Whether you have been in a relationship for a long time or you are starting to date someone new, we all face times when we feel the need to step back and assess our love life. Sometimes a partner looks good “on paper” at first, in terms of your similar interests or your circle of friends, but then, as things go along, daily behaviour and interactions between you just don’t not sing your heart out.
What’s going on here? Is there anything you can do to understand everything? How do you determine if you are in a healthy relationship or if you need to break things up?
Creating your own simple “positive vs. negative” list can help you clarify what is working and what is not working in your relationship. Of course, all relationships require a certain degree of compromise, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for being unhappy most of the time.
In the case of the woman whose inventory is presented below, she had been dating someone for three months and had slept with him after seven dates. She saw him twice more after that before calling me for help, as she felt confused and in conflict to become his girlfriend. In her gut, she felt that it was not good for her, but at the same time, she did not want to be alone.
Use the example below as a guide for relationship advice and create an inventory. This will help you determine if you are in a good relationship, or if it is an unhealthy relationship and it is time to move on.
Make two columns. In the first, list each of its positive qualities that you can think of. In the second, list each of its negative qualities that you can think of. (Note: remember that these were specific preferences of a woman. What you consider positive will match your personal preferences.)
1 he’s an old friend
2 he is nice
3 he’s sweet
4 he has a good job
5 It is financially stable
6 he’s smart
7 he is romantic
8 he has a good sense of humour
9 He has no ex-wife or children
10 Give compliments
1 His life too far
2 He has too many health problems
3 He has almost no friends
4 He goes to bed much later than I do
5 he doesn’t like to travel
6 he is pessimistic and always prepares for the worst
7 He suffers from severe OCD and anxiety
8 It’s a homebody
9 He doesn’t satisfy me in bed
10 he wants to talk on the phone a lot more than I do
11 We have serious political differences
12 he brags about his ex-girlfriends
13 He complains too often about others
14 He constantly talks about his problems
15 he is not generous
In the case of this particular woman, after writing her lists of her positive and negative qualities, she reread them and had a major revelation when she discovered that she had listed 15 negative qualities compared to only 10 that were positive.
Then I asked him to think about his top 10 priorities in life, and then note whether or not he could help him achieve them.
List your top 10 priorities in life. Check each with YES or NO to find out whether or not your partner can help you complete them.
1 Trip – No
2 House- No
3 Generosity – No
4 love- No
5 Sociable- No
6 Conversation- No
7 bedtime compatibility No
8 Romance Yes
9 Compliment Yes
10 Friendly relationship Yes
In the case of this woman, the man she saw could only strengthen three of her ten life priorities. And, on the other hand, she was easily able to find seven priorities that it would actually make it more difficult to achieve.
Once the work of compiling these two lists has been completed, review the data that you have collected to answer the ultimate question of this exercise: “Will this person improve my life?” ”
As you can see, the less good news for the woman in this same sample is that the negatives far outweigh the positives in her particular situation, but the good news is that armed with this information, she could now locate the source of her frustrations and disappointments in the relationship.
This left him with two choices:
1 She could discuss these issues with her partner and see if there were ways to improve things between them.
2 She could create an exit strategy in order to leave this relationship and continue looking for someone who would be a more positive match.
When this woman chose the latter, I told her not to be sad because it was a way of getting to know her deepest desires and needs better and therefore she is now more likely to find a man who be worthy of it physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
It was the first time I saw her smile and she told me that she felt relieved, as if an enormous weight had been taken from her. You are better off alone than being with someone who does not have the qualities you are looking for in a relationship.
In the meantime, be your own partner and treat yourself as if you are madly in love with yourself.