Tuesday, January 15, 2019

5 Tips for a Healthy Relationship: How to Be Adult in Relationships by Jean Walters I recently discovered a book called “How to be an adult in relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving,” by David Richo, phD. I loved the title and decided to investigate a bit. I have been in private practice as a transformational coach for over 35 years and much of it spent talking to people about relationships and it seems to me that there are a lot of illusions about what connecting and relating to one another person is supposed to look like. For starters we do not live in a Cinderella- Prince Charming world. Nor is it a Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming (that guy gets around) reality. And it is my belief that these fairy tales have played havoc with our view of real-life connection and commitment because they are not real and often people want to use them as templates for their flesh and blood relationships. Plus I’ve noticed that the way people treat their special love relationship, as opposed to the way they treat their friends, is very different. This is unfortunate because we often give our friends a wide berth while we hold our loved ones with tight expectations. Getting back to Dr. Richo, I quote: “Love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.” This one statement eliminates a lot of complications. What love is and what the component of a healthy relationship really is! Dr. Richo states that there are five keys to being present to the people you love. They are: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. Let’s give each one of these some thought. We often meet someone and desire a connection. So we start by giving that person a lot of attention. This could be meetings, phone calls, text messages, emails, one-on-one time. Then as commitment or marriage follows, there is a sense of taking that person for granted, and the attention begins to wane. “You have them.” And the demands of life take over. The problem is that you don’t “have them” because attention is one of the elements needed to keep a relationship alive and healthy. With a friend you might have certain rituals that hold true. You talk to him/her everyday (think Oprah and Gayle). You have lunch or dinner weekly; you use them as a sounding board. In that regard, consider what kind and how much attention or ritual you give to your loved ones. Do you have dinner together daily, or a weekly date night? Also, do you accept these people – warts and all! Often with our friends we do just that. It is just as important to provide that same level of acceptance to our spouses, children, and ultimately everyone. We are all hanging out in the earth to learn important lessons and often these lessons don’t come easy. This is true for everyone. Have you noticed - there aren’t any perfect people running around - just folks doing their best. Be careful that you don’t have rules for people and they are expected to live by them. Folks need to make up their own rules. Next appreciation. Make a point to show appreciation. A note, a phone call, remember important occasions, say thank you. Tell the people in your life why you are happy they are there. Be demonstrative. Affection is something you do. It may be a pat on the back or a smile. It could be a hug or making out. Affection is easily demonstrated. Taking an interest in something that is important to the other person is a form of affection. We all need it and want it. So, give it. Allowing is about accepting the person and his/her values and allowing them to be exactly who they are. If they like to play basketball one night a week, you get out of the way and let that happen. You may not like basketball, but they do. So be it. The truth is that if something is important to your spouse or friend, they are going to do it and if they don’t, they will become resentful. The question is, does this activity make them better or worse? Allowing boys’ poker night, or girls’ night out, or going to a restaurant that is not your first choice, is okay. There is no loss in allowing, only benefits. Enjoy!! Jean Walters is a Transformation Coach who helps people solve problems, see a vaster picture, look deep into life and relationships by offering coaching and Akashic Readings. Check out her website: http://www.spiritualtransformation.com or call 314 991 8439