When we fall in love, we bring with us all we know and understand at that time. As a result, we build a relationship on our current experiential foundation from our life experience. Sometimes this is positive, other times we bring bad habits with us that sabotage our relationship. Some of the most common ways we sabotage our relationships include: assumptions or actions based upon fears, unspoken expectations, fear of intimacy, and more. But there are three easy ways to avoid some of these pitfalls and have your best relationship.
- Know yourself and communicate your needs. Relationships are built on trust and respect, both for yourself and your partner. When you know yourself–your values and desires–and communicate these without expectations or demands, you invite your partner to choose the same things that bring happiness and fulfillment, or they may express their own needs and wants, in which case you may choose to fulfill their desires. Unspoken expectations or demands can poison a relationship. No one is a mind reader and we all like the freedom to choose what we do or don’t do at any given time. When we communicate our needs and desires instead of having expectations, we avoid disappointments and conflict based upon assumptions and fears.
- Challenge your fears and live in the now. Fears are difficult to tame because they lurk in our subconscious. Fears are a distorted view of reality, a lens that negatively colors our perception of events. We arrive at our fears honestly, that is, we do not set out to be afraid. Instead, our fears are based upon prior events that caused significant pain as a result. Fears may be founded in real or perceived events that create injury or loss, or may spring from needs not being met in our formative relationships. It is very important to challenge your fears by asking if they are warranted by the actual facts (actions, words, behaviors) of any current situation: versus triggering old defenses to anticipated pain based on unfounded fears. Live in the now by acknowledging that fears are only distorted feelings that trigger defenses that push others away. Work through your discomfort and give your partner a chance to demonstrate “the facts” through actual behavior and words before you rush to judgment about any situation.
- Love equals vulnerability–Choose wisely. When we love another, we surrender our hearts to allow them to connect deeply with our true self. Love is an active choice to let down your guard and trust another with your most vulnerable feelings and trust. It is impossible to experience a deep loving relationship yet remain guarded or unavailable. Given these truths, it is important to take your time to get to know someone before entrusting them with your heart. It takes time for both partners to reveal themselves fully, but until this takes place, it is impossible to know with certainty if they are worthy of your trust and love. Know yourself and those things you value in another. Base your decision to become vulnerable in love on the true qualities that you value and cherish in another, versus solely on physical attraction and chemistry. A truly loving relationship includes all aspects of friendship, passion, trust and respect–and a willingness to be vulnerable and share yourself with your partner.
Once you surrender to love, simply relax, be your true self and enjoy the bond you share. True love is rare and worthy of our best efforts and always worth the risk.
We’d love to hear your secrets to achieving your best relationship. Share yours now in the comments section.