Making it Work?

You probably know someone who is in one and that person may be you. So many people are miserable in their relationships and one has to ask why? Why would someone stay in a relationship with another person who was emotionally unavailable, physically abusive or afraid to commit? Basically it comes down to fear of taking responsibility for your life, your relationship and your own sense of self worth.  It will take work but you can begin to empower yourself and build a healthy and lasting relationship.

The first step in developing a healthy relationship is figuring out specifically what you want. When you are in between dating and single would be the best time to do this. Make a list of all the things that you want in a partner. Some attributes may include dependability, sense of humor, positive attitude, and responsibility. The more clearly you can envision the qualities of your future partner, the more clearly you will be able to weed out all of the ones you don't want.

Communication is essential for your relationship to work.  Make sure to create an open where both you and your partner can openly express your ideas, concerns, and needs. Also, try to clearly understand what your partner is trying to communicate to you. Try repeating back what you heard them say to you to let them know you are trying to understand their perspective. Ask them what their needs are.
Next, learn from your past. Look at your previous relationships and compare them to your list of qualities that you want. Do they measure up? What was the attraction and seriously examined what happened to the relationship and yourself.  Don't settle for less than what is on your list. Apply this to your life and use it. Being in a relationship just to be in a relationship is a waste of time and energy and can be detrimental to your well-being. Be assertive and take control of your life.

Remember that the biggest factor in maintaining a relationship is commitment to each and the relationship. If you are in a seriously unhealthy relationship seek professional help. Both parties in the relationship require the same amount of energy and care for it to  work.  If it becomes unbalanced, it will likely lead to one person becoming resentful and bitter towards the other. The other person may not be ready for what you are looking for and needs more personal development time. In that case, enjoy dating.

The biggest mistake people make is thinking they have to make "this one" work or this relationship is marriage bound. Relax. Don't take the fun out of dating and relationships. Go with the flow and test the waters. See if you can enjoy time with this person regardless of the label that you attach to them. Relationships should be enjoyable and should bring happiness and personal growth. If your relationship is not doing this for you, you need to ask yourself, "why not?"

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