Like me, you’ve asked and you’ve been asked, “How did you two meet?” Somehow that is always a fascination. But seldom — if ever — do we ask, “Where is your relationship going?” Or “What is your relationship direction?”
Isn’t that a much more important question? What is our relationship direction? Do we even think about it? And if we do, isn’t it usually when we are in a crisis? Are we considering this life-altering question when we are wondering whether we’ve made a mistake in our choice of partner or when life has dealt a cruel blow and our relationship is in critical condition?
WHEN should we ask, “What is our relationship direction?”
I recommend we begin at the end. Ask at the beginning of your relationship: What do you want your relationship to look like when the two of you are in your 70s and 80s or beyond? Just like anything we set about consciously to do in life, our relationship had better have an end goal and must have conscious and consistent attention in order to achieve a successful finish.
Do you have a blueprint?
Before building a house, you must have its completed image in mind. You must gather all the information you need so that you use the correct materials and assemble them correctly in order to have an attractive and sound structure that also has the appearance of that original completed image.
How many people go into that kind of detail to plan their relationship? Much more time, expense, and effort are spent on planning the marriage ceremony than on preparing for the life journey that will begin on the day of the wedding. While it is definitely appropriate to mark that occasion with a great deal of celebration, shouldn’t we spend more of our resources to be sure the relationship direction reaches the 50th or 60th anniversary on a note that is just as celebratory? Too few make it to such a celebration at all, much less with the jubilation that began on the wedding day.
Then how is a successful relationship direction achieved?
The first step has to begin with knowing where you ARE. Directions are useless unless you have a given point from which to start.
Where you are is defined by WHO you are
Ask, “Do I really know who I am?” How would you answer the following questions:
- How do I react when I am in excited anticipation?
- In an emotional crisis, how do I express myself?
- What kind of social life do I prefer?
- Do I like to “fly by the seat of my pants” through life, or do I prefer to have short-term, mid-term and long-term goals that I consciously set and work toward?
- How dependent am I on my “gut feelings”?
- What factors do I take into account when making a decision: Just the facts? The facts, but also how others and I might feel about those facts?
And WHO is my partner?
How would your partner answer the questions above? With the same answers? Differently? Does it matter?
These are only a few of the questions that will help you determine where your relationship is starting from so you can devise a plan to guide you to where you want it to go.
Now you are seeing the picture! You are asking the right questions and setting your course for a wonderful relationship story because here is where your relationship direction begins.
Start by learning who each of you really is “on the inside” — not the outward, physical manifestation that anyone can see, but who you really are: what drives you, what makes you choose one activity or person or environment over another, how you feel or think about life happenings, etc. It is that person who attracted your partner in the first place.
What if your answers to the questions are totally opposite? Does that mean the relationship should end? Is there a solution?
This is your starting point: knowing who each of you is.
Next step: Learn about how your differences and similarities will set you up for a relationship over time.
How often have you heard statements like the ones below? Do you want to risk that you may find yourself saying something similar?
- It seems like he/she changed as soon as we were married.
- I thought I knew him/her, but it’s so different now that we are married.
- We just grew apart.
- We have stayed together and we will stay together because we are committed, but it hasn’t been the relationship I thought we were going to have.
If you don’t want your story to include statements (or even thoughts) like those, start charting your course to where you WANT your relationship to go.
You can get help with expediting that process.
- Learn more about each other by reading INNERKINETICS, Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness
- Attend our relationship seminar, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” (Be sure you are subscribed to our weekly updates. As a subscriber, you will receive a code for a 20% discount on the event.).
- Each relationship is different because each person is unique. Therefore, a seasoned and knowledgeable guide is a resource you should not neglect when such important decisions are on the line. Personal relationship consultations are available. Just give us a call at 720-271-1221 to schedule a free introductory 30-minute consultation.
Once you know WHO both of you are, then you can learn HOW to reach your desired destination
Once you know who you are (where you are starting from), you can forge a plan for how the two of you, with your unique, individual strengths, can reach your 50th or 60th (or more) anniversary with a love and memories of a relationship that could weather the storms of life and find it stronger even than it was at the beginning when all the “fireworks” of passion were exploding. AND you will even find that those passion fireworks have continued throughout the years. How about THAT destination!