How can we learn to love better? How do we make our intimate relationships feel like a safe haven—a totally safe place in which we can open up our hearts to each other?
We can do this by learning to speak to each other in a different way. If we can truly begin to communicate with those we love—with the kindness and honesty that we would appreciate receiving—we can create relationships that we enjoy almost all of the time—ones we’ll want to grow old within. And as we do—grow old together—what we’ll experience is exquisite.
So why do we hurt each other?
Generally, it’s in our most intimate relationships that our deepest insecurities can arise. And so, it’s often those we love the most who suffer the worst effects of our insecurities. Because within our romantic partnerships differences pop up—which stimulate our insecurities—but what if we could just disagree without being offended or taking it personally? That’s a lot to ask of ourselves, isn’t it?
Can we give each other the freedom to be ourselves, not a carbon copy of each other—let you be you and me be me? This is easier to do if we learn to be more responsible for our own feelings and realize that our partner is not responsible for our feelings.
When our partner disagrees with us they are not telling us about us, they’re telling us about them. They’re only telling us about the meaning they’re making up about what they are perceiving. Once we realize that, we’re better able not to take their comments personally.
Cultivating a sense of humor helps us love better.One thing that helps is to be curious and even find humor where we once might have taken offense. We can begin to chuckle at ourselves, and even learn something from another’s perspective, rather than feel threatened because their view is different from our own.
We used to fight . . .Early in our relationship, Jake and I were more reactive to each other—that means we fought! When feeling insecure, we would take offense when none was intended. We would either fight to be right or turn away from each other and withdraw for hours.
Now that we've learned to not only accept our differences but love (most of) our differences—we don’t have to see the world in the same way—we've stopped fighting to be right or make the other person wrong. We've become much more accepting of ourselves and each other. As a consequence we've learned how to love each other better.
A different paradigm from the one we grew up with.
Those things that we used to take offense at are now commonly things that bring laughter into our relating . . . we see how different we are while appreciating our uniqueness. This is a skill we learned—not in our youth—but as adults. It’s not something innate to our species, nor are we taught how to relate in this way when we are growing up.
We’re pretty hard wired into the old paradigm—the one in which we see things as “right” and “wrong,” and worry that other people will make us wrong. So, it’s helpful to step out of our old ways of relating for a week and try on a better way to love.
This is the nuts and bolts of our Reology Retreats, which teach a way to communicate consciously . . . using language in a way that helps us take responsibility for our perceptions and encourages us to stop fighting over different perspectives. We don’t have to view the world in the same way.
Reology shows us how to do no harm when speaking to anyone, and allows us to leave a healthy emotional footprint in the wake of all our relating with the ones we love. When I communicate this way, I am being the partner I would want to be with.
If you are single or coupled and want to learn how to create a nurturing relationship, and feel more secure, you will actually change your life and your ability to love by attending a Reology retreat. Reology teaches us how to love better.
** If you or someone you know is struggling in their relationship, contact Aspen Counseling Services to schedule an Initial Assessment.