Taking Your Relationships Too Seriously?

Relationships are in the top 3 challenges people face. When it comes to relationships, we experience many issues that keep us from working, such as:

Communication

Maturity (or lack thereof)

Relationship Experience and Skill Set

Temperament, Commitments, levels of Sexual Desire, etc

One of the biggest blind spots to success in relationships is something most of us would never think of:

We take our relationships too personally.

Huh? That’s right. We let our emotions, habits, instinctual reactions and ego get in the way. What we don’t normally do is examine relationships from a practical, conscious perspective. Allow me to explain. By allowing emotions, habits, instinctual reactions, and ego to direct us, we end up in an argument with reality because we gave our power to our “Machinery.”

Our EMOTIONS are powerful internal forces that drive us to take action. However, the types of actions our emotions drive us to take are mostly immediate and not long term. In order to produce long term results, we either have to push our emotions aside, inject our intellect or tap into our intuition.

Our INSTINCTUAL REACTIONS are even more blunt and immediate; it’s all about Fight – Flight – Freeze. Survival is neither nurturing nor romantic. It has its place in our lives – just not around romance.

Our HABITS don’t help much unless we were either taught how to do things well or we consciously choose to create new habits. The challenge with habits is that they’re automatic. We’ve all experienced going to work or school without remembering how we got there. When that happens in relationships, something vitally important is missing: YOU!

Our EGO doesn’t care about the person we’re interested in; it only cares that the person we’re interested in cares about us because “IT” is more important than anything. (Though “IT” has to make sure neither you nor your partner ever realizes it) If we took a more analytical, scientific, business-like look at people and relationships, we give ourselves a much better chance of creating a happy relationship that lasts.

Many businesses use an analytical tool called S.W.O.T. Analysis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) I’m bringing this tool to the realm of relationships to show how it can help you not only turn poor relationships into great ones, but have relationships off to a great start in the first place. The scope of S.W.O.T. can get pretty deep. We’re going to focus on the action steps in each category and getting to the answers quicker.

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STRENGTHS:

  1. What do you bring to relationships?
  2. What are your gifts?
  3. Why would someone want to be in and remain in a loving relationship with you over time?
  4. What qualities of character do you bring to the relationship?
  5. Do you know who you are?
  6. Do you know what triggers you and what inspires you? 
  7. What do you do to bring yourself back from a bad emotional situation?

WEAKNESSES:

  1. How well are you at qualifying potential partners?
  2. What triggers you?
  3. What are your deepest fears and what are you doing about them?
  4. How much do you value yourself?
  5. What is your opinion of the opposite sex? 
  6. How does your past impact your relationships?
  7. How quickly can you get over emotional pain?
  8. What’s your relationship to trust, to money, to partnership?

OPPORTUNITIES:

  1. Why do you want to be in a romantic relationship?
  2. How will being in a great relationship impact your life’s purpose?
  3. What will you be able to do while in an awesome relationship that isn’t possible in a terrible or non-existent one?
  4. How do you envision the Ideal Relationship working for you?
  5. How will the people around you benefit from you being in an outstanding relationship?

THREATS:

  1. What could possibly go wrong?
  2. If your partner became paralyzed, would you still think the relationship is worth being in?
  3. Would you trust your partner alone with a model / movie star / beautiful person?
  4. Do you know how to minimize your own self sabotaging behavior?
  5. Is your family or your partner’s family an enhancement or hindrance to your relationship?

There’s more to relationships than sex and romance. If you’re not in a relationship yet, use this idea to craft your ideal relationship. Use these questions as a tool to examine and enhance your relationship so you can do as Burger King commercials used to say: Have It Your Way.

Tony Vear is a Relationship Coach

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