The degree to which you have learned these skills is the degree to which you are prepared to do your part to grow an awesome relationship.
- You like and respect yourself. How could you expect someone else to love and respect you if you don’t experience yourself as loveable and worthy of respect?
- You trust your ability to make yourself happy. Happiness is an inside job! That is, we choose – consciously or not – when it’s “safe” to express ourselves, and when and with whom we can feel happy.
- You have a variety of ways to calm yourself when feeling vulnerable or threatened. Strategies that help you hang in there when you feel like fighting or running the other way.
- You understand that you create your own thoughts and feelings. That’s a scary thought for some of us. And the rest of us just don’t believe it! The next time you’re uncomfortable (scared, upset, sad, disappointed…) notice what you’re thinking, change what you’re thinking. What happened to your emotions? Consider how your life would be different if you truly had the power to change your thoughts and feelings any moment. If you don’t believe this, then you have to believe that someone else has access to a switch inside you that causes your reactions. Seriously?!
- That, of course, requires you to recognize your feelings. If you don’t, they will control you – a set up for reacting in ways that violate your own rules for yourself.
- You have friends outside of your relationship.
- You are open to the possibility (inevitability?) that you don’t know everything you need to know to create and sustain a loving relationship, and are willing to work with a partner to learn those things. A variety of sources exist – not the least of which is your partner.
- You know that relationship is a place where you will learn more about yourself – and you’re open to that.
This is not an exhaustive list. You probably don’t like some of them. They might sound daunting. And, consider this: We are talking about creating something to last decades! We live in a push button, throw away culture that does not address how to make something last a long time. We take “til death do us part” so lightly – we say those words without thinking about the 30-40-60 years ahead of us – under the same roof where all your warts are illuminated. Maybe that’s worth paying a little more attention to.
The payoff? Having done the work over years, you get to be loved even though your partner knows all your warts.
YOU apparently are thinking along those lines or you wouldn’t be reading my Blog. CONGRATULATIONS!
We’ll start digging into how 2 individuals create a thriving long term commitment dominated by love, joy, fun, light heartedness, intimacy – creating together a relationship you relish coming home to – most of the time. ☺