Content Introduction;

My wish in this blog is to convey some rudimentary fundamentals, in broad insightful strokes. It’s a starting point to create a foundation, to delve and build into each subject. A comprehensive approach; would have you reading my blog, for the next few days.

Before I go off on a tangent, I want you to be mindful of a few pointers;

  • Relationships, as in any life endeavour; takes continual effort.
  • Through unrelenting work and energy to bring about growth.
  • If you’re not attempting to grow, then you are allowing yourself to die.
  • This is relevant to all spheres of life. Particularly in every type of relationship.

Today we will explore, romantic relationships. Being human, means I fail on these points REGULARLY…having the techniques and tools, allows me to introspect and bring about different outcomes. The challenge here is to be committed to change and being able to keep changing until the winning formula is attained. I don’t expect you to buy into all my concepts and ideas. However, some of these concepts are applicable and a foundation for you to build and bringing about change in your relationships.

Nurturing, Communication & Passion;

As far as the topics in this blog go; I will be spending more time on this topic than others. We all know that communication is key to its success. Many studies have acknowledged that communication (more importantly the lack of it) is one of the top reasons for couple’s therapy, as well as one of the primary reasons for break-up and divorce.

There are a variety of tools to improve communication in a relationship. The most important fact is that couples must comprehend that healthy and productive communication is enhanced through a solid foundation of principles. The number one component lies not just in changing our communication strategies, but also in changing our perception.

Most people in relationships have developed fears and resentments. The by product is; developing sensitivity to every perceived, mistake that the other person makes. This can lead to people walking on eggshells around each other. This does not make for a conducive situation and leads to them avoiding meaningful conversation for fear of another conflict.

As is the case in most life scenario’s; FEAR is the enemy of healthy communication. So, what is the antidote? In a nutshell – spend more time in helping your partner feel safe in conversations. Find reassuring and mutually satisfying solutions to conflict. Safety is what most people yearn for. When we feel safe, we can talk about anything in without fear. REPLACE FEAR WITH SAFETY, in your COMMUNICATION and your RELATIONSHIP .

Be mindful that communication never stops. You might think that communication is just a matter of speaking and listening (the latter is ignored in many cases). There are many levels to communicating effectively. Most often after a heated argument; people will communicate with anger and frustration. This can be accomplished through our eyes and physiology without having the need to speak. So, even during neutral situations, people are communicating by projecting their body language and eye movements.

Be aware of this, as it often supersedes that of verbal communication. We are forever communicating on a subliminal level. Awareness can bring about change in an instant. Once you identify with it and resolve to change it…believe me, things will change in the blink of an eye.

Here’s a list of some of the facets utilised in Neuro Linguistic programming. These principles bring about change in the way a coach can effectively change rapport with a client and enhance their relationship. I feel it’s applicable in our romantic relationships and can be applied easily and effectively, if we are mindful of where we are at any point of a given communication scenario;

  • Other people’s models of the world are not wrong. This is probably the most important point in effective communication; it’s our perception of what is right and wrong. We all have different ways of seeing and responding to this world. Be respectful!
  • The meaning of communication is the response it produces. Change and keep changing your communication until the desired result is achieved for you and your partner.
  • Everyone does the best they can with the resources available to them. Be resourceful and don’t just think in terms of your own outcomes.
  • You are in control of your mind and therefore your results. Be mindful and change the results to enhance your relationship and not just win for your own ego’s sake.
  • People are not their behaviours. The behaviour is a result of an internal representation, due to an external event and the events effect on the lens through which we view life.

With regards to passion; We can remember the excitement, the romance, and the lust? Although at times daunting, it’s generally so easy to fall in love. Sure, there were some challenges. But you were more than happy, as you explored whether you wanted to let this person into your heart, and mind. You planned dates, you dressed to impress, and you acknowledged your vulnerabilities. You made that person your top priority, and they made you feel like the most important person on the planet. indeed, you were really, good at falling in love. Because novelty and biochemistry were on your side.

How’s that working out for you these days? If you are like most long-term couples, the thrill has waned. Well, it’s not your fault – biology isn’t doing you any favours. When you were pursuing your mate, there was a cocktail of lust hormones and pleasurable neurochemistry boogying though your body. And it made you crazy – the brain of someone falling in love mimics obsessive-compulsive disorder. So, you literally couldn’t stop thinking about your beloved.

But in a hilarious plot twist, once you achieved your goal – essentially, you made a commitment – your system shifted from pursuit to contentment. Novelty faded, the prize was won, and cuddling and complacency replaced sizzle and surprise. Fast forward a few years and you may find yourself in what I call Marriage Incorporated. Together, you do a great job of running your family – the mortgage is paid, kids get to dance class on time, and you even squeeze in a week of vacation here and there. But it’s nothing like when you fell in love, is it? You may find you are friends more than lovers – roommates running a business – instead of that passionate duo you were when you started.

