I am competitive by nature.
It all began in Grade 5 when I ran my first ever Cross Country race.
I noticed a girl called Bianca 10 meters in front of me…winning…we were edging close to the finishing line…and she was about to BEAT me!
I thought to myself:
‘I can’t be beaten by Bianca!’
In this instant of ‘I-must-win-at-all-costs’ I experienced my first ever ‘runner’s high’ and my first glimmer of competitiveness.
My compact, little legs became like go-go-gadget legs and I full-steam-ahead-kicked-HER-ASS!
Oh the feeling of GLORY that day goes down in Rosie-History!
MY COMPETITIVENESS IN MY RELATIONSHIP
Through the art of long distance running, I discovered this deep fire, passion and drive within me.
And I have often channelled this fire into everything in my life – work, money, travel, sex…
And occasionally this competitive nature rears its head in my RELATIONSHIP.
Being the warm, action-oriented, driven Leo I am, I often embody the Amazon, the Warrior and the Passionate Lover archetypes (sometimes simultaneously) in my relationship.
And him being the Aries that he is, means FIRE + FIRE.
With FIRE (sometimes, not always…but sometimes) comes FIGHT.
And with fights eventually comes APOLOGIES.
And with apologies comes SURRENDERING YOUR PRIDE and accepting, ‘yeh, I might have been in the wrong’.
If this happens a little too often for my Leo-liking, this competitive bitch inside me (my Unhealthy Feminine), pops in and says:
‘Why am I the one apologising all the time!? Why am I always in the wrong. You did this…and you did that…’
Can you see what am I doing here?
I am trying to GET EVEN.
I am trying to BEAT HIM, and come out on top.
I am blaming and taking no responsibility as my pride has taken a beating.
My ego is reeling!
And worse still, I am picking a fight because I feel like I’m losing!
My Unhealthy Feminine is like a feline ready to pounce any time he messes up, so that we’re back to even again.
But not hilarious at all!
As the only person I am picking a fight with is me!
MY PARTNER’S REACTION
It all hit me when he turned to me and said, with the kindest of kind eyes and warmest of tones…
‘Baby, this isn’t a competition’.
A light bulb went off in my head.
I realised how much I do make things a competition – whether it’s who is right/wrong, who drives where, who cooks dinner etc.
I reached over and grabbed him. Held him. And apologised, again, without the resentment.
He also admitted to acting out old patterns similarly, and within 5 minutes we are kissing (or banging) and making up.
The beautiful thing about our relationship is that we never make each other WRONG for being who we are. I am naturally competitive. He is naturally stubborn. These may be shadow qualities, yes, but they are WHO WE ARE. And ALL of who we are requires LOVE…not just the good stuff. So there is never a judgement or a guilting or a shaming going on. Those qualities do not belong in a relationship and never serve the sacred union.
MY CLIENT EXAMPLE
I am writing about this topic, not because it only happens in my own relationship, but because it is very present in MANY relationships.
I recently had a client who admitted to picking fights with her partner purely to get a reaction.
She would purposely make him angry to feel some form of PASSION and PRESENCE from him.
That’s what we women do when we’re not receiving the love we want…and when we don’t have the tools to help us handle this lack of love from a partner (hint, hint, the key is to love ourselves more).
As a fellow Leo, she was picking fights to:
a) Seek attention.
b) Get some spark or reaction out of him. Good or bad reaction, doesn’t matter.
c) Gain uncertainty, variety, spontaneity and diversity in the relationship (one of the 6 human needs).
When I asked her if this method was working, she replied with a short and simple, NO.
And when I suggested to her rather than reacting our of aggression, to act in the polar opposite way to her usual antics (i.e smother him with LOVE, WORSHIP, PRAISE, AFFECTION) she said this:
BUT THEN HE WILL WIN!
To which I responded:
BUT IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.
A light bulb went off in her head.
TRY THIS CHALLENGE
Tony Robbins gives a challenge to couples who are facing problems in their relationship.
He asks the individual in the partnership who is receiving least amount of attention, sexual affection, intimacy, appreciation, and gets them to DUMP A BUCKET OF LOVE, WORSHIP, PRAISE AND APPRECIATION on their partner for 90 days!
Yep 90 days (max)!
This might seem obscene, but when you come down to it, all humans want is LOVE.
So by showering your partner with LOVE…will eventually (…hopefully) allow them the space to LOVE YOU the way you yearn to be loved.
But first of all, you gotta give love, to receive love.
So by all means, lead the way….
If you began paying your partner the RIGHT kind of attention (love, intimacy, genuine worship), rather than picking fights to get a reaction (poking, prodding, yelling, fighting, cheating, lying, knit-picking to try and receive ANY form of attention – good or bad) you will notice drastic changes in the relationship.
And if, after 90 days, you receive NOTHING.
Don’t waste your time anymore.
But, first of all, give it all you got.
And don’t expect anything in return.
Nope, not even a thank you. Just keep giving LOVE.
Because to RECEIVE love, we must GIVE love.
Because you can’t sit around on your ass waiting to be loved the way you want to be loved. Try leading by example. Try embodying the partner you so wish to be with. Be who you would want to love. Your partner will start to see the amazing human you are…and if they don’t …there is someone else out there who is a far better person to dump you bucket of love on…and who will give it back to you.
This takes trust.
The truth is….relationships are not competitions. They are not a race. They are not a game.
The truth is….you can either always be RIGHT…or be in a RELATIONSHIP. You can’t have both.
The truth is….the moment you operate from a competitiveness, a must-win-at-all-costs mentality, you lose the love, and you make the relationship a GAME.
The truth is….you have to GIVE love, to receive love.
The truth is…if you flood your partner with genuine love, intimacy and appreciation for 90 days and nothing happens, then that’s a sign!
Where do you compete in your relationship?
Do you ever try and get even?
Do you keep score or a tally of who is in the wrong and who is in the right?
Are you constantly ready to pounce?
Do you make everything a race?
Do you have a lot of pride and find it hard to say sorry?