“There is only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best.”
~ Doris Lessing
In Australia we have a term for houses that need a stupid amount of work to make them habitable. We call them Renovator’s Delights, and you can be sure that anything that is advertised as such is sure to be a money pit, no matter how much a Real Estate Agent might tell you otherwise in their eagerness to get you to commit to a sale. These houses have much more than cosmetic flaws that could be easily fixed with a coat of paint or some new handles or light fittings. A Renovator’s Delight hides serious structural flaws that are often not apparent to the rookie buyer. This kind of work is expensive to repair, if it can be repaired at all. A smart buyer would be better off looking for a different investment opportunity.
Sometimes a seller will disguise a Renovator’s Delight with a quick paint job and some landscaping so that it looks visually appealling – they can sell you on ‘the dream’ as long as you don’t dig too deep. This is an even worse situation for a buyer who hasn’t done their homework and organised a complete building inspection because they won’t be prepared for the devastating structural issues they will one day find below that pretty surface.
So what does that have to do with relationships? A lot, actually.
In all my time of guiding, advising and counselling others, especially sensitive and empathic souls and those who identify as ‘spiritual’ or ‘healers’ I’ve seen many good men and women choosing the human equivalent of a Renovator’s Delight in love relationships.
Very few people lead with their faults and flaws in a new relationship. That’s normal. We all want to be thought well of, and to be successful in making a relationship last. And what’s perfect anyway? All of us have idiosyncrasies and quirks. Much of that is also what makes us appealing to others. This truth is evident when you see people buy a home. Oh my goodness, one person will say. I can’t stand all those funny little stained-glass windows. That alone will be enough for them to choose not to buy. Oh my goodness, the next person will say. Look at all those funny little stained-glass windows. I totally love that! After which they will buy the house because those funny little windows really spoke to something in their soul.
Sometimes after we’ve lived in a home, loved it and been happy there, disaster strikes. A pipe bursts. There is a fire in the kitchen. Termites eat out a pillar or a roof support. But it’s our home. We love it. So we fix it, or try to. We do the work together with our partner, friends or family, we bring experts in, or in some cases we decide to just accommodate the problem and we learn to live with it. In human terms this can be a sudden illness, a bad decision, a stupid action, a transgression, loss of a job or some other calamity. Our commitment to what has been a good and happy relationship and the love involved allows us to stay together, despite a structural flaw. Importantly, everyone acknowledges that flaw. No-one covers it up or suggests that it isn’t real.
Human Renovator’s Delights in new relationships often know that they have serious flaws but they are not invested in fixing them, and they go to great lengths to hide them. Some trade on these flaws or backstory in order to get or keep attention and to excuse behaviours and beliefs. Some will be honest and tell you they are not good relationship material. They mean it, and they say it to give you an out, but a Lightworker or empath will then feel it is their responsibility to stay, help, and fix things.
Inside all of us is a compass that helps us to see if the person in front of us has quirks that will endear them to us or that we can learn to live with, or if there are serious structural flaws that make this relationship not worth our investment. What’s always needed for sound relationship decisions is time and the ability to tune in to that inner compass.
I have friends and clients going through hard times in relationships right now, and they’re wondering how they ended up where they are – with a lover who cheats or gambles, with a husband who suddenly wants out, with a boss who keeps lying.
They’re hurt, distressed and devastated at what has happened and they’ve asked me the questions: Why did this happen? How did this happen? Why did I not see this coming?
Truly, a wise part of them did see it coming. A wise part of them already knew. All of us have intuition, and instinct. This force within us operates with a vast amount of information – not just our conscious awareness.
When pressed, all of these people eventually admitted that there had been things in their relationship from early on that made them uncomfortable. Or there was a point where things began to change, and that point was a long way from where they are now.
In each situation my clients and friends had intuitively picked up on an energy or behaviour that was out of flow, out of truth – either with the way the other person was presenting themselves within the relationship, or with how their partner’s actions and behaviours conflicted with their own values and beliefs. In each case their intuition red-flagged something, using those feelings of discomfort and that instinctive knowledge to bring the situation to their conscious attention.
So why didn’t they allow themselves to be guided by that intuition? Quite simply, their mind got in the way. They discounted, excused, second-guessed or validated that discomfort away. They saw what they wanted to see, or needed to see, rather than what was. They gave second chances, chose to believe what they were told, and shoved that discomfort back down where it no longer bothered them. In many instances they convinced themselves that the person could change, or that they could help them heal or find ways to help them overcome the issue. Or, they thought that they’d already invested too much to walk away, or that any relationship was better than being on their own.
In many situations this person’s life then became completely consumed by the relationship and their worries over how to fix it, or whether to stay or go. All of the energy that they could have spent enjoying life, being creative, practicing self-care, building or maintaining other relationships was instead diverted into somehow trying to transform their relationship Renovator’s Delight into something more safe and habitable.
Just like a property that is a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your money, a relationship with a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your time and energy until there’s nothing left for anything or anyone else. (Narcissists and Sociopaths – the kind of Renovator’s Delight that can NEVER be fixed – will actually feed off your energy and then discard you once you’re broken or no longer of value to them.)
Tune in for a moment. What’s your intuition been telling you? How much of your time is wrapped up in this relationship? Are you both emotionally invested in solving problems and making things work? Is there any action or is it all talk and broken promises? Is it worth it?
A friend of mine recently sold a Renovator’s Delight after finally accepting (ten years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later) that she was never going to make it what she needed it to be. A new couple bought the house and then promptly demolished it to leave a clean canvas for their dream home. After my friend got over the shock she bought herself a brand new apartment with everything she needs – all in full working order. She couldn’t be happier.
The energies this week, and this month, support big decisions and coming into alignment with your values and inner core. Maybe it’s time for you to make a change.
You might also find these resources useful:
Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life
Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct
or this program of eight free exercises designed to help you connect to and work with intuition, energy and the metaphysical:
Strengthening Your Intuition – A program of Exercises
Biggest hugs and love to you, Nicole ❤ xx