In business, in health, in fitness and even in your hobby, you don’t just sit around and wait for things to get better. So why do that in love? Research indicates that a strong romantic relationship is the biggest predictor of happiness, good health, and a long life.

So, stop taking your relationship, and your partner, for granted. ACT. Instead of waiting around for passion, become passion. Take heart. Passion is a teachable skill. It takes intention, effort, and action.

Habits and Needs;

Establishing new habits can be difficult at the best of times. You must be committed to make it happen. This is crucial if you need to overcome your own hurtful disempowering beliefs, so that you can figure out how to fix your relationship. You may have a wonderful store of knowledge, skills and tools, but if you lack the intention to use them, the point is pointless.

We tend to respond and retaliate to hostility with more hostility. This only creates a debilitating cycle that escalates the negativity of a conflict. As a result, your relationship will probably sooner than later come to an end. You must find ways to break this pattern. Install new ways of responding, for new improved and enhancing outcomes.

What causes the habit of responding with hostility? Conflict becomes harmful when you’re focused on defending yourself from attack rather than on solving the problem that would help the relationship overcome the obstacle. By focusing on your pain and suffering, you are ensuring you’ll experience more of the same, because you’re failing to put your energy toward the one thing that will prevent the pain and suffering: finding solutions to help you learn how to save your relationship.

With regards to needs; I read an interesting article that brought the issue of needs across quite well. It went like this; “If you have ever been on a plane, you know that in the event that the cabin pressure drops, you are supposed to put your own oxygen mask on first, and then help others – your children included.  However, what would happen to your child if you were ill-prepared to even help yourself? If you’ve fumbled for too long to get your mask on, it may be too late to help. While we should take care of our own needs first, the key as a partner is to be in a constant state of readiness. Otherwise, you’ll both be scrambling simultaneously to meet your own needs and neglect one another’s”.

In addition to being in a constant state of readiness, it is also important to make a distinction between wants and needs, as well as immediate and future needs. Just because you want something doesn’t mean that it is a need – and just because you have a need, doesn’t mean it is an immediate need. A great rule of thumb to follow is to make sure your immediate needs are regularly met so you can help to satisfy your partner’s needs as they arise.  

Stress and Challenges;

What’s required to deal with stress and challenges? I will revert to an earlier chapter and say that one facet is the feeling of safety and ability to feel that you can confide in your partner. A strong unrelenting sense of connection – knowing that you are there for one another in any eventuality. Easily said but not so easy to apply. Difficulty in application is partially due to what society has programmed us with, when it comes to stressors and challenges. Society says; “go and get for yourself”. But relationships are not, about a place of going to get…it’s about going to a place to give. Let’s just assess this and determine what it means; when you focus on your partner’s needs as if they were your own, you’ll experience a level of connection and fulfilment that you have never experienced before. THIS IS TRUTH…try it and watch magnificence unfold in your relationship!!!

Fear, Pain & Pleasure;

People generally will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. How does this effect relationships? Avoiding pain is trying to avoid life. As we all know, there is no escaping pain. You can try but it will find you. The trick here is to embrace pain and take the learnings to utilise in creating pleasure in future relationships.

Walking into a romantic relationship takes a tremendous amount of bravery. If previous relationships have been destructive and the learnings have not been realised, then fear can ensue. We find ourselves hamstrung from manifesting pleasurable relationships.

I’m going to take a leap of faith here and say that we all need pain. We can’t deny that love and pain in most instances go together. With modern day living there’s a certain inevitability about this. Most decide that relationships are to be avoided. However, there is no other means to grow as much as a relationship will provide you with. Therefore, I say pain can be a good thing. But it’s our work to determine what you are going to fill your heart with – will it be love or fear? As in all aspects of life; we have a choice that can take you on a journey of new journeys possibilities, and attitudes.

Ultimately the gift/present is affording yourself the opportunity to be “PRESENT” and then grant yourself the time to embrace the lessons. There is no better recipe for growth. The kicker here is that it takes energy to reflect, action to instil new ways of being and compassion with yourself to give yourself space and time to grow.

This last paragraph brings me to probably the most important aspect of an empowering relationship.

Mastering Yourself First;

I’ve covered this topic before in previous blogs and spent crucial time with clients on this subject. It’s all about knowing your values and the beliefs that you attach to these values. Knowing your values is one thing but if you’re not putting yourself on top of your chain of values; I’m afraid that you are setting yourself up for failure not only in your relationships but other values in your life. If you don’t have a decent understanding of what this value has in store for you, with the right set of beliefs, then there is little chance of all other values being met. Leaving your values and beliefs around relationships – to chance that things will just work themselves out, leads to disempowering beliefs. Which in turn will lead to an uphill struggle to achieving all you are capable of.

In a small nutshell; that’s about all from me, with regards to romantic relationships. I hope you’ve secured a few realisations through this blog. My sincere wish is that the realisations make an indelible impression on your intimate, romantic relationships.

Be authentic, be in love, be giving with your relationship and be awesome,

Much love,