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Category Archives: Singles
Is he “The One”? Is she “The One”?
As a single person, that’s a really big, important questions. As it turns out, sometimes it’s too big. I still remember from all my single years how much that question was on my mind, even haunted me.
The search to find “The One” is exhilarating and full of so much hope. But sometimes, like for me, the “quest” also caused a good deal of anxiety and when I went dating, I did that thing so many singles have tried on dates: Meeting someone and instantly passing judgment as the whether the person in front of me was “The One” or not (they never were). I kinda wish someone had shown me this video back then.
In this post, we’ll offer you important tips for what to pay attention to in order to answer that question, Is he/she the one?
The first thing to do to make your own journey more enjoyable is to make it ok that the “big question” just sits there, unanswered, for a while. No one can put a timeline on finding the love of your life, and if you add a deadline of your own, you’re likely to also add a bunch of stress and pressure. So see if you can relax into the uncertainty. Tell yourself it might take a while, and that’s ok, because you’re going to have a good time as you go.
For Sonika & I, it took over two years before we could answer the question, before we knew for sure we wanted to commit and be together. We couldn’t have done it any faster, and during that process, we paid attention to all the factors we’re sharing with you below.
Second and equally important, throw out the whole notion of “The One”. We know that might sound like odd and contrary advice, but think about it. The idea that among 8 billion people there is one and only one person for you is just not very likely, to say the least. Instead of looking for “The One”, look for someone who’s a great fit for you, someone you can make a wonderful relationship with. Thinking there is only one just puts more pressure on yourself to find a needle in a global haystack.
But what about attraction and chemistry, you might wonder? Attraction and chemistry are great; they feel awesome, and makes for hot juiciness! And attraction and chemistry are not enough to build a relationship on, or to decide if someone is the right fit for you.
There are lots and lots of people you can feel attracted to and whose bones you’d love to jump. But it’s not just if you’re attracted physically. You also want to notice if you’re attracted to them emotionally? If you feel intellectually stimulated?
Other essential factors to pay attention to are:
Trust. Do you feel you can trust this person? Do you observe him or her moving with integrity in their lives? When he says he’ll show up somewhere, does he? When she says she’ll do something, does she? And not just with you, with all their friends and family.
Personal growth. Is this someone who is committed to growing? Is he willing to learn, make adjustments, admit wrong doing? Sonika always said that was more important to her than almost anything else, because if he’s willing to grow, learn and look at himself, then you know he’ll be growing with you and can learn what he doesn’t know already. Don’t get hung up on whether she’s done as many workshops as you, or masters the same non-violent communication skills you do, but do pay attention to his willingness to grow.
Do you feel free to express yourself? When we’re dating or in a new relationship, we sometimes hesitate to show all of ourselves, in an effort to to not wreck a good thing, or turn our partner off. But it’s way more important for you to express who you are and what’s on your mind and heart, for real. How your partner reacts to this, will tell you a lot. And in case he doesn’t encourage your full expression, you’ll know he’s not a good fit for you. You’d rather know this sooner than later, so don’t hold yourself back.
Can you handle and resolve conflicts? What happens when there’s a testy moment? Does she get all weird, back away, go silent, get angry in your face? We don’t mean just one time, everyone has less-than-stellar moments, but as a recurrent response to conflict.
How about their quirks and issues? Everyone has issues and quirks, so don’t look for someone who is somehow free of quirks and idiosyncrasies. More useful, notice if her quirks and issues are some you’re willing to work with? You might be totally fine with him being into Dungeons and Dragons, but you might not be willing to deal with someone who’s drinking too much.
What are their other relationships like? Noticing how she relates to her family, friends, and coworkers can tell you a lot. Does she have ind, loving, respectful relationships with other people. Or is she a loner with no friends? Does he create conflicts with lots of people in his life?
Pay attention to how you feel. We can give you lots of practical factors to notice, but at the end of the day, how you feel might be the most important factor.
Do you feel safe? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel trusting? Do you have that sense of being “home”? Like all is right in the world?
