Relationship Misconceptions: Annie and Alvy

Relationship Misconceptions: Annie and Alvy

Relationship Misconceptions: Annie and Alvy

I recently watched the Woody Allen film Annie Hall, a dramatic and romantic depiction of rollercoaster love over the years. While watching, I discovered there were some telling themes about how we as human beings covet our lovers and live within the shackles of emotional isolation.  

Just like Annie and Alvy, we are all prone to living with naive, yet harmful, behaviors which undermine our relationships.  

Let’s look at a few.

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#1. Not Recognizing That Our Partners Are People Too:

Let’s face it, you are not the center of the universe, and those around you were not placed upon this planet to serve you. They themselves are not infallible, they struggle, and are at odds with their own demons. We must recognize that our partners are people too. That they were not born to fill the shoes of that prince charming that we spent so many years crafting from love movies and chocolate commercials. They are just like us, searching for what it means to be loved and yearning to uncover what it means to be alive. Celebrate them. Love their faults. Be present in what it means to truly connect with another person.

#2. We Are Owed Nothing:

No one owes you anything, ever. Just as no one wants to receive love and adoration which has been produced by coercion or guilt. Just as we do not own our partners, they are free to love us, or not love us, and they will choose to make us a priority so long as they freely feel we are of value. This value is demonstrated through time and attention. But these are freely given, and must always stay as such. We must do our best to love our partners unconditionally, and in this form, we will be dispersing to them our purest gathering of affection and encouragement.  

#3. What We Focus On Grows:

There is a great Buddhist teaching which states, “that which grows stays most in the light”. The teaching implies that whatever we give our attention to, nurture, and cultivate, will grow and in turn take over more space in our lives. We need to spend more time focusing on what our partners did right than wrong. Find ways to rephrase our partner's shortcomings in a positive light. Look at every obstacle as a challenge for growth rather than a malicious attack. The more hours we spend obsessing over our problems, the larger they become. Instead, flip that coin, bring the solution into the light, and let it grow.

Annie and Alvy:

Unfortunately, Annie and Alvy did not take this advice. They maintained unrealistic expectations of one another, cleverly focused on each others shortcomings, and never let the other forget what was owed. And while this may have merely been a theatrical depiction, its themes still ring true in many romantic endeavors.

Love as you wish to be loved, and show compassion.

Alone and Being In Love

Our Inner Schemas

Our Inner Schemas