What relationship works for me? – The Long Answer

Q: What kind of relationship works best for me, according to Human Design?

Continued from: FAQ #1: What kind of relationship works for me, based on my Human Design?

When we look at our chart, the most obvious thing we see is the colours and the whiteness. The coloured in parts represent our consistent energy supply. All that remains white is where we connect with others.

We are designed to be pieces of a puzzle. We do not go through this life alone. We are made to find others and experience what it is like to be more than what we are on our own.

This beautiful, pure design has become a source of much distortion and conditioning in our life. We never received proper education on how to connect. We learned through trial and error, while being showered with an overwhelming amount of misinformation.

The School of Love

Most of us first developed romantic and sexual feelings while being obligated to spend most of our daylight hours in the chaotic nightmare of pressure and expectation that we call a school. It was not a safe place to experiment, but it was the only one we got. We were informed about the technical aspects of sexuality, instructed to be careful and safe, and not much else.

For the remainder, we took from movies and television, most of it imported from the United States, depicting dramatized and idealised relationships. These programs were made to maximize profit, not to support adolescents in navigating their unfolding desire for intimate connections.

Relationships in media were intentionally unhealthy because that was the most entertaining. They were tailor-made to keep our adrenaline spiking, so we would keep our attention on the screen.

Other examples we received were from the adults in our surroundings, who were often stuck in relationships that they chose to be in because it offered them safety from oppression and stigma, rather than choosing a connection that would optimally nourish them.

We looked up to them, even if we intuitively knew they were being dishonest about how they experienced the world. They were pretending to be happy more than anything, desperately praying that their pretend would turn into something real.

We also found teachers in our peers, with whom we developed some sort of competition with undefined parameters. We fought for the right to be accepted, the constant fear of being excluded and discriminated against gripping around our throats.

In our state of panic, there were no balanced decisions to be made. There was no space to feel through the many dimensions that were unfolding within us. We bent into shapes that we hopes would earn us the best chance of making it to the light at the end of the tunnel. The relationships we found ourselves in were attempts to create a safe haven that ended up being an uncontrollable rollercoaster ride.

The Mirror of a Relationship

Surrounded by unhealthy ways of connecting and lacking the education to recognise the distortion for what it was, we embarked on our own journey to figure out what love meant for us. A spark of purity within us inspired us to seek out a life that could be lived authentically.

Every relationship we entered into was an experiment to teach us about that spark of love that we felt. We needed to learn how it can take form. Every other person was a mirror that we could investigate, to see if we could find the spark in them too – and discover what shape it took for them.

A relationship was a vessel to experience love, and it was a school at the same time. This meant that our feeling fluctuated intensely. As much as we would have liked to remain in the perfect bubble of being in love, challenge was always lurking around the corner, ready to show us a new perspective.

We fought and struggled, all to figure out what we were really doing in that connection – what it was trying to teach us. And in the end, after having moved through a full cycle with this person, we learned. After all the fear, insecurity, and heartache, we came away with a wisdom that we could not have gained in any other way.

Magnetic mechanics

And now we are here, at whatever point in life this is for you, you are asking yourself the question: what kind of relationship would serve me? And you know that Human Design holds answers for you. I wrote this to give you answers, and yet I have only scarcely mentioned Human Design. This is because I know that Human Design has some answers, but it was very important for me to give context first.

I want to elaborate on what distortion and conditioning you may have received that is affecting the way you enter into relationships. Because more than Human Design, that is what decides the kind of relationships that serve you.

Our design shows how we receive people energetically, and what we give to them. But it does not show what we need to exchange at this point in our life. That is decided by what we need to learn. Where we are in our life and what is relevant for us determines the people we attract. They come to teach us and to show us new perspectives. That is the primary function of Love.

Love is a magnetic force, attracting those we need and repelling those we do not need. We feel love for the people who give us what we need, who show us perspectives that are relevant for us and with whom we can experience the best life has to offer us. What we need is not always the easy road – the simple, fun connection.

Finding our wounds

Sometimes we attract people who come to teach us a harsh and painful lesson. They come to show us the distortion in our ways of relating. They came to correct the unhealthy conditioning we have gathered in the past. They don’t do this by pointing it out gently. They show us by taking advantage of it. By tapping into our weaknesses and reflecting back the most damaging way of dealing with them.

We feel love for them, because they come to show us something. Because they are beautiful, loving beings, as everyone is. They show us love by re-opening our wounds and directing our attention to them. In that way they give us the opportunity to start healing.

But for that healing to be possible, we cannot have people in our life who keep touching those wounds. Even though we do want to see them, once we see them, we need to give them care and rest so they can heal. People who keep poking at the wounds cannot positively contribute to this healing process. So, with love and with recognition of their meaning to us, we need to let them go.