On the flip side of that, notice if you frequently have the sense that something is not “quite right”. Are you trying to talk yourself out of something? Or into something?
Practice telling the truth about these feelings. Having open, honest conversations like this will either bring your closer and strengthen your bond, or will show if you he’s not interested in that kind of communication. Either way, good information for you.
Finally, make it okay that this a process and that there’s a question in the space. Remember, it takes time for two people to sync up and line up, not just their lives and circumstances, but their hearts and minds. Relationship are living creatures, they grow organically, if you let them.
Use all your dating experiences as an opportunity to practice being in relationship, practice showing up as the best version of yourself, as the kind of person you would like to one day find!
Here’s a great way to connect with other singles: We’re providing a safe, facilitated space for singles to connect deeply and meaningfully.
Singles Connecting in Corona Times, more here: https://loveworksforyou.com/singles-connecting-in-corona-times
Will this year be your year for love? Will you put relationship at the top of your priority list? Will improving relationship be one of your primary 2020 New Year’s resolutions?
Over the holiday break, we received many calls from singles feeling alone at this time of year, and from couples in crisis. Needless to say, they did not have a great holiday experience.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising. Both research and direct experience show that the quality of your life is directly tied to the quality of your relationships. Some studies reveal that loneliness, a rising social epidemic in this age of technology, has disturbing negative health consequences.
“Single Life Is Deadly. Be sure to find someone to live with. Or move into a co-housing situation or some other form of dwelling where there are other people you can be around. Whatever you do, avoid moving into an apartment by yourself, where you only meet other people when you pass them in the hallways. If you do, it could cost you your life.”
That’s the dramatic beginning of an article (translated from the original Danish article in the Berlingske newspaper. The article describes a large Danish research study which documents a 36% increased risk of dying from coronary or other life threatening diseases if you live alone. The study followed 3,300 men for 32 years, and is being published in the European Heart Journal here.
Granted, this study followed only single men, but even if you’re not a man living alone, you are not immune from loneliness and its effects. We all live in a world affected by the use of technology and changing demographic patterns, such as the consistently increasing number of people living alone.
In one study documenting the negative effects of social media use on interpersonal relationships, the author writes, “The top three responses for negative effects of social media use on interpersonal relationships were distraction, irritation, and decreased quality time with their significant other in offline settings”.
From our vantage point as relationship coaches for both men and women, singles and co-habitating couples, loneliness and disconnection are a manifestation of a deeper problem that can befall anyone.
When we add a bunch of extra expectations, as happens during the holiday season, to our loneliness and disconnection, we get even more relationship breakdown!
In the big US holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, we received phone call after phone call from distressed couples who were suffering under the real and imagined increased pressure of the various extra activities and expectations surrounding the holidays. Couples told us they couldn’t take it anymore, that the stress of the season was turning into shouting matches, disconnection, and short fuses all around.
On a coaching call I did with a man in the throes of separation, he expressed how painful it is for him that his partner is no longer giving him affection, touch, love, and appreciation. He no longer felt loved and cared for.
On first look, it might seem that men living alone, couples preparing for the holidays, and a guy separating from his wife are such different groups of people that they couldn’t possible have the same problems.
So what is this thing that afflicts us, this loneliness that is so severe the authors of the above mentioned study stated that, “We have to look at loneliness as a separate risk factor that is destroying people’s quality of life and increasing mortality”? According to this study, loneliness is as dangerous as smoking and alcoholism!
For some, like the men in the study who live alone, we might say it’s just because they’re never around other people. They’re alone as well as lonely. For couples, it’s certainly not because they are alone; most of the couples we talk to still live together, often with children in the house.
When my client was sharing his agony over not being loved by his wife anymore, I offered that perhaps it was not just because he wasn’t receiving the love and affection he wanted, but just as much that he had no one to give his own love and affection to.
We believe that we are loving beings, and that we thrive by giving love, care and interest to others. If we have no one to give our love to, it’s as if our love gets stuck in our hearts, and we get mad or depressed when we don’t get to give.
