Sunday, May 08, 2005

What It Takes

from another subscription newsletter email sent to me March 19, 2004 yet, but which i kept in my email folders and am reviewing again now:

Most people think once they meet the right partner they will automatically have a great relationship. They don't realize creating a great, long-term relationship requires the right tools for the job.

Let me give you an example. Peter has had many short-lived romances, or flings. He believes the reason for the short-lived nature of most of his past relationships is because he hasn'tyet met the right person. Now he believes he has met his Ms. Right and wants to be with her long-term. He thinks he will naturally know what to do in this new relationship. Or perhaps she hasn't even given any thought to what he should do. He approaches this new partner in the same manner as he has approached women in the past. He comes on very strong. He lavishes her with affection and attention. He tries to push the relationship forward quickly. His partner wonders about his motivations. She feels uncomfortable or rushed, maybe scared. She hesitates, tells him to slow down, then gets addicted to the attention and falls, hard. Now she wants to spend all her time with him, and he is starting to feel controlled, pressured.

Peter may walk away from the relationship and lose it because he was trying to build a long-term relationship in the same way he approached his flings. He used the tools for a fling --coming on very strong, excessive amounts of attention, rushing the relationship -- to get a long-term relationship. He used the wrong tools for the job. He didn't realize a long-term relationship must be built on a different foundation than a short-term romance. What would happen if Peter realized that relationship skills are no different than any other set of skills? What would happen if he realized he might be missing the ones necessary to build a long-term relationship? He may start paying attention to his actions. He might pursue relationship skill training to better himself. As a result, he would be much more likely to create the long-term partnership he desires.

Now let's take Angela, a late 30-something, attractive woman. Angela, like Peter, has had mostly short-term relationships. The two long-term relationships she did have were difficult almost from the start. Angela attracts men by flirting and with sexuality. She dresses in a provocative manner, and is open to being sexual with men on the first few dates. Men look at her, talk to her, and ask her out, often. But they don't stick around to be in a relationship with her. This used to be ok with Angela, but now she really wants a long-term relationship. Unfortunately she keeps trying to attract a man for a long-term relationship in the same way she was attracting men before. She is using the tools for a fling -- sexuality and flirtatiousness, provocative dress, being sexual with men quickly -- to get a long-term relationship. She is using the wrong tools for the job.

She doesn't realize a long-term relationship must be built on a different foundation than a short-term romance. I am sure you want to know what the tools are for building a long-term relationship. Look at the list below and see how manyof these you use when trying to build a relationship that lasts.

* Build a friendship

* Go slowly

* Wait to be physically intimate until all what's below is done

* Find out if the person you are with is compatible with you in the following ways:
- emotionally
- intellectually
- physically - you are both attracted to each other

* Find out whether the person wants the same type of relationship future as you want:
fling/see what happens/long term relationship/marriage with kids/no kids if you both want a marriage in your future

*Compare communication styles to see if they are complimentary and compatible

* Make sure your values, belief systems and lifestyle mesh with each other

* Have many long conversations about how you both envision your ideal relationship and work out a model or vision that fits both of you

* Work on and grow yourselves and each other emotionally and in your capacity to be close and to love

* Fall in love and live happily ever after

cRinatta Paries,

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