One key way of helping your relationships hold additional meaning and intent is by learning to treat them as honored guests in your life.
This mindset will go a long way towards creating the rich, fulfilling relationships you imagine for yourself. In addition, it helps keep your connection with that person fresh and alive. Treating the good people (I am not talking about toxic or unhealthy ones in your life here, which actually, if at all possible, should probably be let go) in your life whom you love as guests will add much more meaning, clear intent, and depth to your everyday experiences.
First off, lets talk a bit about how many of us approach and think of our relationships in general (before discussing the concept in further depth of treating your loves ones like guests, and how this can change your connections with others for the significantly better).
The vast majority of us grew up without the benefit of an intentional education with regards to relationships/friendships/healthy connections with others. Think about it. Where did you get your relationship training? From watching your parents and others interacting? From TV, books and movies? If you are like most people, the limited relationship education you did receive was inadequate for preparing you to have healthy, with great communication, amazing relationships. Yet, relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, all while so many of us are struggling to get by with the limited models we had available to us. Models that frequently fall short of creating the relationships we believe and know are possible.
The majority of romantic relationships tend to be based on one model, which usually includes most of these characteristics:
--We view our partner as someone to complete us or make us feel whole.
--We stop fully listening to our partner because we feel we have heard it all before. That, after a long time with them, we know them totally and thus, what they have to say has grown mundane to us.
--We assign blame to our partner when we feel they aren't meeting our needs
--Complaint becomes a normal part of our everyday conversations
--As time goes on, we begin to treat our partner more like a housemate and less like a lover
--After a while, we become quicker to judge, criticize, and blame. And less likely to give our partner the benefit of the doubt.
This usual, conventional relationship model is, as you can see, based mostly on fear.
All of these behaviors lead to our partner to slowly closing off parts of themselves to us. They also lead to the relationship often chipping away or diminishing in certain aspects. At its worst, this leads to boredom, resentment, disillusionment and heartache.
However, within an emotionally deep/open, soulmate type of a relationship (and this includes a relationship in which the mindset is maintained of "this person whom I love is a guest in my life"), the characteristics would run more along these lines:
--We see this person as someone to enhance rather than complete us.
--We know that being in a relationship together is an ongoing choice.
--We support this persons growth and evolution, even when its scary for us and might cause us to feel insecure.
--We use our individual and shared experiences as opportunities to keep our connection alive.
--We strive to see this person and ourselves as clearly as possible and to accept who and where we each are right now.
--We never assume to fully know them, even when we may know them very well overall. We continue acting as though there are parts of them left to discover, as people are ever growing, shifting and changing, both in minute as well as big ways over time.
--We do our best to watch for and minimize judgement.
--We are grateful for every day that this incredible human being chooses to be in our life.
Imagine what your relationships would feel like if you looked at both your partner/close friend/cherished loved one in such a way, as well as them looking at you in this fashion. Instead of becoming stale, dragging us down, growing disillusioned or resentful, the relationship would remain a source of excitement, inspiration, and true connection.
So, how to treat both your romantic partner and loved ones like guests? And why do so? How will this change your relationships with them for the deeper and more satisfying?
First off, because that's exactly what each person is in your life. A guest. Your relationship with them will end. Either through the eventual literal death of one of you, or sooner, as many relationships (both romantic as well as platonic) do end naturally as well. So in fact, each person who is special to your in your life is just that: a guest. And knowing your time with this person/being is limited and numbered will help you to make the very most of it. It can help influence decisions you make with regards to your loved ones, as well as will color how to treat and react to them.
Keeping this in mind, that the great people in your life whom you love, are all guests? This can fill you flush with bravery in terms of how to treat and speak to them. Giving you the courage to say important things that are in your heart for that person. Filling you with the guts to make that grand gesture that speaks to your love for them. Deciding to take the initiative to do something awesome with them, because why not and why wait?
In keeping in mind that, this person is a guest in my life and my days with them are in fact numbered, this can change totally how you relate to this person, treat them, speak to them and even think of them. Whether this person will be in your life over the short term or the long term, only the universe can know that. But either way, time is ticking and they are, quite literally, a guest. A true, incredibly important concept and one that, if you allow it to, can totally shift the ways you treat those close to you.
Specifically with regards to romantic relationships, when we first start dating someone, its natural to treat them as a guest. We are open to who they are and how they express themselves. Then, after having been together awhile, we may slowly begin to discourage them from engaging in certain behaviors or activities. We may start taking them for granted. Not only is this acting from a place of fear, but its also forgetting that our time with that person is limited. That regardless of duration, the clock on each relationship in our life is in fact ticking.
We do the same thing with close friends, as well as family members whom we cherish and love. Taking them for granted. Going weeks or even months without contacting them. Feeling too lazy or just making excuses instead of sitting down and making a phone call to chat for 20 minutes or writing an email to someone whom we do wish to stay closely connected with over the big picture. We allow day to day stuff instead, to sweep us up and away from treating that person who is important to us, as though they are a treasured guest in our life. Which is, in actuality, exactly what they are. But we forget this.
Unfortunately, this is how time slips away and then, months or even years later, we realize and are wracked with regret about not having been the present person in that worthwhile relationship (platonic, romantic or familial) that we wish we had been. This sometimes even leads to people leaving one another, friendships making a slow and silent fade from one another until it quietly just ends, or family members having painful falling outs. This is how people lose touch, and later on, wish they hadn't.
So, dont forget: the good people in your life, who add joy and meaning to it. The ones who are healthy, high quality, and good for you. Those who bring laughter, inspiration, fun, support, compassion, and great things to your existence. Whether a romantic partner, close friend, or family member whom you cherish. These people are treasured guests in your life. Their time in your life has an expiration date. Whether this time will last long, or short, only the universe can know. However, all the more reason to treat this person like the special and honorary guest they are. Remember this every day, and act accordingly to those who are most important to you. Thus, this mindset has the power to change your close relationships in rather poignant ways.