A New Twist On The 80/20 Rule For Relationships

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A New Twist On The 80/20 Rule For Relationships
Knowing this rule will help you navigate the ups and downs of relationships.

"Man is not disturbed by events, but by the view he takes of the event!" — Epictetus

For example, the men and women who you are meeting or dating may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behavior; it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behavior. Their actions are theirs, you cannot own them, you cannot be them, you can only process them in your mind. How you choose to interpret people makes a huge difference in your relationship and how that relationship will unfold. So you have to go inside to realize that your interpretations are from the past, not from the current reality.

So during a date, if something doesn't go as planned or the way you thought it would or should go, you can chalk it up to experience and get clear that these behaviors are something that you don't want in a relationship or ... take it personally and never want to date again. This may seem extreme ... but haven't we all felt that way!

We have to take a look at our assumptions, expectations and stories about the situation and ask ourself the question of "Where is this coming from?" Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship to get something. They're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last past the first date is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give and explore and not a place that you take.

It is very helpful before going into a relationship to already like yourself and see yourself as complete, otherwise you may go chasing new relationships to get that kick of feeling good over and over again. This is part of understanding that how we see anything in life is first through our own filters, and then we project those ideas on to everyone we meet.

So the next time you are in a relationship situation, (dating or friendship) and you find yourself having judgments about what is happening, first ask yourself what is going on within yourself and just observe it. Then you will be able to handle anything your date is doing with more ease and maybe with a sense of excitement and humor. 

Remember, you have the power to work on the 80 percent while 20 percent is going to be a joint effort. To build a relationship that lasts, work through your 80 percent to get to that final 20 percent together. If you find yourself getting stuck, a relationship coach can help you figure out the difference between your own needs versus what you need/want from a relationship. Wishing you more joy and fun in relationships!

Sue De Santo, LCSW is a relationship coach, (www.DeSantoCoaching.com). Do you want to change your relationship story? Call for a free consultation.

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