Will love change your life? Should love change your life? At least one young woman thinks the proper answer to these questions is “No”.

On her blog “Ill Seen, Ill Said” http://seenandsaid.blogspot.ca/, writer Jane Flanagan laments the tendency she observes in herself to

carry ideas of myself emerging in a wholly different (and, needless to say, better) manifestation.

She goes on to point out that love stories have always majored in the idea that finding love will bring transformation for both the lover and the beloved.

She then poses a profound question,

when you’ve worked hard at letting go of those ideas of transformation, of there being some “after” version of yourself waiting to emerge, what do your love stories look like? Can we tell a good story without change?

What happens if we abandon our romantic vision of the transformational impact of love? What happens if we accept that a person might live without a specifically romantic relationship and that this does not need to change? Is it possible that a person living without a romantic relationship may be just as fully realized, integrated, well-adjusted, and happy as any of the rest of us who just happen to have fallen into a romantic relationship that has resulted in life-long commitment and partnership?

As a married person I need  to be constantly mindful of the fact that my loving relationship with my wife is not the fulfillment of my life. I and she need to be absolutely as whole and complete human beings in the absence of the other person as we are together. If I do not bring an adequate measure of wholeness to the table in our relationship, it will never be a healthy relationship.

To enter into a relationship assuming that this relationship will satisfy the deepest longing of your heart is a dangerous illusion. To form an attachment in the hopes that this attachment will fulfill your dream for your life or cause you to become the person you long to be, is a recipe for disaster.

Being in a romantic relationship or a lifelong partnership is no more a guarantee of happiness, contentment, or spiritual/psychological health than being single is necessarily an impediment to the fulfillment of such goals.

The path towards wholeness is the same for all of us, no matter what our relational status may be. We must all find our way to the glad art of surrender. We must all struggle to the place where we are willing to give up our demand that the circumstances of our lives be different. We need to learn to live in the present moment, finding meaning and purpose in the beauty of our lives just as they are.

The journey of life requires courage, honesty, and openness.  There are married people whose relationship with their partner has become a vehicle for death and violence. It is all too common for a relationship to be used as a means of escape, denial, and avoidance. Too often people choose, or feel compelled, to hide behind a partner.

There are single people who are making the journey of life with luminous beauty. There is nothing in the relational circumstances of a single person that necessarily needs to change. Every avenue for moving into the light is as open to a single person as a partnered person.

The questions for all of us are the same. Are we dealing with the realities of our own lives? Are we living in open, honest, authentic relationship with someone whether life-long partner, family member, or friend? Do we take responsibility for our inner life? Are we willing to acknowledge our own shortcomings, failures, and struggles?

If you are willing to live the life that has been entrusted to you in all its fullness with gratitude and grace, your life will be a vehicle for beauty. Nothing more is required for a true and fulfilling life.

You can read Jane’s full “Transformation” post at http://www.seenandsaid.blogspot.ca/2012/06/transformation.html