Relationships with others: One of the most complex and important things that goes on in our lives.
It’s not as if we're done working on our relationships with ourselves, is it, let alone improving the ones with those around us?!
Good relationships enrich lives and bad relationships are hugely damaging. How on earth do we go about improving them, particularly now we know that we can only change our own behaviour and not the behaviour of others?
So what do good relationships look like? Good relationships do: ● Lift people up ● Engage ● Nurture ● Build trust People in good relationships: ● Stand firm ● Are reliable ● Show appreciation ● Give ● Are loyal ● Are thoughtful ● Forgive ● Are patient ● Take action ● Are proactive ● Remember birthdays (I have a lot of work to do on this.) ● Eat together ● Explore ● Remember the importance of etiquette, space and boundaries. Good relationships do not include: ● Drama ● Berating others ● One-upmanship ● Holding grudges
Romantic Relationships & Heartbreak
All those elements are necessary for romantic relationships as well as family and friends relationships. Romantic relationships take all those ingredients and more. The level of consideration and kindness needed to work together as a team with your life partner who is also your lover, is on another level. It’s so easy for resentment to build, blame to be cast, disappointment to be caused and hearts to be broken.
With all the outside factors we encounter these days, it’s understandable that some people feel they can't take any more hurt or heartbreak and they put up walls or give up on finding someone who will love them kindly and consistently. I recently found myself saying this in an email to a friend..
‘It's almost like it gets worse every time. Not so much because of who it's about, but that everything has accumulated and we place so much hope onto it. The break-up can represent a lot more than it actually is, even though it is a lot in itself, it carries more with it, if that makes sense.’
Does that make sense or am I being too cryptic? I think that online dating, aka window shopping, has made it harder to find genuine love interests. Potential suitors can present a facade in order to get what they want. People are accumulating baggage by the carousel-load. It’s hard to navigate your way through the waters of dating in order to find your lobster.
To keep this blog bite-sized, I’ll leave you with a little extra reading if you’re interested in gleaning some excellent advice and wisdom in the minefield of relationships:
1) Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt and Greg Behrendt - It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken
2) Susan Piver - The Wisdom of a Broken Heart
3) Susan Jeffers - The Feel The Fear Guide To Lasting Love
If you’re disappointed with the current state of your love life, read those three books in the order I’ve listed them, and you’ll feel a whole lot more enlightened as to the way forward.
It may help to add my personal experience to this recommendation, and that is this: I had all sorts of unsuitable relationships my whole adult life. Once I read all those three books, who should come along but someone entirely suitable for me. What a lucky man :)
Love Sal x