Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
What happens if you have invested a lot of time in a relationship you have the discussion, and your partner absolutely does not want the same things you do? This is a difficult question. Usually by the time this happens you have built a strong foundation of love for this person, and it is difficult to believe they do not feel the same way you do, or want the same things in life.
Before getting to this place, I asked you to be really clear on what you want before having the discussion, and to be confident that you will be okay whatever the outcome. But doing that in reality is much harder than in the planning stage. So let's look at a specific scenario, and work on possible ways forward. Suppose you want a committed relationship that is exclusive and leading towards marriage and children. You have the discussion with your partner and he wants to continue dating, and is open to being exclusive for now, but wants to see what the future brings before making a big commitment. You feel really let down by this, but came to the discussion prepared for any options. After more discussion, it becomes clear that this is as far as he will go. Here are some suggestions for working with this, without going straight into "he doesn't love me, or he doesn't want to commit to me" mode.
- Give yourself some time to think about and absorb this turn of events. I would suggest taking as long as you need to do this. You can let your partner know that you need some time without making it seem like punishment, by being open and honest about your needs.
- Make sure to take inventory of the relationship and notice all the good things, and no matter what the outcome, what you have learned from this partnership.
- Talk with friends, an advisor, a coach, others that you trust to listen to your issues and give good feedback if you ask for it.
- Decide whether you are able to continue on in the relationship without a commitment for now. Then the next step will logically come from that decision.
- If you feel you want to go ahead and see where things go, then let your partner know that you want to continue in the relationship, and that you will let them know if you get to a point where that no longer works for you.
- If you feel that you cannot continue without a commitment, then you can discuss that with your partner, and let the relationship go if necessary.
- Whatever you do, continue to practice the good self care and loving yourself first that you have learned along the way.
If you stay connected to who you are and that your life is good with or without a partner it is much easier to be okay with any outcome. Continue to be kind and loving to yourself, and to your partner in any circumstance, and the best outcome can occur.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
One of the hardest things to do is stay grounded when you have finally achieved your goals. You have spent some time enjoying your relationship, seeing where your path has led you, and are in a relationship that is on track with your essential self.
At this point, there is sometimes a let down, as we have spent all our time planning for this moment, and now that it is here we aren't sure where to go next. This can also happen when the answers we got in our discussion weren't what we were hoping for. You may still be committed to seeing where the relationship goes for the time being, but you are back to the great "not knowing". I actually hate the great "not knowing". This is where you are sure you want to keep moving on, but the future is an absolute mystery. Learning to stay in the now, and enjoy what is happening this moment is difficult for most and particularly for people like me!
One thing that can help is to allow a certain amount of each day for dreaming and future tripping. For me, this is during my morning walk with my dog. I allow myself to build my own castles in the air, and I work hard on visualizing myself living the life I want. To make this a more concrete action, you can allow yourself to dream, and then write down all the details of your ideal future. Include all types of description, including smells, sounds, sights, textures, so that you will have a rich detail of what that future looks like. Better yet, create a collage or picture board of what you want to bring into your life.
Once you have spent you dreaming and scheming time for the day, whether it is fifteen minutes or an hour, then put it away. Come back to where you are right now, and try to be completely present in your relationship, your career, and all other parts of your life. Be sure you don't miss what is happening right now. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens, while you are making other plans." So although planning can help you attract what you want into your life, make sure you live your life too.