One of the big issues for all of us in our society is entering into a relationship which makes is happy – and which can be sustained over time.
One of the reasons we seem to have such difficulty with relationships – whether entering into them, staying in them, or leaving them – is that we aren’t taught by anyone, at any time in our lives, the things we need to know to deal with the emotions associated with a relationship effectively.
For example, we’re not taught about effective communication, which involves, for example, the skills of reflective listening, observation, and verification of what the other person has said, and in particular the skill of empathy.
Many people don’t do any work on the things which make us respond to those comments and behaviors of our partners which somehow just seem to “trigger” us without rhyme or reason. This is because we are reacting out of Shadow, out of the unconscious.
I will admit that doing the work necessary to sustain a relationship can be challenging and difficult.
But for me, there’s never been any real alternative to the prospect of entering into a deeper and better relationship by working consistently on myself over time.
This might involve therapy, or counselling, or being part of a men’s group or a women’s group. It might involve doing some therapeutic work in shadow work or some other kind of personal development arena.
What it will certainly mean is learning the skills necessary to enter into a relationship and to sustain it successfully.
One of the obvious fact of life is that we all want to be in a good quality relationship, and we all want to have a partner we can love.
You only have to look at the number of Internet sites which have been built in the past 10 years to see that the desire for information about how to find a loving relationship is extremely high.
No wonder, perhaps, in a society where more than half of all marriages end in divorce! Yet one has to ask oneself whether or not the Internet is the best place to get relationship advice. It’s an unregulated field, naturally, and the people who offer e-books and information on how to have a good quality relationship generally don’t seem to be qualified therapists.
Perhaps the qualified therapists are too busy working one-to-one with clients to write e-books to sell on the Internet!
But don’t misunderstand me, I’m not dismissing the possibility that these things are very useful. In fact, I think they can be extremely useful.
The problem is that people put such blind faith in them, without actually doing the emotional work on themselves which may be necessary to change their historical patterns of behavior into something more functional for the present day.
Having said that, it’s notable that there have been some incredible successes by Internet authors who offer online information about romance.
Mike Fiore, for example, has written several programs which have sold extremely well – for example, Text Your Ex Back, which is all about how to renew a relationship after a breakup. Claire Casey has written plenty of information about how a woman can capture a man’s heart, and “make him love you forever”.
Because this information is fairly cheap, and because there is substantial amount of information that can be extremely useful in all of these programs, I would never suggest avoiding them.
Indeed, if you think you need help in forming a relationship, making a man love you, or finding happiness within a relationship, then I think the first step that you should take is to look at these information programs. As I said above they do contain some valuable information.
It’s an open question of course whether or not the idea that you can make somebody love you by engaging in manipulative strategies is a good way to sustain an ongoing relationship.
But I think Mike Fiore and Claire Casey would rightly deny that their programs were based on manipulative strategies. In fact, they’re based on sound psychology and on the principles of relationships which have been developed over time.
Where things go wrong, I suspect is in the blind faith of the people who buy them, perhaps expecting an instant solution without putting the time and effort involved in that is needed to sustain any relationship over a long period of time. This involves meeting, getting to know, and developing a deeper love with your partner.
In short, if you’re a woman looking for a relationship with a man, and you really crave the deep love and connection that can come from a romantic relationship, then by all means start by buying these programs, and see where they take you. You can click here for one example of this.
My own view is that a relationship is much more likely to be successful if you start with the expectation that what is set out in e-books and audio and video recordings is a basis for liking somebody (not loving them).
You see, liking comes from a feeling of closeness and affection derived from a mutual understanding and a degree of empathy.
What’s essential, I think, in any process like this is that you seek to engage with somebody who has essentially the same values, beliefs and attitudes as yourself. Without that, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that (at least in the longer term) a relationship won’t survive.
In the short term, however, likeability and liking a much more tied into particular behaviours: empathising, reflective listening, paying attention, being fully present your partner, and indeed simple things like apologising when somebody’s upset.
You might think it extraordinary, but there is plenty of evidence which demonstrates very clearly indeed that simple apologies, offered to your partner even when you don’t believe you’ve done something wrong, can really make a big difference to a relationship’s chances of survival.
Another thing that’s important is maintaining a positive attitude to your partner. It turns out that when people offer less than five positive affirmations for every negative interaction in a relationship, the prospect of long-term survival of the relationship is really quite low.
What I think I take away from this is that there are simple things that you can do which are very helpful in sustaining a relationship.
But in addition, you do need to do the deeper work to get rid of emotional baggage from the past.
And by the way, nowhere is this more true than in the field of sexual problems.
If either the man or the woman in a partnership has some issue with sex or some kind of sexual dysfunction, be it low sex drive, premature ejaculation or whatever, then it’s extremely important to attend to this, to find a therapist who is capable of dealing with it, and to get it sorted out.
The reason? When a couple are making love successfully in a relationship and in particular when the woman’s having regular orgasms, we know that the relationship will be much more stable and happy outside the bedroom than it will be if the sexual connection between the partners is failing or non-existent.