Out of the 2.4 million weddings that happen in the US each year, 827,000 of them end up in divorce (time.com). Why is that? When people first catch the eye of what was once a stranger, their idea of togetherness may look a lot different months or years afterwards. When does it become apparent that you are dating or married your opposite or someone just like you? When did it go from so much love to eye roll status? Relationships are hard!
All humans have a need for connection and belonging (unless pathological). Finding relationships that fuel us can be the tricky part. There can be tiring trial and error, sadness, elation and confusion. We may ask ourselves why we keep getting it wrong or why it never turns out like the movies or our romance novels. How can it be different? Smash these 3 blocks to transformational relationships and land in a new place where happiness and love shine:
1. Hold judgement at bay: As a human it is impossible to forgo judgement all together. We are naturally aware of others and our brains have thoughts because of that awareness. What if we flipped that awareness and dug deeper into understanding? Instead of simply being aware and casting judgement, we truly see another and wonder. My best strategy with children whom I don’t understand is to ask them what they are wondering about. Let’s program our brain to wonder instead of judge. Ask thoughtful questions and train our brain to take that answer and truly make sense of it.
2. Perfect the relationship: When my husband and I were 26 we thought, well, that was a great run, time to start over with someone else. I was trying to change him, adjust his temperament, and make it easier for me. I tried dating men like myself and that was 1,000 times harder. I find myself annoying in boy form! I married a stubborn man so I had to find a different way. I learned that I did not need to focus on perfecting him, but rather perfecting the relationship between us. Perfecting the relationship keeps you open to growth, understanding, and asking more questions.
3. Patterns are awesome: Human behavior is a pattern. When we can’t figure out another person, we turn to patterns. I went through my entire Master’s program for my teaching degree and did not know that patterns in humans are everywhere. The DISC model is always at the forefront of my thought and informs my every relationship, conversation and behavior. It is the module for challenging behaviors and self-reflection. I judge less, stay open minded more, predict what will come next and can give wonderful proactive strategies because of this crucial information. Instead of having one toolbox with strategies, we need to have at least 4 toolboxes that follow the pattern.
Relationships, connection and belonging are essential and needed to remain a healthy human. Keeping them simple is almost impossible, but keeping them strong is a must!