Copyright 2006 Don McAvinchey
One of the great and wonderful mysteries about relationships happens when I run across a couple who truly enjoys being together. I’ve often wondered how they did that.
When I’ve found such a couple, it seems that there are particular practices that they engage in that bring them the happiness and satisfaction that we all seek in a relationship. They have a secret, and I personally wanted to find out what it was!
So I set about compiling what those clients and friends who have great relationships do to keep their connection good, loving and satisfying. This article, and these 5 Steps, is what I’ve discovered.
If you’re in a relationship, and you’d like to make it be even a better one than you’re experiencing now, I recommend that you focus on these steps over the next few months, and see what happens. Hey, if you don’t change something in how you’re approaching your relationship, how will it ever change?
Give these 5 steps a chance, and I guarantee you things will be better!
1.Take on the challenge to just be you in connecting with the other person.
a. Practice developing the courage and skills needed to be you, and at the same time go for connection. That’s the Big Paradox!
b. Exercise the difference between compromising your desires, and compromising the form you select together for achieving them. Once you get this one, it’ll all be easier.
c. Who am I in this relationship? One way to find out is to examine what you’re getting from your partner and see how much of what you’re receiving is a reflection of you…love and caring, or frustration and distance? Now, what are you giving to your partner in your actions? Love and caring, or frustration and distance? Can’t have it both ways, so why not change you so the “between space” will naturally change?
2. Women and men are different.
b. But do you accept it, really, with love and compassion? That’s the rub. If you find yourself frustrated over how he or she doesn’t think/act/feel like you want them to, maybe you’re trying to get them to change to be like you. Good luck on that one.
c. Celebrating La Difference! might be a better and more effective path to take. Here’s a question then: What is it about your partner that you find precious and delightful? Find that first, and then you’ll begin to celebrate that men and women are different.
3. Whatever you think about your current relationship is wrong.
a. Your story about your partner is just that, a story. It’s made up by you, not them. How do you like your story about your partner?
b. Is it possible to “know” the other person, underneath your story about them? Yes. But you may have to work at letting go of your story, and discover the person instead. Can you do this? Certainly. Will you? Ah, that’s the real question, isn’t it?
c. What is the one “truth” you’re holding onto about your partner or relationship that is getting in your way? Find it, and release it.
4. Your story about relationship shapes connection in your life.
a. What are the themes that you see repeating in relationships in your life? Looking for repetitive themes produces wisdom about relationship. Are you brave enough to look at yourself and discover what you continually create?
b. Can these repetitive themes be changed? Of course. They’re just habits of thinking and feeling. The easiest way is to replace them with a more preferred habit. So what would you prefer about relationship? Now go be the change.
c. Begin to write a new preferred story about relationship in your life. Take steps to act more lovingly, more caringly, and more honestly. Show your affection. Insist on being a leader in your relationship in being compassionate.
5. Fall in love with your partner, rather than continuing to be in love with the story you’re holding onto about your partner.
a. What are your expectations of your partner that aren’t being fulfilled?
b. Would you be willing to let go of them, at least a little bit, to explore who your partner really is? (Don’t promise lightly, this is another big challenge!)
c. Open your heart to your partner, and to yourself. This will require a big leap on your part, if your story about your partner is a negative one. Loving yourself enough to be willing to both change your own behavior, as well as to insist on a more loving foundation for your relationship, can bring tons of fulfillment. But you have to take the first step to get to know who your partner really is. Will you take this courageous step?
To enhance your relationship, take these steps and put them into action one at a time over the next few weeks. By following these steps, you can become a successful couple who has great happiness and satisfaction in your relationship.