“There is this thing,” a customer says to me.Mark looks up into the skies as if he will get the word there. “It is happening with me and Felicia. I’m not certain what to call it. It is… a lining up of sorts. Love… and something else…” He looks up again.”It’s like she knows what I am thinking. Not like seeing in my mind or anything creepy like that.”Much like when I say something… and then she reacts… it is like we talk the same language. However, it’s different, you know. She’s her feminine wise-woman method of saying things.”And it expands me. The relationship I feel in these moments. It is like part of me lives in her. The tone of her voice. How she speaks.”Another day, we drove on the street… Well, I had been driving, going 75, and there was a bend on the road. We had a drink or two before.”And I asked her, after we came out of the bend when she felt nervous at all with me driving as I was. You know what she said?”I shake my head.”She blew me off. She said,’I hope that you love yourself enough not to put me at risk. ”’He goes quiet, a grin emerging on his face.”Is not that cool?” he says.I nod.”It is things like that. I feel larger in her presence. We’ve got this… again the term escapes me.” The skies fail him.”Congruence,” I say.”Yes,” he says.Congruence, it is a word many people learned in 7th grade geometry. Two figures or items of the identical shape and size, like the mirror image of the other.The mirror image of another .  It is what people, my customers included, say they’re seeking in relationship.”If only I could find somebody who likes Dave Matthews, Black Eyed Peas, appreciates fine dining…””If only I could find someone like me.”In both, the sentiment is the same.   Be more like me, so I can love you. Neither is congruence. The first is a wish list. The next is narcissism.Congruence is frequently mistaken for conformity, allegiance, and yes, even obedience. We envision that if someone would only change or appear in the perfect configuration, we would have the perfect mate.Congruence is significantly bigger and expansive.  Think communication, stability, connection, compatibility, Eros, rapport, and the capability to repair after battle .All are key to getting an energized and fulfilling venture. So then, how can congruence occur in relationship?First, each individual begins cultivating congruence within themselves.  To start to live in integrity with their values, beliefs, desires, desires, and life vision.A congruent person does not spend years in a relationship or marriage, trusting their spouse will conform to their needs.A congruent individual would sooner risk losing their spouse than demanding they become someone they aren’t.“I love you so much that I want you to be you, authentically one hundred percent, even if this means losing you.” This is Mark and Felicia’s backstory.  Two people in their early twenties, who have lived through plenty of relationship experience.And in the years since their marriages ended, they worked hard on themselves to avoid repeating prior relational patterns.They know the easy rule — To nurture congruence in connection, you must first start to cultivate it on your own. Whether you are in a twenty-year-old union or in no connection whatsoever, you can focus on cultivating congruence on your own or your relationship today. Am I clear in who I am — my values, desires, beliefs, life vision? What are my absolute yes?   My non-negotiable no’s? Am I mature enough to convey them to my partner in a loving manner? To  navigate dating as a romantic adult partnership and not only a listing of childish demands? “Hmmm…” Mark says to me in our next session. “Yeah, it’s like we just line up perfect. We have both lived a lot. As when we lived it all, to be together today.”–Originally Published on stuartmotola.comShutterstock

“I love you so much that I want you to be you, authentically one hundred percent, even if this means losing you.”

The article I Trust You to Keep Me Safe appeared on The Great Men Project.

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