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How good of a partner are you?

How do you show up in your relationship? How do you show up for your partner? What even makes a good partner?

For so many of us, the focus is on what we are getting out of the relationship. It’s all about how our partner’s thoughts, feelings and actions impact us. But what if we were to flip that focus into reverse? What if we started putting our partners’ needs and wants before ours? What if we were to start focusing on giving instead of getting? How would this impact our relationship? Instead of asking “Are they a good partner?” the question becomes “Am I a good partner?”

The key to any deep, passionate relationship is understanding how you participate. How do your fears, limitations and patterns get in the way of your capacity to connect – and stay connected – with the type of person that would light you up and that you could light up as well?

If you really want to maximize not only the quality of your relationship but the joy and fulfillment that you and your partner experience together, then it’s time to shift out of an egocentric mindset and to shift into serving your partner’s needs. Just think about it. There is nothing more intimate, nor any situation that brings out more of our fears or insecurities, than a romantic relationship. When you’re a good partner, rather than exacerbate your partner’s angst, you step up and embrace the opportunity for connection.

By putting your partner’s needs and desires first, you will enhance the sense of trust and security, which ultimately brings you and your partner closer together. But before intentionally and assertively making this shift, it is important to fully recognize what dimension relationship you are in at this moment – that is, what type of dynamic you bring to your partner. Instead of asking how good a partner you are, ask instead: Are you living in a one-, two-, or three-dimensional relationship? Even more importantly, what are you willing to do to really show up for your partner and achieve the type of relationship you’ve always wanted?

One-Dimensional Relationship

You know when you are in a one-dimensional relationship because it’s all about yourself. Your focus is on your needs being met, and what you’re getting or what you’re not getting. And you are only in the relationship as long as you are getting what you want.

Those on the receiving end of a one-dimensional relationship will be left feeling alone, not like they have a good partner. They will feel like they must sacrifice their desires or compromise their needs in order to exist peacefully in the relationship. And eventually, because those needs must be met, they will seek out other means of satisfying those needs, creating further distance and disconnection in the relationship.

Two-Dimensional Relationship

This type of relationship is all about equality. Your focus is both on meeting your own needs as well as your partner’s needs. Your belief about what makes a good partner is: “I will take care of myself, you will take care of yourself. But if you can’t meet your own needs, then there’s nothing I can do about it.” This means you are operating at an egocentric level.

It sounds fair, doesn’t it? Egalitarian. You do your part, I’ll do mine, and let’s make this thing happen together. It’s the way things should be, right? A true partnership. But while this may be great for a partnership, it’s devastating for polarity. If we are equal with our partners, there is zero polarity, and there is zero passion. And the reality is that the vast majority of the population falls into this group.

Three-Dimensional Relationship

In a 3-dimensional relationship, you take total responsibility for how the other person feels. You sincerely feel and believe: “Your needs are my needs.” And you will not stop or give up for any reason until you meet your partner’s needs. In this type of relationship being a good partner means you operate on a world- or spirit-centric level.

When somebody says, “Listen, I’m doing everything I can, but you’ve got to go and do your part,” it may sound okay on the surface, but this will be depolarizing. A level three relationship means that instead of saying “we are going to split this,” you are saying “I am going to make sure you feel what you feel. Be crazy, do whatever you want. I own you. I love you. I will take you to the next level.” It is not a “you do your part and I’ll do mine. You have to make yourself happy.” It’s “I live to light you up and I will do it.” In this state, the energy, the passion and the joy all come naturally. This is where we all want to be.

Being a good partner

At which of these dimensions have you been playing in your relationship? At what dimension do you think your partner has been playing? And what is the result or consequence of playing at these dimensions? Do you both even agree on what makes a good partner?

If you want to create real, lasting change in your relationship, then stop focusing on what your partner is or isn’t doing, and start asking yourself: “What am I giving?” By shifting toward a world-centric level, and putting your partner’s needs first, you are not negating your own needs, you are simply letting your partner know you are there for them, that they can trust you, and that they can feel safe and secure in their vulnerability. And, in turn, this will strengthen the bond of intimacy and connection, helping you, ultimately, surpass being simply a good partner as  your relationship becomes truly extraordinary.