Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trying to Keep Him or Her

You've worked really hard. Congratulations! You are finally in a relationship. But now you are desperately afraid that you are going to screw it up and your partner is going to leave you. Let's face it; we all have abandonment and "not enough" issues. Here's a little secret -- just because you have those feelings doesn't mean that you have to act them out and make them come true.

Perhaps you have the following tape playing in your head "if he or she really knew me, what I'm really like deep down, they wouldn't love me. And as soon as they saw even a glimpse of the real me…they would be gone. And I'll be alone again." Let me tell you something and I really want you to hear this. Before some else can love you, you have to love you…warts and all. Once you can embrace all of you, you give yourself permission to be vulnerable and let someone into your heart. That vulnerability is so endearing and so real! Your power and strength come from your willingness to be you. You can't get ambushed by your partner because you have nothing to hide. It's really quite freeing because you stop trying to hide pieces of yourself. And, your partner won't push your hot buttons as much because you'll have a lot less hot buttons.

Regarding your "not enough" issues, get over yourself. As long as you believe that you're not enough, you'll continue to behave like a dancing bear, always trying to please your partner in hopes that he or she will love you. Your constant need for approval puts a lot of pressure on your partner and, quite frankly, is way too much work and responsibility. Do you need a seal of approval? Go out and buy a toy rubber seal. The day you start loving and respecting yourself is the day you will stop being a dancing bear. The truth is that no matter how much your partner validates you and tells you of his or her undying love, it will never be enough. You will still have a black hole inside you until you decide that you are enough. Once you decide that you are enough exactly as you are, then you're ready to have the relationship and be in the relationship.

Remember what Becky says: "Do you want to be right (that you're not good enough or can't be in a good relationship) or do you want to be in a loving relationship?"

It's always your choice! If you want to be in a healthy and happy relationship you must learn how to be in a relationship and how to communicate with your partner. Here are some basic relationship skills:

  • He or she who is least invested in the relationship, controls the relationship and has all the power. Therefore, love yourself first and foremost. Never care more about your partner or more about the relationship than you do about yourself. If two people have this attitude, then you have a level playing field. You both have healthy self-esteem, and, a good attitude about yourself, your partner and the relationship.

  • Focus on what you can give to the relationship and to your partner, not just what you can get.

  • The secret of a good relationship is to know what the other person wants and then give it to him or her. This means that you give your partner what they want, not what you want. Too often we give our partners what we want to receive, instead of giving them what they want to receive. This requires you to be sensitive to their needs and wants, and to really look at what makes them happy. To be sensitive to someone means to really pay attention to what makes him or her feel loved and unloved, happy and unhappy.

  • Always remember that a man wants to be a woman's hero. A normal guy, who isn't narcissistic and commitment phobic, just wants to make a woman happy. Usually, if his woman is happy, he is happy. So ladies, give him the opportunity to let him make you happy and be your hero.

  • Treat your partner the same way (in fact more so now that you are the dynamic duo) you did when you were just dating, courting and being courted. Don't start taking each other for granted and don't get lazy. Men want to be admired, respected, and appreciated. Women want to be cherished and made to feel special.

  • Guys, if you want a happy woman - don't stop doing all the things you did to win her just because you have her now. You've won the prize - now make sure that you don't screw it up and lose the prize. Call it high maintenance if you will, but a woman needs to know that you still think that she is special. Women notice the little things…and the big things that you do and don't do. Women don't have a scorecard. It's just that they need to feel cherished. They feel cherished by the things you do and say to them. Want to stay out of the doghouse? Don't act like a dog. It's really that simple.

  • Ladies, accept him "as is." Give up the mantra, "I love you, you're perfect, now change." Isn't it funny how much you loved him just the way he was, until the two of you became the dynamic duo, and then, all of a sudden, he needs a complete make-over. He may become putty in your hands, but he's not silly putty. Don't castrate him by making him wrong. There are enough people in the world who want to make him wrong. He doesn't need his partner to join in. Gals, make him right. Let him know that you're both on the same team, and that it's a team effort. Guys understand about being on the team.

  • Good communication between partners is critical to the success of a relationship. Both partners have to feel that it is safe to open up and that they will each be heard and listened to. This means that you have to put your judgments aside and really give yourself over to your partner. Give your partner your undivided attention and truly listen to what he or she is saying and not saying.

  • Three important communication rules:
    1. Don't take the things that your partner says personally
    2. Don't make assumptions. Shari Sez "you're only allowed to make assumptions if you've been taking your ESP pills for at least 20 years"
    3. Ask - don't attack - your partner

  • Most of all, instead of operating out of fear, come from a place of love. Stop trying so hard to keep him or her. Instead, open yourself up and invite your partner in - to share yourselves together.

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