How Can You Have a Healthy Relationship? Dating does not have to be complicated and everyone is capable of having a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships are the gateway to helping us expand and grow. Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship. But it takes commitment, understand, and effort. What Does Elizabeth know about Dating/Relationships that I Don't? Elizabeth has learned a lot about what works and doesn't work in relationships. She has watched as generations in her family have successfully created long-lasting marriages. She has listened to their golden nuggets about healthy relationships. She has been single, married, and a single parent. Often the go-to resource for family and friends as they navigated relationships, Elizabeth helped many individuals struggling with dating challenges before becoming a professional relationship coach. Is This Just Another Self-Help Book with the Same Ole' Advice? Nope. This book includes a condensed compilation of the research of top relationship experts, along with Elizabeth's practical interpretations. Using an easy to read format, Elizabeth offers handy advice applicable in any relationship. She prepares you for finding, recognizing, and nurturing the relationship that is right for you.
I love this topic of writing 'What If' - You have probably has some 'What Ifs" questions as it relates to your life too! Life comes at you so fast, and it seems difficult to cover your 'What Ifs' list! My biggest is What If I started my life as a writer? I've always have been an avid reader. While kids were posting posters in their rooms of their favorite singers & bands, I was obsessed with authors, the writers of the music I loved to listen to, and the words spoken in a tv show, play, or book. Words touched me deeply. They made me laugh, cry, and happy. I kept a journal as early as I could remember. I think I was crafting my gratitude journal before it was popular because writing to me was a cathartic release. What If I became a writer early on? I'm not sure what that life would have been for me. But I am most happy I've decided to write. It has been the best learning experience thus far and brought me a joy I don't think I would have without the words of others and being able to put down my own words on paper too!
Relationships are not unilateral unless you allow them to be. If you allow someone to make you feel ‘less than” or allow someone to continually disrespect you or tell you constantly that you aren’t enough and they can do better than you while allowing them access to you - you give them power to continue to do so when you stay in a relationship with them. You too have power in your relationship. You too can demand more. You can leave. I’m not saying it’s always easy to do so. But, when it’s all said and done, if you are still in a relationship with someone who is emotionally and physically abusive and who just doesn’t value what you bring to the table - it’s important that you love yourself enough to walk away from someone who doesn’t value your worth. And in complete truth, they are not worthy of you and what you have to offer. Staying in a toxic situation gives them too much power and you simply deserve better. Get counseling if needed. And, more importantly, never ever give someone the power to dishonor you!
I think the most difficult part of relationships is the fact that we aren't taught what constitutes a healthy relationship. It's quite ironic in a way. When you want to get your body into shape for a big event, there are countless guides to help you get there including hiring a Personal Trainer. When you want to learn a particular subject matter, there are countless degree programs and certifications you can obtain to help you get there too. But, not so much with relationships. Yes, there are books and counselors and relationship coaches. But, often when it comes to relationships we wing it without seeking counsel unless things go sideways in our relationships. Statistically this hasn't worked in our favor. Over 1/2 of marriages end in divorce. Broken families create a myriad of financial, emotional, and traumatic wounds and unhealthy cycles for future generations. So, why do we leave finding love to happenstance? I'm not really sure. But, this paradigm needs to shift. It's time to be proactive vs. reactive in how we manage our relationships. There is no shame in finding an expert to help you. Time isn't infinite. It's why it’s important to make the most of your time and one of the most important decisions which is who you choose as your mate or significant other!
In a relationship, it's easy to get caught up in your own feelings to the exclusion of your partner. The reality is that you go through things which you may be unable to explain to others, which can include your significant other. In these moments, it is easy to want to alienate yourself or go so deep into our own feelings to the detriment of your relationship. However, it's even more imperative in these moments to lean into your partner. A team is stronger than one person. Learning to navigate the tough terrains together builds a stronger relationship between the two of you and can help you seek the solution that might not be readily accessible to you navigating it on your own. When you are tempted to try to figure it out on your own, recognize the value and strength when the two of you come together to work towards achieving a common goal. It will help you grow, evolve together, and most importantly strengthen your team. And this is where teamwork can make the dreamwork especially as it relates to your relationship.
