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Tips for Having a Great Relationship
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1. You should give up yourself to be in a relationship, or you have to give up
the relationship in order to be yourself.
Is One of These Myths
Killing Your Relationship?
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.
These twin myths are like opposite sides of the same coin. They leave out the
possibility of being yourself in a relationship. The truth is that the only way
to have a great relationship is when you give up trying to please your partner
at all costs. Then you have a lot more room to be yourself.
2. If a relationship is right, you shouldn't have to work at it.
Actually, all relationships take work to grow and flourish. That's because
relationships are like living things. If they are not cared for they tend to
whither and die.
3. My soul mate is out there waiting for me, and unless I find him/her, I am
doomed to never have the kind of relationship I want.
The truth is that there are many different people with whom you can build a
wonderful, loving relationship. Your soul mate isn't someone out there waiting
for you; it's someone you find when you devote time to becoming friends and
getting to know each other first.
4. Falling out of love means that the relationship is in trouble.
Many people think that being in love is all it takes to have a great
relationship, but that is sometimes the worst predictor of success. That's
because being in love is temporary insanity, designed by selfish genes in order
to make babies.
5. If you really loved me, I wouldn't have to tell you what I want.
You may think that you shouldn't have to ask for what you want. The problem is
that mind- reading is an inexact science. If you ask for something, you
dramatically increase your chances of getting it.
6. You should always act on your feelings.
Many things influence your feelings in a relationship. Some of them have much
more connection to things that happened in past than with how your partner is
acting. You'll make better choices if you think about the reason for your
feelings and other relevant information before deciding how to act.
7. My partner and I feel the same way about everything.
This is only true when you are blinded by falling in love and neither of you is
paying attention to your deep feeling. Later you may think that anybody else in
your situation would feel the same way you do. Actually, that is not the case.
How people feel depends on lots of things: their personality type, their life
experience, what other kinds of stress they are experiencing, etc.
8. You should avoid hurting your partner's feelings at all costs to preserve
Many people think that avoiding hurting someone's feelings is more important
than telling the truth about an irritating problem, but that actually
perpetuates the problem, and often leads to the destruction of a relationship.
You get much better results by focusing on how to solve the problem without
blaming anyone for causing it.
9. Your partner is responsible for how you feel.
You may think that other people can make you feel bad, but the truth is that
when you realize they can't do this without your cooperation, you won't get
hooked by their criticism or lack of respect. People often feel angry because a
life partner is treating them badly, but usually it's because they have let
accumulated small resentments build walls between them when all they really want
is to be close to each other
10. You and your partner should never argue.
People sometimes think that never arguing with each other will maker relationships strong. What usually happens is that because we're human we have different needs and wants. If we pretend those don't exist and don't ask that they be taken into consideration, we feel disappointed and angry and hide our feelings. The pressure of those hidden feelings leads to the conclusion that the relationship is not right for us, and we leave. The truth is that when people learn to argue in healthy ways they tend to stay together.
Articles by Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.
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