3 Ways You’re Ruining Your Relationship (Without Realizing It!)
Have you ever been in a relationship that ended in disaster? And when you began your next relationship, did you vow that this one was going to be different than the last?
How long did it take before you realized your new relationship was turning out exactly the same way the last one did?
For many of us, this scenario is all too familiar. We start off new relationships promising ourselves we are going to do this one better than we did the last one; only to find ourselves falling into the same habits and patterns that ended our previous relationship.
It’s time for a different possibility – a relationship that’s fun, enticing, exciting, playful and fulfilling beyond your wildest imagination.
Here are three bad habits that may be ruining your relationship, along with the pragmatic tools to truly change those habits so that you can have something greater: the relationship you truly desire.
Destructive Habit #1
You’re comparing your relationship to other people’s.
There are so many points of view on what relationship is supposed to be and so many people who try to impel those points of view on to you. Trying to make your relationship look like what you see in the movies or what other people’s relationships look like or what other people say your relationship should look like never works. Have you noticed? Just like it never works for you to be somebody other than you, trying to create your relationship according to anybody else’s point of view doesn’t work either!
So how do you move beyond what everyone else thinks, so that you can find what’s true for you and your partner? A great tool for that is something called, “interesting point of view”. Here’s how it works. Every time you notice a point of view, you say, “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view.” Let’s say your friend’s partner brings her flowers every week and you think, “What the heck? Why doesn’t my man bring me flowers? He should bring me flowers.” As soon as you notice this point of view, say, “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view.” Say it 3 to 10 times until it lightens up. If you will use this tool for every point of view that you have, you will stop trying to mimic what others are doing and find the space to create what truly works for you.
Destructive Habit #2:
You’re inadvertently letting expectations ruin your relationship.
How many expectations do you have of you? Of your partner? Of your relationship? The problem with expectations is that today’s expectations become tomorrow’s judgment and judgment is the #1 relationship killer. When relationships are new, ever notice how the only things you see in your partner are the good things? The sexy things? The things that you adore? And then, time goes on, and that gratitude and adoration turn into frustration and irritation and resistance. You know why? Because, rather than choosing gratitude for you and your partner, you start piling on the expectations and when those “should” and “should not’s” aren’t met, you judge. You judge you, you judge your partner, you judge your relationship and that’s it. Judgment kills the relationship. Gratitude can turn all of that around! Start a gratitude journal. Every day, write down something that you are grateful for about you and about your partner. Choosing gratitude eliminates judgment and opens the space for your relationship to keep getting better.
Destructive Habit #3:
You’ve divorced yourself in your relationship.
How much of you do you cut off when you are in a relationship? Do you stop doing the things you love because your partner doesn’t love them too? Do you stop connecting with the people that value you and actually contribute to your life in caring and nurturing ways? Do you make your life all about the other person? All about what they desire and what they enjoy? YOU are the most valuable ingredient in your relationship. When you cut off you, when you try to make you exactly like your partner rather than having and being all that you are, the relationship loses the spark that made it exciting in the beginning because YOU are the spark!
To turn this around, begin to choose for you. For one hour each day, do something that contributes to you. Whatever that is. Go for a walk. Read a book. Go dancing. Reconnect with those kind and caring friends that you may have cut off. Whatever contributes to you, one hour each day, do those things. If you are willing to create a relationship that works for you and your partner, even if it looks different than everyone else’s, if you will choose gratitude for you and your partner rather than expectation and judgment, if you will keep YOU in the relationship, ALL of you, not cutting off any of you, you will create a relationship that will contribute to your life and living in ways that are far greater than you can imagine.
Enjoy the fun and joyfulness of your creation. Enjoy the adventure!