5 rules to live by if you want a healthy relationship
Bonding Therapy helps singles and couples to create nurturing relationships by providing a better understanding of themselves and their relationships.
There is something very interesting about the culture we live in: as children, we learn about nature and our body from a scientific point of view, but we usually don't get educated about the psyche, and there are no school subjects about relationships specifically. As if maintaining relationships was something that we can learn by ourselves, through our parents or society.
Although we try to educate ourselves, the “science” of social interactions can be just as complicated as mathematics. As a therapist, I see a lot of people suffering from loneliness or dysfunctional relationships. So, let's face it, we don't know how relationships work, but we create convictions based on our own (bad) experiences.
- “Guys who I like are never attracted to me”
- “People never change”
- “We will always have the same arguments”
- “Getting in a relationship means that I lose my independence”
These convictions are, in fact, limiting beliefs. They aren't true, but they become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you want better relationships, you have to transform these limiting beliefs into enabling ones, ones that are aligned with what you are really looking for in your love life. Here are 5 rules that have helped many of my clients to find love and become a better partner.
1. Love is only real when it's mutual
Many people think that mutual love doesn't exist: either they love or their partner loves them. However, often we confuse love with something else. Disrespecting someone's decision to end (or not to start) a relationship, is not love. Trying to convince someone that you are better than they think you are is not love. Explaining to someone that you have invested more in the relationship than they have is not love.
When we love, we give without expecting. When it's reciprocated, we give even more. We fail to love when we give because we expect reciprocation, and our partner gives out of obligation. This is a conditional arrangement, not love.
2. We fear what we want the most
Many people choose to be single unconsciously: they are desperate to find love, yet they are actually afraid of relationships. This inner sabotage is usually based on the fear of getting hurt again.
One symptom of inner sabotage is having extremely high standards for an ideal partner or relationship. This ensures that we won't find someone who meets these standards, yet we never hold ourselves accountable. Another symptom is to fall for the unavailable, someone who lives abroad or has a partner already.
Once you become conscious of this inner sabotage, you can start to let go of fear. This will bring you closer to being able to commit to a relationship.
3. You are compatible with many people around you
One of the biggest misconceptions about love is that you only have one soulmate (or a few). The newest version of this idea is "twinflames", which is a spiritual concept of a magical reunion of two souls. Although this sounds very romantic, the truth is that you are compatible with a lot of people. If you believe that there is only one true love out there for you, you will overlook many potential partners. This is the good news.
The bad news is that even if you find a compatible partner, the relationship won't work if you lack relationship skills, such as staying calm in a confrontation. If you and your partner are both very conscious, and able to stay loving in an emotional crisis: you can have a beautiful relationship, and experience a deep, spiritual connection.
4. It's okay to feel emotional discomfort in a relationship
When we get really close to someone, we enter a vulnerable place, where the wounds of past relationships can start to play out. In this new relationship, we can either heal these wounds or deepen them.
Being emotionally triggered is actually a good sign: it means you are in love and have a chance to heal your wounds. This healing, however, can only take place in a state of mutual love and trust. If you can't talk openly about your triggers in the relationship, if you are doubting your partner's feelings, your wounds can get worse.
5. Being in a relationship is about personal development
Try not to think in terms of being good or bad at relationships: everybody is learning. Just as in science, we are experimenting and getting closer to the truth. You can't be a "perfect” partner, but the more you practice and the more awareness you bring, the better you become. The best relationships are great because each partner knows this and they engage in this practice consciously, together.
Do you want to know more about how you can create better relationships? Learn more about Bonding Therapy.