For all of those singles who read my blog post yesterday asking you to reflect on the disparity between your stated priority of wanting to get married and how much time you are devoting to meeting other singles and investing in your relationship success skills, if your answer was, “Well, now that you mention it, I’m just really not quite ready to marry. But I want to someday!” This blog post is for you! (Yup, you’re in the right place.)
Even if you are one of the singles who really does want to get married in the next 12-24 months, this blog post will help you prepare yourself to be an even better spouse and life mate than you are today.
What is the number one attribute of happily married couples over the years?
Shared religious beliefs?
Shared political beliefs?
Shared race background?
Shared ethnic heritage?
Nope. D, none of the above. The characteristic of long term happily married couples is – Great Communication Skills. Communication Skills is both the persuasion and influence strategy and tactics of the top persuaders in the world. However, it is also the identification and communication of your emotions. Now when I say, “The identification and communication of your emotions,” what did you imagine?
Come on, you can tell me…
Did you see yourself yelling and screaming over a problem?
Or did you hear your partner snapping at you, turning on their heel, and you saw them walk out of the room in a huff?
Or did you have an overwhelming feeling of engulfing emotions of fear of betrayal and abandonment?
Or did you just withdraw so far inside, outside frozen like a deer, hoping the fight will pass without harm?
Indeed, those are all emotional states. However, while we are all human and may have some outbursts at times, I am talking about developing your Personal Mastery a la MIT’s Peter Senge’s work in the 1980s and 1990s with your emotions. (See The Fifth Discipline.) This is where you have them, and I do really mean you have them – tears may stream down your face – and you accept and embrace personal responsibility for how you feel and communicate how you feel.
This is actually tougher than it may appear just reading the words. With the number of adults having grown up in physically, mentally, and psychologically abusive family environments, you perhaps never felt that feeling and articulating your emotions was acceptable let alone allowed, encouraged, and affirmed. Hence the list of huffy emotional outbursts I cited above.
Please, before you judge and label each of those behaviors, shift to your heart of compassion. Each is a stunted emotional growth way to express their emotions and emotional needs. They did not learn another way which was allowed and effective. Or, oh my goodness, trust me, they would be using it. Even when people – singles and married couples alike – know that the methods they know and use to-date just aren’t working for them, many people simply do not know to whom to turn, how to release what they formerly used, what is effect, and how to learn those. Yup, each of those really is like a week long relationship seminar. Namely each of those topics might take you 6 – 12 months to really master for you. No worries. You have a lifetime, and this is for you.
Relationship Success Tip: What you want to aim to learn is
1. To feel the feeling
Not shop over it. Drink coffee to stimulate it. Not drink alcohol to feel the pleasure of dopamine instead. Not to isolate to turn so far inward there is no outward. Not to be on center stage so much that there is no inner you. No to smoke any substance to mellow or stimulate away from the feeling. Actually FEEL your emotion. You don’t have to live there. Just feel it for a few moments, maybe even minutes.
2. To identify the feeling to yourself
Perhaps some feelings were rewarded and some punished, silenced, or stuffed in your family environment growing up. It may actually take you some time on a regular basis to identify what it is that you are really feeling. Sometimes feelings of anger, when you feel them, and then ask yourself, “And what is underneath that feeling?” you discover that you feel a rage because you feel afraid for your safety, afraid for your security, afraid you won’t be loved, afraid you aren’t loved. This is just to illustrate. Your own feelings might be different. You will discover and excavate your own emotions like an adventurous archeologist of your emotions.
3. To articulate the feeling – simple is best
Such sentences will sound like young children, “I feel sad. I feel happy. I feel angry.”
Strive to articulate it as a feeling statement. Refrain from saying “I AM angry.” Because is that correct and an accurate statement of WHO you are and WHAT you are? That’s what you just told your unconscious mind in that sentence. Please know this a growth curve. Sometimes we would have sworn we used FEEL words, and can go back and listen to video recording, and we hear better words than what we are using now, but not FEEL words. It is a growth process. You are practicing. And as you practice, you will improve.
4. To request behavior changes
Do Request. Do Negotiate. Note: NOT demand. State your limits. There are some behaviors which as a natural course of things have consequences. There are some behaviors over which you may love and care for another, but over which you will walk away. Because those are your boundaries and parameters. Yup, you will need to identify those and even test the waters a bit. Sometimes you think it is a certain juncture only to find in actual life that it is at different place.
As a single wanting someday to marry, these relationship success skills are available for you to work on in yourself. By doing this, you actually are already investing significant time into attracting lasting love. You are practicing the most amazing self-improvement and honing true relationship success skills which will serve your relationships well – now and in the future.
And trust me, you are worth the investment of your time.
Happy Dating and Relationships,