Do something long enough and you begin to see patterns and connections that most folks will invariably overlook. My particular specialty is love and relationship coaching. The following are some tips and tricks focusing specifically on love relationships that can bring dramatic results when working through problems with your 'dearly beloved.'
1) Begin by acknowledging that even a close, loving relationship WILL include challenges, disagreements and even a little “drama” from time to time.
If you are one of those individuals who believe that real-life is like a Walt Disney romance between Prince Charming and Cinderella, your expectations will surely be disappointed. Indeed, love is truly GRAND but it is hardly ever problem free.
Now that you have brought your expectations into line with the real world you're ready for tip #2:
2) Your perception is NOT reality or “ultimate truth.” It's just how YOU view things.
Why is this important to remember? In my practice I hear people talk about their boyfriend/girlfriend and assign all kinds of hurtful motives for what that person does or says. The sad thing is that my client is SURE that their opinion is God's honest truth. I mean they don't think they're right, they “KNOW” they're right! Wow! How do you deal with someone who is so sure that they can't be mistaken? Occasionally they need to be reminded exactly where being “right” about everything has brought them to. To put it even more bluntly, if they already understand everything, why are they paying me good money to help them salvage their love life? In reality BOTH partners contribute to the sum total of their relationship problems and things are seldom what they seem. It is my job to help my client see that he or she has the POWER to make dramatic improvements in their love life- and I show them how to do it.
3) Don't just listen to your partner - HEAR them!
Yes, I know this is Communication 101 but amazingly enough, VERY FEW people who have serious relationship problems actually DO this! Who hasn't been in the following scene? You're having a heated disagreement with your significant other. S/he is talking or shouting. You see the anger in their eyes, see the strained expression on their face. Sure, you can hear their voice and see the mouth moving, but WHAT exactly are they saying? Instead of really and truly hearing them chances are you are thinking about what YOU will say next. You are waiting for them to stop jabbering so you can get your turn to spew back at them! This has ceased to be a conversation my friends. It is now a boxing match. No one wins here. No one.
4) True love means accepting your partner AS IS, not as a “fixer-upper.”
We're all human. Faults and weaknesses are a normal part of the human package and, to be perfectly fair, we're all a work in process. There's an expectation that we will learn and grow as life goes on, becoming better people along the way. So far, so good right? Too often the problem is we accept a mate with exceptions, provisos and special requirements attached. When that person does not or cannot live up to our expectations we go into “remodeling” mode. We try to remake this person into someone more to our liking. So who do you love, the person standing in front of you or the person you think you can make him into?
5) Step back and see the BIG picture.
Love is divine. Truly it is. I'm not talking just about that warm lovey feeling. I'm talking about the kind of love that endures hardships, hopes even when things look hopeless, forgives, dreams of what can be and simply refuses to die. That is REAL love! Tough, resilient nearly indestructible. Do you have someone who truly loves you? Then count yourself double, triple, quadruple blessed. They give to you their flawed, imperfect, “broken” selves. The whole package, the good with the bad. You offer your own twisted, failing version of perfection in return. It is a beautiful thing. Take a moment to look at the BIG picture. If your lover was suddenly gone from your life, how would you feel? Does the good that person brings to your life worth more to you than the bad? Only you can answer that – and you should.