Much of my work with my clients is focused not only on helping them to discover the right direction for them for their career and/or their business, but also in dating and their relationships.
I have learned a lot in my own personal life, and in studying the subject for over 20 years now, about what goes into creating healthy, happy and long-lasting relationships.
In this post I have outlined three ways for you to know that you are on the right track and going in the right direction when it comes to dating the right people and building a great relationship.
Way #1: Respect.
The cornerstone of any healthy and great relationship is for both people in that relationship to respect one another. Without respect it is very difficult, if not imposible, to build and have a great relationship and to work through any challenging times that come up, as they do in any relationship. Without respect it is also very difficult to apply effective relationshp building tools you learn about from other professionals or online, or read about in books. Stated in the positive, it is when both people respect one another in the relationship that the partners in that relationship are able to work on and build their relationship, grow together as a couple, grow respectivey as individuals, and work through any difficult or stressful experiences that come up in your relationship or in your respective personal lives.
How do you know when you respect someone?
Respecting someone is less about agreeing with what someone does or does not do, and more about appreciating and even admiring them for who they are. In order to respect someone, then, they must possess qualities that you respect and admire. In fact, you can even develop respect for someone you are initially not attracted to or unsure about by shifting your focus to thinking about what their qualities are. (This tactic works well in other social situations, as well, such as with colleagues or supervisors at work.)
As an example, you may not like, or agree with, the way that a person dresses, or does things, but they may possess qualities that you do admire and respect. By shifting your focus to that person’s qualities, you may come to realize that you really do like and appreciate this person.
In order to get clear on what qualities you are looking for in a partner and in those you want to build a relationship with in general, make a list of the qualities you are looking for in a partner and the qualities you respect and admire in others. Look for these qualities in the people you date or the person you are in a relationship with. Tell others who may be interested in introducing you to people or setting you up, what qualities you are looking for in a partner. Doing so will help you be clear, and will also help you send out a clear message about who you want to be in a relationship with, pointing and gettiing you in the right direction.
Way #2: Core Values.
In order to have and continue to build a great relationship with someone you must have your core values in common. While oftentimes we look to date or be in relationships with people who enjoy doing the same things that we enjoy doing (which is, of course, fun and nice and not to be taken for granted), what’s more important is that you share the same core values.
In my first serious relationship in college, I chose to date and be in a relationship with someone who did not share a number of the same core values as I had. While the first few months of our relationship were fun and exciting, after that point our relationship went sour and we fought often. I found that it was difficult for me to respect him, but because of our emotional connection to one another, it was also difficult to break up. Thankfully we had broken up for good after a year of dating, and while that was a difficult experience, it taught me a lot about the importance of respecting someone and having core values in common in order for that relationship to work. (This experience and learning about relationships through the courses I took in Family Therapy while in college helped a lot too 😉
In order to get clear on your core values, think about what values are most important to you. Then, put these values in a list in order of importance. If you want to get really clear on what your core values are, you can use what I call the ‘traffic light tool’ to do so.
The ‘traffic light tool’ is a a great tool to use to get clear on what your boundaries are, in general, which then also allows you to get clear on your values, as our boundaries are based on our values. You can use this tool to help you clarify your boundaries, i.e. what values you are never willing to compromise on someone you are dating or in a relationship with having, and those that you are willing to compromise on.
How to apply the ‘traffic light tool’:
Take your list of values and categorize them according to those that you would put in the ‘red light’ category – those values you are not willing to compromise on; those you would put in the ‘yellow light’ category – those values you are willing to compromise on your partner not having; and those you would put in the ‘green-light’ category – values you are okay with either your partner having or not.
Categorizing your values in this way will help you to clearly define and understand what is most important to you and what values you are looking for in a partner and want to base and build your relationship on.
Way #3: Having Two Feet In.
Dating successfully and building any great relationship requires for both people in that process or relationship to be fully committed to it; whether it’s the dating process or the relationship itself. In other words, in order for things to work both people must have two feet in.
I am sure you yourself know the difference between being fully committed to something (having two feet in), and being half/not fully committed to something (having at least one foot, or even a toe, out.) It’s when we are fully committed to something, whatever that something is, that we have the most success. It is this commitment that allows us, and gives us the security, confidence, and motivation to build, work through things, and see something through.
When it comes to your own dating or relationship experience, ask yourself ‘Do I have both feet in, in this process, or am I not playing full out?’ Be honest with yourself. Choosing to be committed, even to the process of dating itself, if you are not yet in a full relationship, will give you clarity and direction. It is when we are not fully committed that we tend to get confused and off-track in our process.
Be sure to assess whether or not the person you are dating or in a relationship with is fully committed to the process as well. Do they have two feet in? Are they fully committed to being fully present in dating or to working on and being in this relationship with you? These are important questions to ask yourself and your partner to help you be clear, directed and confident as you both continue to move forward in the process.
The three ways that will help you know whether or not you are going in the right direction when it comes to dating and relationships are:
- Do you respect the person you are dating or in a relationship with?
- Do you share core values?
- Do each of you have both of your feet in, in the process?
I hope you have found the above tips helpful. These are areas I explore with my clients who want to get clear, directed and confident in dating and relationships and want to be in and build great relationships. I am happy to answer any questions you have as you move forward with this, and help you work through the process if you would like any extra support.
If you would like to work together, you can reach me here anytime to schedule your complimentary consultation.
In support and admiration,