I wanted to create some continuity from the previous session so I set up the room in exactly the same format as the last week, including posting all the images back on the wall. This was good on the one hand, bad on the other. It was a new day, a new week, what I know now is that if I had just posted the images of the future state we would have started that day very differently. As I had posted up the images of all of the negativity in the first set of images the group immediately went back to that negative emotional state and we had to work through that again.
In a long winded way I am saying don’t underestimate the energy and memory of the way things have been residing in a room and in an office that has been set up in a certain way, where people always come to the table and sit down, perhaps even in the same seats and speak. Even changing the structural aspects of a room and seating arrangements can assist facilitate new energy, new relationship and new memories when there is conflict amongst individuals and teams within an organisation or a family.
I have even had a harpist play music in a room to clear the energy from a room and create a new tone in the room! These are some of the non-rational aspects of relationship and organisational culture that I have specialised in over my life which are gradually being recognised.
I have much more to say about conflict and relationship but I think that is enough for today!!! Let’s keep up the good work of seeing, confirming and integrating rational and intuitive forms of information into knowledge and then make choices and take actions that can lead us to wisdom.

Inner Bonding® a powerful life practice

A participant in a recent workshop said, “I came here sad, anxious and angry with my life and my partner and I was ready to walk away from everything.”
By early afternoon on the first day I had found my emptiness and found how to give myself what I needed to feel loved and connected to all the beauty around me. I am overflowing with appreciation and love that is being accessed from within me. I am seeing what there is to appreciate in the world. I feel enriched and abundant.”

The Inner Bonding® process developed by Dr Margaret Paul and Dr Erika Chopich enables us to transform habitual patterns that may be generating our anxiety and we can learn how to create a state of well being without resorting to short term fixes. Read more of my work as a Certified Inner Bonding® practitioner. This is an extremely powerful practice for life, to become more in flow with a deeper connection to ourselves and our spiritual path.