The desire for you to connect with others is strong. It's a reason why not only you desire love, but also why you may look for different ways to meet this need. It may come through intimate connection or a connection with friends, family, peers, animals, etc. Your desire to feel part of something beyond yourself is so strong that if left unfulfilled can lead to a multitude of emotional and physical issues. Loneliness is a real thing. It's not that another person can fill us up completely, they can't. But there is a strong desire for humans to have shared interactions with others. It's a part of your DNA. However, your connection should be purposeful and intentional. If it's not with the right person, the consequences of forming toxic relationships can be detrimental. As you connect with others, remember the following: 1.) Build meaningful connections. 2.) Think in terms of quality versus quantity. 3.) Tying your connection with others with a purpose to help, expand who you are, and contribute to making both you and them better. In doing so, your connections will be one that will bring deeper meaning and contributions on both a mental and spiritual level.
Love is a zero sum game. It's risky, involves vulnerability and being raw and open with someone else in a way that leaves you completely open. When you fall in love for the first time, you allow yourself to be open to all of these feelings. Yet, when love doesn't work out, and you have experienced the pain of losing love it's hard to still be open and vulnerable when the possibility of love is in front of you. Your experiences can easily affect your chances of rediscovering love and being open to the experience again. And when any inkling of something that is reminiscent of the pain comes your way, it's why it’s easier to leave versus stay and address your feelings head on. But, in your journey to find love, what you need to know is that love is a zero sum game. Opening up yourself to love will involve some risks and vulnerability. Shutting yourself off from these feelings will not help you find love. And avoiding these feelings won't either. Love, when discovered, is something that is always worth the risk. You just have to be willing to take it.
It’s a new year and many resolutions will be made. But, I think it’s equally important to focus on revelations as well as resolutions. Life will continue to move quickly. So, in having revelations or an understanding about patterns you repeat, knowing what matters most to you and becoming real and authentic to what you need to continue to grow personally and spiritually is mission critical. It means letting things go and allowing doors to close on those things that no longer serve or benefit you. Life has so many distractions and there will always be someone pushing you to fulfill their agenda over your own. During all of this noise it’s important that you make time and space for your own clarity and peace of mind. You often know intuitively the answer to what you need and want, but this voice is often drowned out by other distractions. Use 2019 for your inspiration, your personal growth and as a chance to gain deeper insights into who are in totality. Love along with those other things you need and want will fall in line if you put in the effort and work. But, the love ???? you exercise for yourself is most important. Allowing yourself room to grow will elevate you to the next level. Here’s to a great 2019!
Getting to know someone in the early phases of a relationship can be tough. You're both asking questions and trying to figure out what makes the other person tick. During this phase of discovery and in getting to know them, it can be easy for you to jump to conclusions about their behavior, and why they do what they do. It's easy to associate someone's behavior with your past experiences or how you understand or perceive things. It's important when faced with this scenario is to do something completely different. Ask the question. Find out why someone feels a certain way or is taking a particular action. Determine what their particular experiences are or have been. In doing so, it will help you to have greater clarity and understanding in your relationships.
Kathy, the CEO of Bublish, an amazing platform for writers was brave enough to share her fear and vulnerability around public speaking, and she encouraged the writers who are part of her platform to share their fears too. It encouraged me to share mine as well. I've had an intense fear of becoming a writer for a long time. I wasn't sure if what I had to share with others was of value, or if it would make a difference in other lives. Luckily, I was encouraged repeatedly by others to share my experiences and insights about relationships and to write about them. I'm not sure what happens when I move in my space of writing, but there is a peace and comfort I feel that is undeniable. And when I'm advising, writing, or talking about anything interpersonal or relational specifically relating to relationships I feel engaged, alive and completely in tune with the experience. It's like I can't learn enough about the subject! And I want us to get it right when it comes to our relationship. I believe that everyone has a shot at having a meaningful and loving relationship. Even though there are naysayers along the way, those voices that keep encouraging my journey to help me to conquer my fear of feeling that my voice matters.