The loneliness so many feel is a combination of not feeling seen and acknowledged by others; not getting to share our own love with others; and finally, not having the opportunity for meaningful contribution.
In the absence of those three essential human needs, we feel lonely, empty, and without worth, no matter how many people we are around. Everyone knows you can’t fix loneliness by simply going to the nearest Starbucks and sitting among 40 strangers. Heck, sitting in a crowd by yourself can magnify your loneliness instead of cure it.
Theoretically, it’s easier than ever to find someone to hang out with or date. Just grab your phone, launch Tinder and in seconds you can check out dozens of potential dates and set up a meeting with someone. But that doesn’t seem to have cured our societal loneliness.
Why? Because the three human needs I mentioned don’t get satisfied just by getting together with someone. What we need is a certain quality of “being together”.
If you know about our work you’ll know we offer in-person workshops. We do that not just because it’s a highly efficient way to learn and practice new skills, but because in that setting, participants get to fulfill some of those human needs, right there on the spot. They get to connect with other human beings in meaningful ways. They get to both receive and give love, interest, and appreciation.
In any one of our workshops, you can find single people waking up their hearts after years of feeling unseen and “un-given” (to borrow a poignant term from David Deida). Couples reconnect in ways they didn’t even think were possible anymore because they get to share their love and appreciation with each other in a safe and focused manner.
There’s no replacement for getting to connect deeply and meaningfully with another human being. There is no substitute for giving and receiving love and appreciation. Seeing other people’s lives on a screen cannot replace your own need for being seen as a good person with something to offer.
In the 2004 movie, Shall We Dance, Susan Sarandon’s character is reflecting on her troubled marriage. She says to Richard Jenkin’s character, a PI she hired to spy on her husband): “Why do you think we get married?”
Jenkins says confidently, “Passion!” To which Sarandon replies, “No. It’s because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion (sic) people on the planet, what does one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it. You’re saying, ‘Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed, because I will be your witness.”
So when you’re feeling the stress levels rise; when you find yourself snapping at your partner; when you’re feeling lonely because no one is there to witness you; or when you have no one to share your love and affection with … instead of getting mad or depressed or lonely, ask yourself some simple questions, such as:
- Who can I reach out to?
- Who can I give to?
- Who can I ask for a minute or two of their time?
- To whom, or where, can I offer appreciation, interest or a helping hand?
And then take action according to your answers.
In today’s world, for the first time in history, it is possible to work, shop, date, and talk to other people without ever leaving our homes, or without ever being physically in front of another person. That’s amazing! And sad, too!
Because nothing replaces physical, in-person interactions, where we can see, feel, hear, and touch another human being.
Remember, research and direct experience show that the quality of your life is directly tied to the quality of your relationships.
\When your relationships are humming harmoniously, when you are having great sex and quality intimate conversations, when laughter and play are a regular part of your days, life feels sublimely rich and satisfying.
One couple who came to work with us declared that this was “The Year of Us”. In previous years, they had focused all their attention on their kids, on their respective careers, their home, and a myriad other things. But they’d never given any real attention to their relationship, and it showed. So they came up with The Year of Us.
They devoted an entire year to attending as many workshops and weekly support calls as they could, for the benefit of themselves as individuals, for their marriage, and for their young children. During that year, they told us, “It made all the difference. We are far happier and closer now.”
What kind of year is 2020 going to be for you? Is this your year to make love and relationship and real connection a priority?
If this is the time for you to put yourself in our loving workshop space, check out the next dates here …
Wishing you a connected, meaningful 2020.
❤️Sonika & Christian
We have worked with several men and women the last few weeks – couples feeling distant and lonely, fighting over stupid stuff, desperate to find their way back to each other – many considering divorce; and singles feeling hopeless and lost. They all shared how they felt depressed, bored and uninspired in life as a result of their unhappy relationships.
