There are too many dangerous misconceptions that shape our view of the so-called perfect relationship. Usually, those misconceptions deal with the stripping of one’s individuality in the name of long-lasting coupledom and undeniable romance.
You don’t do what you want to do, you do what we want to do.
You don’t have your own opinion, the two of you have an opinion.
You don’t have your own space, the two of you share a space.
And while the comfort of all-encompassing closeness can be the magic fairy tale dreams are made of, it is also unreasonable, unsustainable, and downright dangerous.
Because the truth is, we all need time alone.
We need to feel the space between adorned walls and lazy chairs, where our bodies can stretch and expand and unapologetically take up free space.
We need the opportunity to sit in solitude, untouched and unattached, so the constantly swirling complexities of any given day can be digested.
We need to feel nothing but the air we’re breathing, our skin burdened only by the weightlessness of silence.
And we especially need to be alone when we find ourselves in a relationship.
It doesn’t mean you
Carmen, a client of mine, told me at the end of one of her sessions, “I’m no longer willing to be a trash can for others’ negativity.”
“Wow!” I said. “I’m delighted to hear that! And I love that metaphor!”
Carmen is a lovely, warm, intelligent and compassionate young woman in her late 20’s. Coming from a very narcissistic mother, Carmen learned early in life to be safe from her mother’s anger by listening to her mother’s complaints. She learned to put aside her own feelings and be a mother to her mother. Of course, no matter how much she gave to her mother, it was never enough. It wasn’t until Carmen started her Inner Bonding work that she discovered was narcissism was.
Early in our work together, Carmen discovered that most of her friends were just like her mother. “I sit and listen to them complain or listen to them brag. They are never interested in me at all. If I say anything about myself, they always bring it right back to themselves. Why are so many of my friends like this?”
“Because you are willing to listen without speaking up for yourself. There are many self-absorbed people — narcissistic people with entitlement
You have to love someone in the cracks between the big moments. You have to grab their hand when you’re sitting on the couch watching Shark Tank together and you have to give them a little knowing look that says, “I see you and I love you here in the mundane moments of our life.” You have to understand who you are, to dive deep into the wounds of your past so that you don’t bring those wounds into the present. You need to know when it’s about you or when it’s about them. You have to carry your own pain.
It’s easy to fall in love with someone, to bask in newly-minted intimacy and lose yourself in the romance. It’s easy to start a love. It’s the staying part. The keeping part. The difficulty comes in the life plus love part, when you’re trying to squish two people together to make a unit.
When life enters the picture – bills and payments and jobs and stress and divided attentions – that’s when love starts to feel less like a romance and more like a battle. This is when the best of intentions fall to dust, when two people who used to spend a day in
What to keep in mind when things heat up at the watercooler.
One of my best friends is a social worker at a community mental health center. She took the position immediately out of college, viewing it as a natural step in the development of her career.
Within the first month, she found herself working closely with a handsome speech pathologist who treated a number of her clients. Now, many case meetings and treatment-plan reviews later, they’re engaged.
Bet you’re not surprised—or shocked. Most people crave social interaction and companionship. What better place to find it than on the job? After all, office life is hospitable to the development of romance on many fronts. Daily interaction, a safe and generally dependable environment and common interests are all conditions that can ignite an initial spark between two people.
Casual interactions, from laughter over a cup of coffee or heated discussions in the conference room to mutual schmoozing at a trade show, can naturally evolve into attraction. However, reconciling the personal and professional benefits and the perils of an office affair is a formidable task.
Dating a coworker may seem an ideal solution for those who just don’t have the time to meet a potential partner.
Much too often in life, I have come across couples or one person in a couple who complained about the significant other in their life not listening to them. These people often hear, but do not listen. And this single point is what brings about the downfall of a good portion of relationships today.
Listening skills are not automatic. We grow up communicating very differently from one another, depending on a wide range of factors, gender being just one of them. But gender is usually the easiest to focus our attention on because the generalizations made about the genders hold a grain of truth in their words for all of us. “He’d rather watch football than talk to me.” “She’d rather talk on the phone with her girlfriends than go out with me.” “He’d rather go out on a night with the ‘guys’ than go out to dinner with me.” “She’d rather go shopping than go golfing with me.” And so on… Even if not always or true, we look at these examples, and things like them, and realize, “Hey, yeah, there’s a bit of me in there.” That’s why comedians so often use gender-related material to make their jokes —
Whenever someone asks me how I met my wife, I proudly say, “Online!” But of course, I think to myself… Where else would one meet up with one’s significant other nowadays?
Actually, my attitude is probably not the norm in society. At least not yet. But before long, it wouldn’t surprise me to find that online dating has surpassed other forms of meeting one’s significant other. Why? Because it is more efficient, produces better matches (and dates!), and allows love to bloom when the silly things (such as actually having something in common) are already taken care of ahead of time.
Using online dating services are far more efficient than other methods of dating. Getting set up by friends or family is purely a hit-or-miss proposition. While well-intentioned, friends and family often don’t really know us half as well as they think they do. We don’t often share all of the intimate details of our lives, our likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams for the future with everyone. So people can get somewhat biased ideas of what we’re like, because they only see what we’re like with them.
Office romances, while convenient, are often fraught with possible problems, danger, and role conflicts. Meeting
Is there any way to determine if a relationship is going to work? First, a relationship is not a machine in which the laws of physics determine proper operation. We have to accept (which term as rich) that there is no magic wand that guarantees the success on loving relationships. As in so many things and aspects of our lives, effort and social learning, in the broadest sense, and education that we have received from our parents (in most cases) by transmitting healthy values are the elements that will enable us to work in the exciting journey of our everyday caring relationship.
While there are no written rules to ensure a healthy love mode “if you do this, now that,” however they do exist a number of verbs that can guide us in a very good direction to the goal of a healthy relationship and satisfactory: respect, compromise, communicate and share.
Is very well speak of respect for your partner. It’s very good. But you respect yourself / a? Do you still respect your weaknesses and limitations? Do you respect your values and beliefs? Do you respect because you’re a person? Do you recognize yourself as someone unique and unrepeatable and therefore endowed with full dignity? Only from a total respect
They might be 30, or 75. They come in all colors, shapes, sizes and income brackets. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been together. Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it!
How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship “musts.” Because few couples know about all of the musts, I think of them as the relationship “secrets.”
Happy Couples and Their Secrets
1. Develop a realistic view of committed relationships.
Recognize that the crazy infatuation you experienced when your romance was new won’t last. A deeper, richer relationship, and one that should still include romance, will replace it. A long-term relationship has ups and downs, and expecting it will be all sunny and roses all the time is unrealistic.
2. Work on the relationship.
An untended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants. And so it is with relationships. It is important to address problems and misunderstandings immediately. Some people believe good relationships just happen naturally. The truth is that a good relationship, like anything
Rory’s parents had discovered that Rory was sexually active and wanted to know how to handle his request to have Jen (his girlfriend) “sleep over” when they were planning to be out of town. They decided to talk it over with someone because they had different opinions. When Rory, who was now seventeen, had posed the question, he had told his parents that he had seen me and suggested that they call me.
Waiting between sessions, I could hear Susan’s and Mike’s raised voices on the path to my office as I sat working at my desk.
“This is the door to her office.”
“No, this way, over there!”
After a few minutes of this I decided to stand at my entryway to guide them.
Mike was a tall man with the same broad shoulders as his son, the football player. He looked like he knew where he was going, but he had already passed my office and was opening the door to the toolshed. Susan was still at the very top of the path. She was on her hands and knees, admiring an English ivy pushing its way out between two rocks. I thought she might be trying to take a cutting. I