Oftentimes, you may make your relationship more complicated than it needs to be. What do I mean by this statement? It's so easy to overthink things especially in a relationship. And when you start overthinking, I'd advise you do the following: slow down, take a deep breath, and pause. When you stay in your head too much, you lose focus on what your partner's needs are and most importantly on what you need from one another. And this is where the breakdown of a good relationship occurs. You have to stay tuned in to one another, ask the difficult questions, listen and implement action to move forward. It's the only way to have a long-lasting relationship!
Book Bublish Post 1.8.17 A new year is a great opportunity to start anew, learn from your past mistakes and have another shot at a do-over. I don't know about you. But, I'm sure 2016 had its ups, downs and moments where your love life may have been good, bad and at times at a standstill. The good thing is you can improve even in finding love. In 2017, focus on things that bring you joy and ways to help others. Take it one day at a time. Do one thing daily differently than what you may have done before. Here are three ways: 1.) Get out of the mindset of 'your type.' When you limit what your type is, you lose out on being open to someone who may be compatible. 2.) Go out more. Do things you enjoy because it will make you happier. A key to a successful relationship is finding someone in which you share common interests. Niche your activities like you do for a job search or when you plan a big trip. 3.) Lose your screen dependency. Put down your phone and engage more. Speak to people and do this at least 2-3 times a way. You'll feel better and open up your opportunities to connect with others. Love better in 2017!
Relationships are static and ever changing. When they are good, they are GOOOOD. But, when your relationship faces challenges, it can be easy to want to throw in the towel. The ups, downs, fights, and disagreements can reach a pinnacle where you just want to give up. Is it possible to reignite the passion with your mate? How can you tell when the relationship is over? This can be tough to figure out. Having a family and spending a long time with someone can make it difficult to know if you are hitting a speed bump or a roadblock. Being in a relationship is like being on a team. Teams go through ups, downs, and neutral moments but here is the important thing to realize. The team is only as strong as those on the team. And remember a relationship is much of the same thing.
Your love language is super important in determining how well your relationship functions for you and your partner. There are five long languages: 1.) Words of Affirmation 2.) Quality Time 3.) Receiving Gifts 4.) Acts of Service; and 5.) Physical Touch When you are first start off dating someone you like, you naturally lean into your significant other's love language because it's natural that you want to please them and nurture the relationship. But, over time, relationships experience ups and downs, and become stagnant. Each person has different physical and emotional needs and the result is the love language that nurtures your relationship can easily be lost. This is why it's important that you first understand what you need so you can convey it to your partner, then secondly you and your significant other learn to discuss in clear terms what you need and what makes you happy.
Let's face it - Relationships can be tough. When they are good, they are GREAT! But, when they are challenging, you just want to run and stick your head in a bag, box, closed space - literally or figuratively speaking. You get my gist! And, if you are like me, we tend to see things in black and white in our relationships, not enough gray! This is what I mean, it's easier to justify leaving a relationship when there are hardcore dysfunctionalities to it i.e. abuse, alcoholism, unfit parent, etc. It's much harder to figure out when to leave a relationship when things are gray i.e. "You're not happy." "You've grown apart." "You're not getting your sexual needs met." "You don't feel supported or as if your relationship is a partnership." See, this is is when it gets tough. Being in a relationship is like being on a team. But, sometimes the hard part is you think you may be on the wrong team and you're not sure if you should see it through or not.
I enjoy helping clients tap into the obstacles which are holding them back from finding and cultivating healthy relationships. One of these obstacles is the 'filtered version' we see of love and relationships represented by our friends, family, on tv, and in movies. This relationship marketing as I like to call it can be damaging because a lot of it is illusion and not based on reality. Even in relationships we observe of others i.e. family, friends, etc. we are only seeing part of the picture. What is more critical to a successful relationship is figuring out the relationship dynamics which work for you. When you do this you are much more likely to find the relationship that works for your needs and wants not someone else's life. The other truth is that we never know what truly exists between two people. Only they do. We get glimpses and snippets, but never the full picture. This is why comparing and trying to keep up with everyone else is a waste of energy because you never know what you are actually attempting to catch up to. And this is why having your own relationship dynamic works so much better!