Within a short time of working with us, couples are looking at each other like they haven’t in years, sharing their deepest feelings in safe space, and feeling connected, hopeful and in love again.
Singles are feeling loved, seen, safe, powerful and beautiful, full of hope and possibility.
I know this might sound like “too good to be true” stuff, but it happens all the time, I assure you.
A man at our last workshop came up to me and said, “When I came on Saturday, I was feeling so angry with my partner and unsure about whether or not I even wanted to stay in this relationship. After this weekend, everything has changed and I am leaving feeling re-committed and in love.”
A woman said, “Wow. We haven’t felt this close to each other for years.”
And a single man said, “I got to have the experience I have wanted my whole life this weekend. Now I know that I can create that anywhere.”
I could list hundreds of examples.
The thing is, resolving conflicts and getting back to love is easy when you know what to do. Easy.
But humans are funny. For some reason we would rather struggle on our own for years and years rather than invest in a few weekends to learn skills that will save so much heartache and misery down the road. Most don’t even think to get help until someone walks out the door.
Not just in your romantic relationships, but in every relationship.
That’s right. We help anyone improve any relationship.
We’re like a one-stop shop for all your relationship needs.
Jeremy is a more effective restaurant manager.
Charlene, Kay, Greg and Cari are all better doctors.
Desiree is a better school psychologist.
Jerry is a better lawyer.
Amy is a better nurse.
Maria is a better therapist.
Vicky is a more loving and happier mother.
Jeff is now on good terms with his ex.
Mike and Jean created a breakthrough with their teenage son.
Mark, Mary, Machen, Laura and countless others have saved their marriages.
Paige, Andy, Samantha, Kate, Jessica, Diego, Grace, Jeremy, Naomi and many others have found the love of their lives after years of being single.
Beth, Kate, Molly and Jennifer all started families after resolving their relationship struggles.
You can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.
Marriage, sex, dating and parenting do not get better by themselves. In fact, all professional experience, and lots of statistics, will tell you that you are headed towards divorce, separation, loneliness and dissatisfaction without some sort of effective intervention or education.
But with the right support and tools, any relationship can be improved!
For example, one couple came to us as a last ditch effort after he had an affair with another woman. They were both pretty sure that divorce was the only solution for their problems and past hurts. They have since forgiven each other and themselves and are enjoying the most sensational second honeymoon!
And Laurette was feeling so wounded she wasn’t sure she ever wanted to be in a relationship again. Now she is enjoying a wonderful new man!
Our workshops and programs offer a safe radical innovative approach to relationship that allow you to create what you REALLY WANT: connection, fulfillment, freedom, love, peace, aliveness, and bliss. We help you realize your Full Potential in your relationship world, teach you how to use the problems and challenges in life as stepping-stones towards your dreams rather than obstacles on your path.
To incentivize you to take the risk to jump in on a program that will catapult your relationships to new heights, we are offering a 2-for-1 spring deal for our upcoming two-day relationship training, Give Yourself to Love: Creating Relationships that Call You to Rise. May 5-6 in Auburn, CA, 9-7 PM both days.
Don’t suffer any longer. Seriously. Improve your relationships. Improve your life!
And do it now for the reduced investment of just $397 for any two people, May 5-6 in Auburn, CA!
Watch the video and get the details here: www.loveworksforyou.com/gytl
See you there!
🙂 Sonika & Christian
A mother of three recently confessed to me in private, “I just don’t have it in me to work on my relationship or give to my husband. I feel so depleted and spent. My heart is shut down. I go from work to taking care of our kids and back to work again. I am over the top done. I swear, if he asks me for one more thing, I am going to scream.”
We women are typically the caregivers, the homemakers, the child caretakers, and sometimes the money managers and breadwinners too. In our nuclear family or single homes, there is often much more to do than we have time for.
When our lives are full at work and at home, we have a tendency to put other people’s concerns ahead of our own. We are so busy responding to the needs of our kids and clients and spouse or dates, that we often don’t even know how we feel, much less what we desire. We don’t know what to do that would be nourishing for our heart and soul.
