How Relationships Work in The Real World: It’s Complicated

Relationships can be complicated.

Our Expectations Going into Relationships

Everyone who gets involved with another person has good intentions. We all believe the relationship will be great and last forever. Everyone thinks this, so if you thought you were alone, you are not. In fact, you’re the same as the rest of us.

We all want to be happy in our relationships. That too is universal. The problem is that most of us, before we find someone, have put ourselves together pretty well. We probably know how to do everything we need to do to live our life and we don’t need anyone’s help. That is what we consider a successful individual.

1 + 1 = It’s Complicated

Finding the Way in A Relationship Can Be Complex

Now take that individual and couple with another successful individual and you have two successful individuals creating a relationship. Sure it works in the beginning. They always work in the beginning. But making them work through the tough times? And learning how to be easy with the other and not take things so personally, well that’s the hard part.

And we’re not even talking about how to really share our self with another person and that too is a learned skill. The problem, and I heard it from a client in a relationship the other day, is that a lot of people believe if there is hardship, it’s not the right relationship. Some people believe, and I hear this from people so I know they believe it, that if there was true love then everything would work out.

Society Equips Us with Poor Expectations and Relationship Skills

I guess I have to blame Disney for these ideas. And maybe any other form of “happily ever after” but this is not real life. And that doesn’t mean real life is terrible. It just means there’s a big leap from it’s perfect to it’s terrible that people get to without learning how to navigate the road.

You wouldn’t drive without training would you? Well, being a mate to someone, sharing your self with another, and trusting them when your feelings get upset—these are the skills needed for relationship training and nowhere do people learn them.

So, Where Do People Develop Good Relationship Skills?

Good relationship skills must be learned through exploring on our own.

We learn them on the job after lots of hurt feelings and blame and disappointment. We learn them only when the relationship is at its worst. And in some cases, people don’t learn them at all. They break up, because if you don’t know how to fix something you can become very drained continuing to try to figure out what to do and always falling short.

I feel like I am ranting here. I don’t mean to. I just believe that the skills can be learned by anyone. All of us can learn to understand how we handle our upset and what we do to feel better. All of us can begin to understand what our action does to our partner and how they react to us. But the big part of changing a relationship is standing up for what you will do. Not what you think your partner should do.

What You Can Do for Yourself and Your Loved One Today

You must take stock in yourself. Yes, you may want them to do things or say things that would make you feel better. And if you recognize that in yourself, learn to ask them in a way that is sweet so they can hear you and give you what you want. People think changing their ways is too hard. Many just want to the other person to just make them feel better. The truth is we all have to take a hard look at our selves and if we are not treating our special person, the one who signed up to walk the earth with us with all the love that lives in our heart, then that’s where you start. Because until you learn why you can’t show them love, you will hunger for it for the remainder of the time you are together.

Improve Your Relationship Skills and Reevaluate Your Expectations

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? If you’d like some help improving happiness and communication in your relationship, try reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might give you a better idea of what you can expect and how you can get there. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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