Often it can be challenging to create a positive relationship because you may not have seen a healthy relationship around you. No matter how hard we try to have a healthy relationship, it's inevitable that we model the relationships which we see around us. It's difficult if you grew up in a broken home. Or if your parents fought all of the time. Every family has its challenges, but when the example isn't or hasn't been present for you to see a good example of a relationship, find a healthy relationship to model. They can be people in your church, community, family or friends who you have noticed have a healthy relationship. These are the signs of a healthy relationship. The couple has learned how to argue in a respectful manner. They have navigated the ups and downs of their relationship with mutual respect for one another. They will tell you the truth which is the fact that relationships are hard, and you will have good and bad times. Unhealthy relationships are in abundance, but so are healthy ones. Find one to model to help you create a healthy relationship of your own.
Finding love should be easier. We have access to more and more people by the touch of an app, dating services, matchmakers all of which should gives us a plethora of choices. But, a funny thing has happen. The more choices we have, the less choices we make. We get pickier and pickier because the reality is we sometimes do not know what we really want in a mate. So when love appears, we have no idea how to seize the moment. If you are constantly making excuses for each person you meet and interact with, this means it is time for some introspection. Take a step back, pause, and figure out who you are first. Be open to getting to know others without expectations. Take it slow and let love find its way to you in a natural and normal way. This means not forcing love or always looking for love. Instead be in synch with yourself first, then when someone matches up you will know exactly what choice to make.
Dating is a tricky thing. And it gets trickier depending on where you are personally and what relationship experiences you have had. Let me give you an example. Say, you are coming out of a long-term relationship, and you venture out into the dating scene. You are eager to move on to the next relationship, but you keep attracting men who are not really compatible? You find one particular trait about them and you hold on tight to it even when there are dozens of red flags right in front of you. This is ok. We have all been there. But, more important is figuring out how to get the right person in your life. This comes after self-reflection and figuring out who you are first. You want someone who will compliment you, not complete you. Incomplete people attract incomplete people and you don't want that to be YOU. Check out Dr. Phil's quote. It is an important one. Once you know who you are, you will alleviate those dating blind spots.
When I do relationship coaching, one of the first things they say is that they aren't that picky. But, then they tell me a list of what their potential suitor must have in order for them to be interested. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of making sure you find someone who shares similar core values, but sometimes the list of what you want gets in the way of finding true love. In an effort to define to the 3rd degree what we want in a relationship, we miss lots of compatible people. Love rarely comes in the form of what you think it will be. Ask a married woman or man about their mates. Often, that person did not look the way they thought they would or be who they thought they would be. But, in the end, it works because that person gives them what they need which makes them feel most connected to them. Sometimes what may look good to you may not end up being good for you. Be open to widening what you look for in a potential mate. Date without putting so much pressure on yourself to find the right one. When you ditch the list and stop focusing on finding the 'one', this is when the 'one' finally appears.
In order to become better at anything in life, it requires that you do it. The same applies to relationships. Oftentimes, you learn through trial and error. You learn what a good relationship looks like after being in a bad relationship. You learn what you want after having what you don't want. You become a better communicator after communication mishaps. You partner better when you learn compromise, sharing, and how these things make your relationship better. The bottom line is that when you become better at having a relationship, you start having better relationships. You attract more of what you deserve and want in your life. It is a domino effect. And the opposite can hold true if you don't ever improve yourself in your relationship journey. If you never learn, grow, or improve yourself your relationships will mirror this in some form or fashion. What has been your greatest relationship learning experience? Please share how you have learned to attract what you deserve into your life.