We aren’t aware that we haven’t been paying attention to our own needs until we burst into tears or scream at someone we love.
Without realizing it, we get so caught in the logistics of life, that we forget to cry and laugh with the people closest to us. We begin to feel lost, disconnected and alone, and we begin to make up that there is something wrong with us because we have all the trappings of a good life but we still feel so lonely inside. We forget that we are beautiful and powerful and lovable, that our lives have a larger purpose, and that we are not victims, but rather master creators of our own lives.
That was true of Laura. She was so disconnected from her beauty and power and humor that she withdrew into protectiveness around other people. At the last retreat, she was so supported, loved and celebrated, that she is now taking acting classes, feels more open and comfortable meeting and interacting with people she meets, and recently had to adjust the mirrors in both her cars because she is sitting taller in herself!
If you would like to be reminded of the perfection of your life, including the messy parts, and if you would like to reconnect with your power and purpose and beauty, and if you would like to devote some nourishing time to yourself just because you deserve it, you are invited to attend Love’s Secret, a retreat for women who want more.
In this intimate retreat, limited to 16 women, you will get to sink down into safe space and connect with yourself like you haven’t in a very long time, perhaps ever.
You will actually get to “feel” your feelings, talk and be heard, and be supported to expand into your power. You will be fed nourishing organic meals, receive a massage if you wish, take long walks, and be supported by a group of supportive sisters to rediscover your unique specialness.
This retreat is so empowering and nourishing, that some women attend every time it is offered! Vicky, who is about to attend for the third time, said, “This retreat changed my life. It totally transformed my relationship with my husband and my children. I changed so much that even my daughter commented on how much happier I am!”
If you are longing to nourish your soul, your mind and your body, please join us for a retreat that promises to rejuvenate you from the inside out.
Committing to something or someone is a scary move.
You might fail!
It might not turn out. Your partner might leave you. Your business partner might take your money and run. That class might bomb. You might go broke. You could lose everything.
True. Anytime you commit, there is always the chance that whatever it is you are committing to may not meet your expectations. You may indeed fail!
But when you don’t commit, you are doomed to certain failure!
Think about it. You can’t succeed at what you don’t try at. As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” We think we are preventing failure by not committing, but in fact we are only ensuring our failure!
Often our strategy for minimizing the risk of committing is to make sure everything will turn out BEFORE we commit. Get all of our ducks lined up in a row. Answer all of our questions. Reach a certain point financially. Study and get more prepared – FIRST. We hope that we will reach some imaginary place where all fear and doubt is replaced by certainty.
But for many of us, we never reach that place of confident certainty. Unfortunately, too many of us reach our deathbed with our dreams still in us because we never risked stepping out of our comfort zone to commit.
I have come to discover that committing first is the secret to living a passionate and rich life. As Marta Mrotek said, “Once you commit and decide that there is no turning back, you’ll find the strength.” I have experienced the depth and power of her words. First I commit, and then, BECAUSE of my commitment, I figure out what to do.
I will never forget the power of this way of living. Back in 1990, I courageously quit my job of some 10 years. I was terrified. This job not only paid well, but it filled my private coaching practice on the side. My co-workers were my best friends and the people I had come to know and love over the past decade were my community and like family. I had designed a good bunch of the content that I would now be leaving behind and I was cherished as one of the most beloved leaders of the organization.
But I had felt out of integrity in this business for quite some time. So, to be true to myself, I knew I had to leave. With my head yelling at me about what an idiot I was being, I dared quit during a staff meeting that morning. It felt so right and powerful.
That afternoon, to make matters even more terrifying, I bought a 4-bedroom house in the Bay Area with a huge mortgage. I had no idea how I was going to pay for it now that I had quit my job! I was terrified, but exhilarated too! My mind was having a field day about my stupidity, and all the horrible things that could happen were playing out quite vividly in my mind.
But after a few days, something else began to happen…
I was challenged to rise. I had to figure out a way to pay that mortgage. I had to figure out another way to bring in money. I had to design a way to make it all work.
