Relationships appear to be a source of trauma and pain for a lot of people. I have had my fair share of difficulties – it has also been the subject of my ongoing research. 'Complicated' is how most people describe their relationship status on Facebook. How come relationships are so complicated? I think it may be that we make them complicated by not understanding some of the rules about relationships.
So, here are my five tips for creating a successful relationship, in no apparent order:
1) Tell yourself the truth about why you want this relationship. Ok – I started with the tough one but the most important one. What motivated you to get into the relationship in the first place? For some – that's easy – I fell in love. Hm – think about that – fell (kind of unstable and a bit slidey there) in (into what?) love (whatever that means). A difficult place to make a choice from – sliding into God knows what.
2) Understand that the person you are in a relationship is going to mirror some of the worst aspects of you – for your enjoyment and edification. Pretty funny huh? You start a relationship with someone and then before you know it – wow – where did that come from? I don't know this person – a complete personality change. Well, actually, it's all a bit of a game calling 'mirror, mirror on the wall' – and we know how that went for Snow White. One moment – fast asleep – the next – woken with a kiss by Prince Charming. The End. Ever wonder what happened after the kiss? Yep, it's called the beginning of the relationship.
3) Forgive yourself on a daily basis for making the first two mistakes; choosing badly and not liking what you see in the mirror. A bit harsh but it will get better, especially as you embrace the humility to accept that you are human and that as a human being, you are naturally flawed. If you start forgiving yourself now, you will be well ahead and ready for number 4.
4) Accept that there are no greener pastures. Where did you hear this before? It is true, we take our 'brown' with us and turn those lovely greener pastures to the same yecky brown that we left behind. The truth is, we take ourselves wherever we go and if we have 'brown' inside of us, it will still be there even if we move on to Prince or Princess Charming No. 2 or 3.
5) Love yourself exactly as you are. In the end, this is the main relationship that you are having while you are here on planet earth. The other folks at the party are just here to help you see yourself better and love yourself – warts and all.
Relationships aren't complicated but we sure are.