Thursday, 25 February 2016

How to be a better partner?

I bumped into this question on an online forum: should you or should you not change for love?

One valid view is that of course not. If you need to try and change who you are, it’s a dead end road from the beginning. Carving out elements of your personality or trying to fit in someone else’s mold simply can’t work or provide any sort of long-term happiness. Which, I fully agree, is true. Trying to please someone else by being something you are NOT is a surefire way to break your own heart and maybe your own spine and self-esteem, too.

I want to make clear that I’m pretty much the last person on earth who wants to advocate bending over backwards for someone else.

I’ve had my own issues with clingy and co-dependent people, and I’ve went through a crash-course about how to deal with and survive from a manipulative narcissist, so I strongly encourage everyone to stand their own ground. However, there is a difference between being your current self, warts and scales and all, and being the best version of yourself.

Nobody can be perfect, but quite a few of us can be slightly improved, if we first identify what’s not working in and for ourselves and for our relationship. This is quite a self-evident advice but not everyone realises it when they are pining for a relationship, or for a better relationship. The only person you can change is you – and, let’s take an honest look: are you a genuinely nice person to be with?

We’ve all heard about “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”, but could that worst be brought into a bit more manageable level?

Does it have to be the Third World War or the annual convention of drama queens or kings, when you’re at your worst? For me it certainly was at some stage, but I eventually realised that I’m not being very fair – nor nice. And why would I want to put my beloved through such a misery in the first place – I love him more than anything in the world, and I want him to know it, every day of the year.

Here’s a spread I created to examine this very question, and my own sample reading.

How to be a better partner?

  1. What is my overall partnering style (how do I behave in a relationship)?
  2. With who am I compatible with?
  3. What is something my partner(s, ex and current) like about me?
  4. What is something my partner(s, ex and current) dislike about me?
  5. What should I leave behind to be a better partner?
  6. What should I embrace to be a better partner?
  7. What action should I take to find/build/maintain a fulfilling relationship?

- - 7 - -
- 5 - 6 -
1 - 2 -3 - 4


What is my overall style of being a partner? 8 CUPS

I’m always searching for something new in my life, I’m never fully satisfied. This card is and is not true, depending on the angle. I aspire to commit for life and when I’m in love, I believe it will last forever. Of course sometimes things change and it won’t, but I’ve always been in lasting relationships and the current one – marriage to my soulmate – for all intents and purposes is supposed to last for a lifetime and beyond. 

However, in every other area in my life I’m always in search for more – or something new. I like experiencing new things and I get bored easily with hobbies, work etc. I blame my Gemini moon for this insatiable thirst for new knowledge, new emotions, new experiences, new viewpoints. And I keep dragging/inspiring my partner to this quest, too. I pretty much have a new plan for my/our life every week and some of those plans transpire to action, some don’t, because I come up with a new, even “better” plan.

With who am I compatible with? LOVERS

With my soulmate, duh, thank you tarot. With the person who makes me feel that he is the choice of my mind, heart, body and soul: when the relationship makes me feel all these aspects of myself are in perfect alignment and it feels like it’s a match made in heaven.

What is something my partner(s) like about me? ACE OF PENTACLES

I’m a solid choice, I guess. As I said, I commit and see the value of the relationship. I’m also crafty and always on the lookout for new opportunities: to earn money, grow as a person, learn something new, network, find and incorporate something new and interesting into my/our life. I’m also the “cheerleader” or the life coach of my partner, trying to find job opportunities for him and supporting him through the application process from writing the resume together to coaching for the interview.

What is something my partner(s) dislike about me? PAGE OF SWORDS

Hmm. I’m an eternal student and currently I’m studying towards a PhD degree. I simply love learning and I dwell in areas of my interest for days to an end. I don’t believe my partners necessarily dislike the studious or curious side, but perhaps this pertains to my communication blunders – the immature and inconsiderate side of the Page. I’m known for my stupid blurt-outs and inadvertent heartless comments that I have let escape my lips without thinking. Time to practice, clearly…

What should I put behind to be a better partner? 2 WANDS

This card most often means change of heart to me. It’s a passionate choice, made after an earlier passionate choice. I definitely recognise myself from this flipping back and forth and this relates to the earlier 8 Cups, always on the quest to find fulfilment that never comes. My husband is much more solid with his plans and this sometimes causes distress and tension for him – he feels I’m uprooting him with my flickering plans to move to Japan to teach English, move to New Zealand to own an adventure company, move to Queensland, Australia, to have our own wedding resort… I’ve been learning the hard way that the only way forward in life is to set intention and then follow through with resilience. This butterfly tendency to hop from one plan to another with a moment’s notice is clearly not the most helpful in a relationship, nor is it taking me anywhere, really.

What should I embrace to be a better partner? 9 SWORDS

Stop worrying for nothing. I’m normally easygoing and relaxed, but sometimes I get stuck in a loop of anxieties and worries: why are things not progressing as I’d like? Is something bad going to happen? How can I keep myself and my partner safe from accidents, misfortune etc.? This, again, is not very helpful. Alternatively, this card could simply say “nothing”, stop worrying about needing to be something different or more!

What action should I take to maintain a fulfilling relationship? 2 CUPS. 

Haha, another no-brainer! Be a giving, open and receptive partner: transparent and generous in your emotions and expect the same in return. Love with your full heart and be loved in return.


More of this same topic can be found in this article: how one husband changed the course of his marriage by biting the bullet, stopping the blame game and changing his own behaviour. And what flow-on effects it had on his wife and life. An interesting read! 
2 Cups, Joie de Vivre tarot, Paulina Cassidy. Mutual, equal, shared, true love.

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