Something miraculous happened in that space of excitement and terror. I found the strength. Openings appeared. Possibilities emerged.
It was in that space of commitment that the first rendition of LoveWorks was born 24 years ago.
I can’t even imagine where I would be today had I not taken that risk.
I still move this way. So does Christian. We commit to writing an article before we know what we are going to say. We publicize an event to over 4,000 people before we design the content for it. We commit to teaching a business seminar before we know what we are going to do at it. We buy something without knowing how we are going to pay for it.
We lock ourselves in by committing.
From there, in every single instance, we are called to rise. We find aspects of ourselves we didn’t know before, walk through openings we would not have otherwise noticed, profoundly alter lives that would not have otherwise been transformed.
BEST of ALL, we experience an aliveness, creativity and passion in our day-to-day life that, honestly, beats out boredom, comfort and complacency any day.
And sure, while we have a few flops here and there, 95% of the time, we have a best-seller!!
As William Murray once said “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…but the moment one commits, then Providence moves…” … And magic happens!
Our motto for 2014? JUMP!
So we will leave you with a question: What great thing would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?
Once you have your answer, JUMP!!
I just read a great book written by Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor. It’s called The Happiness Advantage. In essence, the book systematically lists the measurable advantages of “priming” your mind to be positive, or in other words, happy. This book is written mostly for use in your career and for businesses, but it of course translates directly to your personal, intimate relationships.
The author lists countless studies where test subjects are first “primed” with either negative, neutral, or positive emotions, and then asked to perform tasks of varying difficulty. Over and over again, the positively primed subjects outperform the others. Doctors make better and faster diagnosis, random people find money prizes faster, Harvard students score higher grades, on an on it goes.
The whole message is: Happiness is not just a fancy luxury, it’s the most efficient state of mind to get anything done, achieve your highest performance, and live a happy, healthy life. Now proven by science (so it’s gotta be true!)
We of course wholeheartedly agree, because many of our waking hours are dedicated to figuring out and inventing better and faster ways for you to feel better in your relationship, no matter your circumstances.
One of the best and fastest, and certainly easiest, ways to do that we learned from Abraham-Hicks. it’s called the Wouldn’t-It-Be-Great-If Game. It’s brilliant in its innocent simplicity, and it flat out works! Watch the video to see it demo’ed …
Yipiiee, V-Day is almost upon us. Time to get the hearts out, send flowers, buychocolates, reserve dinner tables, buy gifts, and make it a special day.
Granted, some of you approach V-Day with considerable dread, either because you don’t know what to do, because you don’t have anyone to spend it with, or because you’re feeling obligated with no true desire to do anything.
[By the way, this post was inspired by our upcoming free evening, Stay In Love: Valentines Day Every Day.
Check it out here … ]
Either way, think about what’s great about V-Day. In the best-case scenario, what is it that’s so wonderful about a day like that?
Well, it’s kinda like being in love again. You make someone feel special. You go out of your way to come up with a delightful evening together. You finally go that that restaurant you’ve been thinking about. You come up with surprises! And of course, someone might make you feel very special, attractive, and loved. Can’t beat that! Just for a day, you feel a bit of magic!
Now, that’s probably a pretty good description of how your relationship was in the beginning, when you were madly in love, and perhaps still dating. You’d do one or all of the above actions for her, right? He’d come up with delicious surprises for you. Magic. For days and weeks and months, however long the “Honeymoon” lasted for you.
Sonika & I have one big quest for ourselves and all the couples and singles we work with: To have the magic and loveliness of Valentine’s never go away!
Way too often, the way your relationship goes follows this sequence in time:
Wow-I’m-so-in-Love-you’re-perfect-to-me => Wow-now-we-live-together-it’s-still-cool-but-quite-different => Wow-I-thought-it’d-be-easier-than-this => Wow-is-this-the-person-I-fell-in-love-with? => Alright-darn-it-I’ll-book-a-table-for-Valentine’s => Can-we-go-back-to-sleep-now?
