The one thing our failed relationships have in common is “US”.  

I say that in good humor however it rings loud and clear.  I am no stranger to failed relationships.  I’ve stayed in them longer than I should, said things I shouldn’t have and did things that were not the best thing to do or say.  Case in point, we all make mistakes.  We can easily look back and say, I should have... I could have… I would have…  The rear view is where our past resides and while its good to be aware of our life story, it’s more important to live in the present moment.  If we put our past relationship failures upon our future or current relationships, we are in trouble.  I’m not a great cook but that is a promising recipe for disaster.  This is also called transference.  Mild forms of depression from a bad breakup or even fears that the next person will be like the last construct assumptions we transfer to our beliefs.  One thing is for certain, we always “know” our beliefs to be true.

Have you ever met someone for the first time you felt you knew almost instantly?  There is a good chance you are replaying your past subconsciously and connecting the dots.  The person you just met cues associations and familiarities with information and characteristics of your past.  Humans look for patterns and relationships are no different.  Immediate impressions of the new person can fit patterns that are familiar to us regarding aversion and attraction.  Aversions are negative things we dislike about ourselves we project onto others while attraction is the positive things including the promise for fulfillment.  When you run into situations where you feel like you instantly know someone, try to pay attention to the continued information.  Look at the second and third impression.  Recognize what exists currently, such as how someone actually behaves.  Avoid hoping for someone to become something different.  You should focus more on the present moment and what they are today.

Here are several principles that can help you improve your relationship:

  • When people “show” you who they are, believe them – Maya Angelou
  • The meaning of the communication may be best indicated by the response
    • Not the right response?  Maybe there was a breakdown?
  • If what you are doing is not working, rather than doing it harder, think about doing it differently
  • Each person has a point of view
  • What someone believes IS more important than what they know
  • Be Authentic – do not “require” a certain response in communication
  • When a house is burning down is not the best time to teach fire safety – Strike when the iron is COLD
  • There are VERY few emergencies – It is ok to take time to respond and get back to someone.  This will allow you to avoid the afterthought of “ I should have said…”
  •  To forgive someone is to free yourself – if you hold onto it, you will carry the pain around with you
  • You cannot change yourself by first changing someone else.  You can only change yourself.  I can’t change powerpoint into someone else by using Angrybirds app.
  • To have someone live an unexpressed part of yourself can be both unsatisfying and addictive.