Oftentimes, when dating and looking for love, you look for your partner to complete or supplement who you are in a relationship. This is normal, but the problem is if you don't already hold yourself in high self-esteem or have a healthy view or perspective of yourself, every partner you attract will be a reflection of the thing you have not accepted in yourself. These are what I call your "dating blindspots." When you are not fully attune to yourself or are lacking in your own self-love, your 'dating blindspots' show up in the people you date. They can be representative of unhealthy relationships, emotionally unavailable people, dysfunctional relationships, etc. Want to date better. Learn how to date yourself first. Love who you are to the fullest degree first!
An interesting statistic; 50.2% of us are single now for the first time in a long time in the US. You would think in this age of interconnectedness that it would be easier to find a suitable mate. And, even though your options on Tinder, Match.com, Eharmony, Plenty of Fish, Ok Cupid, and the other thousand apps exist, you may still find it hard to really connect with others. Part of this might be because while you perceive you have endless options in dating, this does not make it easier to find that one special person for you. But, because you have endless options, you end up creating lists, vision boards of the ideal mate shutting yourself out of the opportunity to actually connect with someone because of having unrealistic expectations. Let's change the game. Be more open to getting to know someone for who they are and the next thing you know the rest will fall in line.
In relationships, there is the fairytale version of what you would like your relationship to be versus the reality of what a relationship encompasses. You may have specific ideas about your ideal mate. They have to be attractive, successful, tall, smart, witty, outgoing, loving, affectionate, good with fixing things around the house, .... Ok, catch my drift ... Your list is endless, but the reality is the person who you need in your life may not need to fit such specific criteria. Stop being so damn picky! Yes, I am speaking to those of you who are creating vision boards of potential mates and constantly sizing up your suitor to see if they fit your long list of requirements. And everyone is falling short. This is a fallacy and one of the reasons relationships fail before they even start. A couple of takeaways ... 1.) Know what you want, but be flexible. No one will be 100% of what you want. You are really lucky if you can get to 80%. And this doesn't mean settling. It means you are taking a more realistic approach to dating. 2.) Ditch the list. Take time to get to know someone without pre-judgment. Stop using checklists for your feelings and relationships. Amazingly, you will still be able to eliminate the non-starters.
I think we have gotten away from what is real love. Social media, tv, reality shows, movies, and unrelenting unrealistic pictures of what a relationship looks like vs. what a relationship is are placed in front of us on a daily basis. Yet, the numbers tell a different story. Almost, half of marriages end in divorce. We see couples in our personal and the entertainment realm who we thought had it together end their marriages or relationships consistently. What's missing? What has changed in relationships in the past 20 years? More importantly are we missing the boat on the foundation of how a strong relationship is really built? I think so. Often, it is easy to get caught up in the comparison game. We compare our relationships with others and try to replicate what we see. The problem is what works for one couple may not work for you. This is when it gets tricky. If you dig into your reality, some amazing things happen when you shape the relationship you really want. It's out there. But, you have to be willing to put in the work. Would love to hear from you as to what has helped you to cultivate a strong relationship. Please share.
Do you have a list or a vision board when it comes to the person you want to attract into your life? More importantly, do you find yourself challenged by attracting the same types of men/women in your life who are not the right fit? Here's a Dating Tip: In order to be in the right place to attract the one you want and deserve, you need to take practical steps to make sure you are first in a good place with yourself. You don't attract the wrong person, you accept the wrong person.
Often, as you listen to others give you dating advice, they give you pie in the sky advice. What I mean by this is that they give you generic advice. This book is different. I want to give you the tactics and tools to succeed in a relationship. I want you to create a relationship dynamic that works for you. You may enjoy being single and dating casually. You may want to get married. You may want to live with someone in which you have a healthy relationship without getting married to them. If you are looking for specific advice that works for you, then this is the book for you. Tell me about the ideal relationship dynamic you would like to have. I'm listening ......
Relationships don't have to be hard. But, let's face it, sometimes relationships can be tough. Communication, getting to know someone, and navigating the dating scene can be challenging. What is your relationship narrative? What have you struggled with in relationships? The first step in creating the relationship you want is to understand where you are, what led to past relationship failures, and how to create a narrative that creates the relationship you want. Let's talk about it so you can have the relationship you want.
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