Or something to that effect. I know I put that in a humorous way, but it’s not actually very funny, because it’s so sad and painful when it’s YOUR relationship.
So for Valentine’s Day, we’ll give you the simplest, most super efficient tip ever to have a relationship that has a lot more Valentine’s spirit to it!
Don’t ever stop doing what you did in the beginning, when you were still in love. And if you’re at a point where you’ve long since stopped all that, start doing it again. Just pick one thing you used to do when you first were courting, and do it again! Then pick another next week. I promise you, it’ll produce great results.
Don’t think too much about it … just pick one and do it. And never mind if it’s a week before V-Day, or a month after. Your partner won’t mind.
I just scheduled Sonika & I for a 4-week dance class (West Coast swing, if you’re interested). Yesterday, we came up with finding retreats or spas within driving distance and reserving a weekend on the first one we find.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to start doing again what you should have never stopped!
And if you can, come join us for our free evening, Stay In Love: Valentine’s Day Every Day.
Should we be together or take space?
“I want to be closer, have more quality time!”
“I need some space, take some time for myself”
Sound familiar from your relationship (current or past)? Sooner or later, we all run into this issue that one of us wants more closeness, and the other one more space on their own. Now what?
This issue actually ends up producing significant levels of tension and stress between you. Because if you’re the one who wants more closeness, it’s pretty scary that your partner is pulling away to take personal space. It’s right up there with him not wanting to be with you, and it’s pretty easy to feel abandoned, right?
And if you’re the one who wants more personal space and time to do your own stuff, it feels pretty stifling and suffocating when your partner is pulling for more time together, more closeness, more “couch time” together. Yes?
The fear and suffocation that comes from this “close-or-apart” issue is largely because we just don’t realize the true nature of relationship. Which is that your relationship has a breath! Just like the tide ebbs and flows, the moon wanes and waxes, the heart expands and contracts, so does your relationship.
The breath of your relationship is not in and out, its close, apart, close, apart, close, apart. If you freak out over the rhythm of close, apart, close, apart, you’ll likely try to hold on to the little bits of closeness or time apart that you can get (depending on your preference).
But in doing so, you strangle the relationship, so it can’t breathe. There’s always a way you can find a dynamic balance that satisfies both of you. But the first step is to realize that your relationship needs to breathe, and that the balance is not a fixed point you need to hang on to, but a moving target.
Tell us in the comments below how this shows up in your relationship!
Have you ever had a fight or disagreement with your partner, and then found yourself thinking, or saying, “We’re just not compatible! It’s never going to work out!”?
We can’t tell you how many times we hear – especially from new couples – someone telling us that they had another disagreement and it’s just “clear that it’s not working out”.
What then follows is a swift breakup, and on to the next relationship (which somehow often ends up being with someone else who’s not “compatible”)
But …. nine times out of ten, the “We’re not compatible” conversation is nothing but a distraction. Instead of dealing with the problem at hand, i.e. whatever the disagreement or fight was about, you’re now focused on the imminent breakup, and what future partner you might find who’d be better suited, and all kinds of other stuff that ISN’T the problem at hand.
Our advice to you is to never talk about breakups and incompatibility in the heat of fights or breakdowns. First deal with the breakdown, work it out. Get help from people like us if you need it. Once you’ve gained whatever personal growth benefit from dealing with the situation, and you’re calm again, then you can decide to break up, if that’s still the proper course of action. But often, once you deal and heal the situation, you’ll find you don’t want to break up, because now you’ll be feeling in love again!
SPEAKING OF IN LOVE AGAIN ….
Come check out our uplifting approach to love and relationship in person at our In Love Again free evening presentations. We have two dates scheduled, Oct 9 and 30.
Check it out and register here ….
Exploring a new relationship with someone is both an exhilarating experience and a frightening one. Here you are opening your heart, soul and body to someone with wild abandon and love with absolutely no commitment or guarantee of any future.
