Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?

gossip

Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?

Have you been through a series of broken relationships lately? Have you searched through your selection process, your personality, your emotional baggage and all other aspects of you, only to come up empty? If it isn’t you it could be your friends. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes more subtle. But your friends are a reflection of you. They can also get in the way of lasting love, if you let them. Are your friends getting between you and your relationship? Take a look at these indicators and see if you are the victim of love sabotage by your pals.

Do your friends ever tell you that your date isn’t good enough for you? If they call your date unattractive, stupid or dull right in front of you, you have a right to be upset. That’s really rude behavior. Still, take a look at the qualities of your date. If they cut the mustard, something might be wrong with your friends. If you are trying to chill with your new main squeeze and your friends are constantly turning up the volume, or the drama to get your attention, take note. They will drive a wedge between you and your partner. That’s not good. Realize that if they are your real friends, they’ll ask about your preferences. But if all they care about is their own entertainment, they won’t even think of asking what you think.

One of the most insensitive things your friends can do is bring up past relationships to your date before you are ready to expose them to these stories, and your role in them. Particularly if you’ve had a foible that’s run through many lovers, or a faux pas you want to put behind you, the fact that your friends, your own friends are bringing it up is enough to make you want to take them all out, ninja style. Currently, with pesky anti-ninja laws in place, they’ll have to live. But if they take part in this kind of behavior, don’t hang out with them anymore. At the very least, don’t bring any dates around them. Have you ever had a friend who wants you to cheat? Or a friend who thinks you’re perfect for their cousin or sibling and will sabotage other relationships so that you end up with a certain person? Yeah, lose that friend. They only have their own interests at heart, though they’ll swear they have your best interests in mind up and down. Their actions speak volumes, their words a pile of drivel.

The worst is a friend who puts you in the worst position. Like a friend who flirts with your date. Nothing is worse than a friend who overtly or covertly tries to steal your lover. Cut that Judas off immediately and remove their name from the record. A friend of the opposite sex flirting with you or making their feelings known is another potentially horrifying scenario. Let them down gingerly. For more advice read, Toxic Friends: A Practical Guide to Recognizing and Dealing with an Unhealthy Friendship by Loraine Smith-Hines.

Attractions of Deprivation

deprivation

Attractions of Deprivation

Do you have a string of romantic disasters trailing behind you? Do you often fall in love with the wrong person and your passion turns into devastation when you see your relationship inevitably fall apart? What gives? Don’t give up. You aren’t destined to die alone or in a dysfunctional relationship. You may be suffering from attractions of deprivation. The Imago model developed by Harville Hendrix states that we are attracted to those who embody the worst elements of our childhood caregivers, our parents or whoever raised us.

We have unresolved issues surrounding abuse, betrayal, neglect and manipulation from these caregivers. We desire to heal these wounds, subconsciously, and so seek out a mate with these qualities so that we may do so. Said another way, we are therefore most attracted to those who have the ability to hurt us psychologically the way we were hurt as children. Moreover, what ends up happening is instead of healing we get hurt in the exact same way, once again, this time by a lover instead of a caregiver. We want to have the same problem play out from our childhood but this time solve the problem instead of enduring the pain, and move past this incident, gaining closure and healing the old wound.

The first thing to do is to identify the negative qualities that pull you in in the first place. Look for qualities that all of your exes who matched this pattern had in common. If you are unsure ask friends, family members and confidants. Next, identify these exact same qualities in your childhood caregivers. Write them down in a list. Call it “My Attractions of Deprivation.” Write down anything that annoyed, upset or hurt you. Don’t worry if you were at fault in some instances, too. Just write them down. Put in physical characteristics that are attractive too but negative like over-confident swagger. Next, get another piece of paper. Entitle it “Profile of my Attractions of Deprivation.” Write down the exact type of person you are attracted to using these qualities. Notice that these exact qualities are both what turn you on and what end up stifling the relationship, such as arrogance. On the flip side, that person doesn’t care about you the way you do them. They aren’t considerate and don’t support you or make room in their lives for you. If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends. They’ll have a ton of things to tell you.

Underneath write “My Gifts.” Write down all of the positive qualities your exes never took the time to get to know about you. These are the very things that get stifled in these relationships. They are holding you back from personal growth. Keep this with you and the next time you are attracted to someone who is wrong for you, turn away. Find people you are attracted to instead, those that inspire you not deprive you. For more advice read, How to Avoid Falling in Love with A Jerk: The Foolproof Way to Follow Your Heart without Losing Your Mind by John Van Epp, Ph.D.

Attractions of Inspiration

DATING

Attractions of Inspiration

You cannot control who you are sexually attracted to. And you can’t force it. But you can educate your libido. If all you end up with is a broken heart, can’t stop running after bad girls or bad boys, or always pick someone who’s emotionally unavailable, you can change the course of your love life. You aren’t doomed to failure. What you need to do is to develop attraction to people who are well-adjusted, kind, considerate and supportive, among other qualities. You can develop the skills necessary to have solid, healthy relationships. And these are the same skills you’ll use to keep those relationships fresh and alive.

When we look for a potential mate, we have natural evaluation systems we aren’t even aware of analyzing data and sending us emotions in tune with that data. There are really two systems going on at once. The conscious mind is attracted to the positive things that contribute to a successful, happy relationship. But the subconscious is drawn toward the issues we most suffered from at the hands of our caregivers as children such as neglect, abuse, manipulation, betrayal and anger. To work through these issues we seek a partner who embodies the same such problem we are struggling with in order to have a second chance at moving past the problem and healing psychologically.

