Five ways to move towards a relationship that flows
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Konstandina Polychronopoulou MBACP Registered, Online Counselling & SW4
4th November, 20140 Comments
'How can I create a relationship that works?', 'Will I ever find a boyfriend/girlfriend if I leave this one?' 'Will I ever be able to find someone to create a healthy relationship that flows?'.
Yes, you will find a relationship that works for you.
Here are five therapeutic practices that can assist you in getting a relationship that flows:
1. Develop your capacity for unconditional love
This means accepting others for who they really are at this moment and letting it be 'OK' if they stayed like this forever. Allowing the other person to be who they are and loving them for that. Of course that does not mean that we need to settle with whoever comes our way and just employ unconditional love. We choose the person we want to be with. We can also evolve with our partner but it is essential to start from a point of love and acceptance as they are currently.
2. Choose from a place of openness and not of desperation
We need to escape the feeling of desperation. We need to be focused on what we want from the other person, what we enjoy in the other person, which qualities of the other person make us positively focused on them. Sometimes when we want something a lot, we have resistance towards it, we are afraid what will happen if we do not get it. Releasing the resistance-fear towards the relationship we want will allow us to move towards it. Not being desperate provides the safety and freedom necessary for ourselves to choose the person we can love as unconditionally as possible for us at the stage of life that we are. Remember to open up to possibilities, sometimes we need to let go of a particular partner that cannot fulfil our needs in order to find someone who is a better match to us.
3. Describe your ideal partner
About four years ago, I described to my therapist how I wanted my future partner to be. I described how I wanted it to feel reciprocal, as if it flows, how I wanted him to be as committed and passionate as I can be. I expressed how I wanted him to have similar interests and hobbies to me and how I wanted us to be able to encourage each other towards self awareness and self development. Two days later I met my current partner who matched my descriptions perfectly. There is something very powerful in clarifying, understanding and being honest about what we want.
4. Do your 'shadow work'
In order to let go of our fears and see clearly what we want we need to work through the patterns we bring from our pasts, the relationships that we keep repeating and although it looks like we are with a different person every time, when we complain about each relationship it all sounds very familiar. Our relationships mirror aspects of ourselves; 'shadow work' helps us see which aspects of ourselves we have disowned. Shadow elements of our selves are the characteristics we suppressed because we felt, for some reason, that they were unacceptable.
With 'shadow work' we are attempting to integrate these suppressed aspects within our being. Through this practice we experience less conflict in relationships. For example, a friend of mine used to always date men who were very anxious or depressed and she used to engage in trying to help them feel better. However, at some point in her life she realised she wanted to move on from this pattern, she looked deep inside her and found the part of her that was very depressed and anxious and worked therapeutically on healing that. It was difficult for her to recognise the part of her that was deeply depressed and that is why she had buried it deeply in her. Her relationship pattern of dating was an attempt to heal that aspect of herself, to bring it to awareness and move on. This 'shadow work' brought my friend great relief and hope for her future relationships.
5. Do the analysis of your family dynamics and release the emotions attached to the repetitions of these patterns
After doing this therapeutic work, we start attracting more the people we want instead of the people that bring up our family dynamics for us. We tend to get attracted by people that resemble certain characteristics of our parents that caused us hurt in some way. We tend to repeat these patterns in order to find solutions to the initial problems we faced in our families.
Through bringing these patterns to our awareness we are released from the prison of non reflected repetition and become free to choose what we truly desire. For example, a client that had a very distant and emotionally unavailable father kept getting partners that resembled her father in those ways but after she worked through her family dynamics and related patterns and emotions she was able to choose a partner that was committed and loving towards her.
Related articles from our experts
- Relationship addiction and narcissism: Are you trapped in the cycle of co-dependency?
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT Practitioner19th October, 2017
- How to listen better in your relationships
Dr Alexander Fox (MBACP, PgDip Counselling, Masters in Counselling, PhD)19th October, 2017
- Young people and unhealthy relationships
Balwinder Hunjan BSc (Hon) Dip Counselling Psychology Registered MBACP17th October, 2017
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.