There is immense possibility for creating the relationship of your dreams on the one hand, and great risk and uncertainty on the other. Somewhere, you know, without a commitment or promise, you could be abandoned or rejected and deeply hurt at any time.
There is great love, and great fear.
It is challenging to open your heart to someone so completely with no promise or certainty. The discomfort of NOT KNOWING the future that comes with the joy and exhilaration of intimate bliss can be emotionally quite unsettling. Even terrifying.
The unsure mind wants to comfort itself with knowing the future. It attempts to answer questions like, “Is this “the One”? Are we going to be together forever? Does he or she love me? Do I love them? Is this what I really want? Am I settling? Will I be happy? What about the problems we have? Will they escalate and get worse? Or improve?
Unfortunately, trying to answer these questions too soon is a huge mistake. Too often, people rush into making relationship determinations and decisions before their time. Or they try to force their partner to decide the future of the relationship before they are ready.
This focus on trying to figure out whether to marry or split up gets in the way of allowing the relationship to organically unfold. You begin and end relationships too quickly because you can’t stand to be with the uncertainty of the questions and the corresponding fear that arises.
In truth, it takes time to assess whether or not you are willing to commit and spend your life with another. It takes recurrence with someone over time to know whether or not you can trust one another to work through breakdowns as they arise and to successfully take care of your mutual needs and desires.
In fact, you probably won’t have ANY breakdowns for months, because you’re too busy being madly in love, but without breakdowns, you can’t even get to test the strength of your bond.
It is absolutely normal for this process to take a couple of years before you feel resolved enough in your relationship choice to commit to marriage.
So what do you do with all the emotional discomfort in the meantime? How do you deal with all of these unanswered questions and the fears that arise in the course of building relationship?
First, make peace with the questions – both yours and theirs. They will be there awhile. Know that questions do not necessarily mean you do not want to be together or that you don’t love each other.
Expand yourself to include BOTH the deep love you are experiencing with your new partner and the fears, concerns and questions that abound. These questions are part of the dating process.
Focus on the now as much as possible. Instead of future-thinking, focus on what is good and wonderful about your relationship, right now. Enjoy the experience you ARE having, not the one you imagine you will NOT BE having later.
Be in a mood of appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful experiences you ARE sharing together. Speak them out loud to each other. This practice will soothe your fears.
We call this “moment-by-moment relationship”. In the beginning of a relationship, really all you need to know is, “Do I want to see him ONE more time?” Then do that!
When you are afraid, feel, own and share your feelings. For example, saying, “I feel scared” will bring you closer whereas jumping into your head and trying to get him or her to commit too early will only drive you apart.
Instead of asking future questions that instill doubt and fear, ask questions that instill joy, confidence and hope. Ask questions like, “How can I express my love more today? Where can I be more honest and transparent? How would I be if I trusted the perfect unfolding of this relationship? How would I be if I knew this was my perfect partner or a divinely inspired step towards my perfect partner?”
And most importantly make sure to keep nourishing yourself outside the relationship, so your new partner is not your sole “watering hole.” Take bubble baths, listen to uplifting music, get together with friends, dance, exercise, meditate, get emotional support from a coach, keep working on your own personal development, etc. Participating in activities and engaging in practices that keep you feeling good about yourself are crucial. They will help you stay centered and expand your emotional capacity to deal with the uncertainty inherent in the initial phases of courtship.
Lastly, know that your questions will get answered over time. The old adage, Time Will Tell, has great truth. YOUR QUESTIONS WILL GET ANSWERED BY THEMSELVES! You need only trust this fact and wait patiently. Be sure to revel in the bliss and wonder of your relationship in the meantime!
Allow love to flourish and take you where it wants to go. As much as possible, enjoy the rush that comes from the unfolding of love, and don’t rush to decide where it will all end up too quickly.
Because, if you do, you may very well prevent love from growing at all.
As an additional resource for you, get the free audio we made on “The #1 Dating Disaster”.
Can you guess what the #1 dating disaster is?