A Safe Container

A romantic relationship is generally the most intimate type of relationship we enter into within our lifetimes. This is the person who we are around the most, who we touch the most, who we speak with the most. We need and deserve to be safe in all of those situations.

That is why, in my opinion, every relationship begins with creating a safe container in which both people can be themselves. This means communicating about what each person needs from the relationship, and what each person is willing and ready to give. It means communicating about the expectations that live inside us – what we hope, and also what we are afraid of. Both need to agree to hold space for the other, supporting them both in times of strength and vulnerability.

We could say that these types of conditions can be taken for granted, or that they only need to be vocalised when the relationship reaches a certain point of commitment, like marriage, and that can be so, but without being in agreement of these things, there is no solid foundation of which to build. Then we discover along the way that each person had a completely different idea about what this relationship was and by then may be unwilling to reaffirm that foundation, or the relationship ends painfully.

Consciously entering into a relationship means being clear and upfront. Playing games can be fun, but that can always happen after a safe container has been established.

Beginning to build this container can start with some or all answering these questions:
For this relationship:

  • What do I need? What do you need?
  • What can I give? What can you give?
  • What do I hope for? What do you hope for?
  • What am I afraid of? What are you afraid of?

The other side of the coin

This safe container allows us to create safe ground under our feet. So we don’t fall too hard when things don’t go as smoothly as we had hoped. It is a natural law that everything that is light will turn dark. Everything that is easy will become hard. Everything that is fun will turn sour. In other words, something is always going to come along and challenge us in a way that we do not expect.

Like I talked about in the beginning, we enter into relationships to learn something. And we learn best through struggle. So even if we begin a relationship because it is fun and easy, it will not stay that way. And expecting it to is like poisoning the water.

Wanting a relationship to only be fun means that not only are we inviting hardship, but we are setting ourselves up to not be able to handle it when it comes along. When we stop being present and stop communicating when it becomes uncomfortable, then we create a toxicity between us that will last for as long as it takes to give it expression.

So as silly as it seems, as awkward as it is, when something comes along, talk about it. Bring it up. Drag it to the front of your attention. Because this is where the gold is found. Being able to discuss these things that put a pain between the two people in a relationship brings us to the next level. It can bring relief, opening, and growth so profound that when we make it through, we are celebrating.

Pain that comes unexpectedly is a package filled with the potential for unexpected joy. But to get it, we need to have the conversations we don’t want to have. We have to see sides of the other person we were not expecting. And we have to each figure out for ourselves if we want to keep going. If we really want to do this. Because, when we don’t, if it doesn’t feel worth it, then it is not the relationship we need.

If we can’t make it through these difficulties, then there really is not relationship at all. Then it is just two people existing in close proximity to one another. Like neighbours on two sides of a wall. If the challenges are not taken on, then the good times cannot be experienced either. Then everything that happens between two people is like an echo of what could be there. Because there is no substance to fill up the space of potential.

A glimpse of what to expect

Looking at the Human Design charts of both people in the relationship can give us a glimpse of what can be expected – both the good stuff and the challenges. This is what I get into in a Partner Reading. Where the charts overlap, where they differ, and where they complement each other can be an illustration of the dynamics in a relationship.

Knowing what the dynamic can be, it may be less of a surprise when it shows up. It will always be unexpected, but at some point there will come a moment where the awareness dawns. “Oh, this is that thing!” we will say.

It by no means fixes the problem. And it is not a guarantee that we will figure it out, but at least we have an idea of what is happening beneath the surface. We can explain why each person has a completely different perspective. This can give some breathing space. Maybe even the realisation that it is not about the thing that is challenging us, but that it is about moving through this challenge, consciously and united.

With that approach to every challenge, success is virtually inevitable.

So, what relationship works for me?

The only answer I have to this question is: a relationship in which you can create this safe container together and where you can consciously collaborate on building something beautiful together. And in my opinion, this is possible in any design match.

Remember, you are the only authority on what is right for you in your life. You have the truth within you. All your life you are working to get to know that truth more intimately, and every step you take brings you further on that path.


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Ariane – Human Design analist & coach

Ik ben hier om te begeleiden en te inspireren. Human Design kwam in 2009 in mijn leven, nog voor mijn eerste reis naar Azië. Het is zo een altijd-aanwezige lens geweest waardoor ik diepere lagen van het menselijk bestaan zie. Na het afronding van mijn universitaire opleiding Culturele Antropologie, was ik van 2014 tot 2018 in opleiding bij Alokanand Diaz (Human Design Republic) en de International Human Design School.