This is an excerpt from the book Conversations With God Book 1 by Neale Donald Walsch. An interesting "dialogue" between the author and "God". To me, it's a conversation between a person and his higher/most authentic self, which is what "God" means to me. Anyhow, they get into a discussion of love and relationships and I thought it was a very poignant exchange.
"Neale: Over and over in my relationships I have given up when the going gets tough. The result is that I've had a string of relationships where I thought, as a kid, that I'd have only one. I don't seem to know what it's like to hold onto a relationship. Do you think I will ever learn? What do I have to do to make it happen?
God: You make it sound as if holding onto a relationship means it's been a success. Try not to confuse longevity with a job well done. Remember your job on the planet is not to see how long you can stay in a relationship. It's to decide, and experience, Who You Really Are.
This is not an argument for short-term relationships--yet neither is there a requirement for long-term ones.
Still, while there is no such requirement, this much should be said: long-term relationships do hold remarkable opportunities for mutual growth, mutual expression, and mutual fulfillment--and that is it's own reward.
Neale: I know, I know! I've always suspected that. So how do I get there?
God: First, make sure you get into a relationship for the right reasons. (I'm using the word "right" here as a relative term. I mean "right" relative to the larger purpose you hold in your life.)
As I have indicated before, most people still enter relationship for the "wrong" reasons---to end loneliness, fill a gap, bring themselves love, or someone to love---and those are some of the better reasons. Others do so to salve their ego, end their depressions, improve their sex life, recover from a previous relationship, or believe it or not, to relieve boredom.
None of these reasons will work, and unless something dramatic changes along the way, neither will the relationship.
Neale: I didn't enter my relationships for any of those reasons.
God: I would challenge that. I don't think you know why you entered those relationships. I don't think you thought about it this way. I don't think you entered your relationships purposefully. I think you entered your relationships because you "fell in love."
Neale: That's exactly right.
God: And I don't think you stopped to look at why you "fell in love". What was it to which you were responding? What need, or set of needs, was being fulfilled?
For most people, love is a response to need fulfillment.
Everyone has needs. You need this, another needs that. You both see in each other a chance for need fulfillment. So you agree---tacitly---to a trade. I'll trade you what I've got if you'll give me what you've got.
It's a transaction. But you don't tell the truth about it. You don't say, "I trade you very much." You say, "I love you very much," and then the disappointment begins.
Neale: You've made this point before.
God: Yes, and you've done this thing before---not once, but several times.
Neale: Sometimes this book seems to be going in circles, making the same points over and over again.
God: Sort of like life.
God: The process here is that you're asking the questions and I'm merely answering them. If you ask the same question three ways, I'm obliged to continue answering it.
Neale: Maybe I keep hoping You'll come up with a different answer. You take a lot of the romance out of it when I ask You about relationships. What's wrong with falling head over heels in love without having to think about it?
God: Nothing. Fall in love with as many people as you like that way. But if you're going to form a lifelong relationship with them, you may want to add a little thought.
On the other hand, if you enjoy going through relationships like water---or worse, staying in one because you think you "have to", then living a life of quiet desperation---if you enjoy repeating these patterns from your past, keep right on doing what you've been doing.
Neale: Okay, okay. I get it. Boy, You're relentless, aren't You?
God: That's the problem with truth. The truth is relentless. It won't leave you alone. It keeps creeping up on you from every side, showing you what's really so. That can be annoying.
Neale: Okay. So I want to find the tools for a long-term relationship---and you say entering relationships purposefully is one of them.
God: Yes. Be sure you and your mate agree on purpose. If you both agree at a conscious level that the purpose of your relationship is to create an opportunity, not an obligation---an opportunity for growth, for full Self expression, for lifting your lives to their highest potential, for healing every false thought or small idea you ever had about you, and for ultimate reunion with God through the communion of your two souls---if you take that vow instead of the vows you've been taking---the relationship has begun on a very good note. It's gotten off on the right foot. That's a very good beginning.
Neale: Still, it's no guarantee of success.
God: If you want guarantees in life, you don't want life. You want rehearsals for a script that's already been written. Life by its nature cannot have guarantees, or its whole purpose is thwarted. "