This explains why we feel knocked off kilter when we meet someone that we’re really into. It also shows why love affairs can be so exhilarating and so agonizing when they end. Some people solve the problem by dating people that are safe but they have no attraction to. This usually leads to boredom and feeling unfulfilled. Others date those they find highly attractive, and go on constant roller coaster rides of the heart, with thrills and spills which leave you heady or down in the dumps from one week to the next. The trick is to date someone with a midrange level of attraction, but who also has qualities that are good for long term potential such as a good sense of humor, dependability, honesty, hard-working, considerate, kind and all of that good stuff.

Cultivate an attraction of inspiration and not only will you be in the right place romantically, your lover will be one of a high quality, where you can also enjoy a long term, healthy and committed relationship. How do you do that? The trick is to build intimacy. You need to get the heart and the head going in the right direction. Don’t focus on the person’s imperfections; instead focus on their good qualities. Spend lots of time together and talk about everything. Get close and build closeness. Don’t get nervous or take off if it doesn’t get off the launch pad right away. Stick in there with someone you like on an intellectual level and build your attraction to them. If you have an ember of attraction, with a little patience and some deep reflection, you can stoke your own ember into an inferno of passion. For more advice read, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud.

Myths that Keep Us from Love

BAD-DATE

Myths that Keep Us from Love

There’s lots of dating advice out there that while the speaker’s intent is sincere, the message is actually an obstacle rather than a way forward. There are myths that keep us from love rather than helping us find it. The first myth is playing it cool. Conventional wisdom goes that you shouldn’t let on how interested you are in a person, or else they may find you desperate or needy. This isn’t true at all.

Our belief in playing hard to get shouldn’t be absolute. You can use it if the person you are after is emotionally unavailable. Otherwise, be nice and open. Who doesn’t want those qualities in a relationship? If they reciprocate then this might be the person you are looking for. But they should at least respect these qualities. If playing it cool works for you that’s great. But if you aren’t really that type, or haven’t tried it, you’ll flub it. So be yourself. Feel it out and act accordingly. Make sure you draw boundaries. Don’t get taken advantage of. But if someone is frightened off by openness than they weren’t ready for a relationship to begin with. And if that’s what you’re looking for, thank your lucky stars and move on.

We are often told that all we need is a little self-confidence. Confidence is great if mixed with some modesty. But projecting cool and confident can make you look like a superficial snob, or an egotistical jerk. Its better if you let your date know about your shyness, anxiety, or other issues. You don’t have to lay them all out before them. But just be who you are. Own yourself, including your faults. If you have come to terms with your shortcomings, why not show your date this? Anyone who is worthwhile will recognize it and see it as a great asset. If you’re nervous on a date just be honest and say that you’re nervous. You’re date will probably think it’s cute. If they’re worth your time they’ll try to get you to relax. Even admitting it will help you to relax. And then if they’re helping you, all of a sudden you two are jiving, and isn’t that what a date’s all about? Be as cool, witty and charming as you normally are. You can amp it up a little bit. But don’t portray a false confidence. It almost always falls flat.

Lastly, the numbers game is a myth that should be debunked. Many people believe that with the power of the internet, they can go on a ton of dates and will, out of the mass of people they’ve encountered, unearth the one they’ve been looking for. The exact opposite is true. You will feel a kind of dating fatigue after so many dates. People will start to look the same. You will feel numb, give your date less of a chance and be less willing to connect. It will actually get in the way. Strive for quality over quantity. Only respond or date people you have things in common with. The more in common the better the date. With these myths debunked, consider your love life simplified. For more dating advice read, Is This The One?-Insightful Dates for Finding the Love of Your Life by Stephen Arterburn.

Relationship Skills used by Happy Couples

Man And Woman Breathing

Relationship Skills used by Happy Couples

Have you ever looked at what you thought were the perfect couple and thought, “I want to be like them.” Well it isn’t fate or happenstance. Good relationships have certain qualities in them. They don’t come prepackaged. Anyone can practice them, and indeed should. Here are relationship skills used by happy couples. The first one is empathy.

Sympathy is knowing how someone else feels and showing compassion for them. Empathy is really feeling what they feel, knowing how they feel and showing compassion. Don’t assume you know how they feel outright. Our assumptions without the benefit of reflection are usually wrong and may anger or hurt our partner.  You don’t have to have lived through the same thing. Use your imagination and walk a mile in their moccasins. Close your eyes and feel what it is like to be in their position. What are their concerns, priorities, responsibilities and actions? What did they expect and what occurred instead? Once you understand their point of view intimately, from inside their head, then discuss things with them.

The next is called emotional validation. When your sweetie is upset or angry, let them know that you understand how they’re feeling, and that they have every right to feel that way. Give them your concern and sympathy. You may think that they will be even more upset with you. The truth is they will likely calm down and be able to discuss things with you rationally and calmly. That’s because you’ve validated their emotions. Emotional validation is something we all need. When we feel upset, angry or frustrated we want our partner to understand why we feel how we do, and sympathize with us. When this happens we experience an emotional release from the tension we were feeling.

Lastly, use civility and consideration in your relationship to make it healthy and happy. Little gestures such as letting someone sleep in, flowers, a small token, a handwritten note, a compliment or a big hug can change the tone instantly. These things can decrease the intensity of an argument and give room for talking and working things out. Often couples get caught in a cycle of negativity. One gesture won’t change that. But if you develop a routine of civility and consideration you can change that cycle. It’s particularly powerful if both partners become committed in breaking a cycle of negativity and replace it with a positive one. For more advice read, Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills by Georgianna Donadio.