There are so many people who are either looking for love or are constantly talking about how to save their relationships. I remember having many of those conversations with friends. We were all either in difficult relationships or had been single for a long time.
We all knew that we needed to work on ourselves first, but none of us were really sure what the key to a great relationship was. Some felt that great sex could always bring the relationship to a place of connection; others thought that meaningful communication was the answer. And when both of those tactics failed, then there were those who believed in using outside assistance (such as therapists or coaches) for support.
As my husband and I prepare for a teleseries on supporting gaps between men and women, I wanted to share some ideas from powerful experts in the field of relationships and self- development. Here are some tips that they felt deserved attention to maintain any healthy relationship.
- Authentic curiosity: Alison Armstrong is the creator of Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women. Her work has been transformative in assisting women and men to understand and trust one another. She is very clear that authentic curiosity is an essential component to healthy relationships. She invites people to look deeply into the questions "Who are You?" and "Tell me why you feel this way?" Questions like this open the mind and allow you to become flexible in thinking. Once you ask yourself these questions, you can adjust your expectations to be more realistic.
- The art of listening: Dr. John Gray, bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice feels that listening is a powerful key to save any relationship. Men can learn a great deal about women when they stop trying to find a solution to problems. Often, women are not looking for something to be fixed; they want to be understood. Dr. Gray tells men to pause and ask women to tell them more about the problem and to sympathize with them. This allows the woman to know that the man really wants to understand what the woman is feeling and what she needs.
- Having fun: Arielle Ford , bestselling author of The Soulmate Secret and Wabi Sabi Love, invites us to lighten up. She talks about the fact that we get so serious about relationships that we forget to have fun. Her advice is to be creative and inventive in finding ways to connect that bring joy to both of you. No relationship can withstand a constant barrage of painful conversations and finger pointing.
- Deep appreciation: Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks have been working in the field of relationships for decades. In their powerful book Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment, they share with us that learning to appreciate your partner is a powerful way to deepen intimacy and connection. Everyone wants to know that they are loved and appreciated. Deep appreciation can come in the form of words, surprise interactions or just a simple thank you for all that you do.
I believe that we are all here to love and be loved and that powerful relationships begin with the individual. Here are some questions to ponder as you explore dynamic relationships in your life.
- Are you willing to exhibit self-love?
- Are you willing to activate a powerful curiosity about how your thoughts and behaviors impact the world in which you live?
- Are you willing to learn to listen deeply to yourself and others?
- Are you willing to commit to bringing joy and fun into your everyday life?
Relationships are incredible opportunities to grow and learn. Open to the possibility that you can and will experience deep and powerful love. Now is the time and love is waiting!
My husband, Carl Studna and I are thrilled to be hosting a free online teleseries in mid-June entitled, Bridging The Gender Gap - Developing Trust and Understanding Between Men and Women and we'd love to have you join us. Visit: www.bridgingthegendergap.net for information and to sign up.
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