Five Keys To Being Loved For Who You Really Are
When you imagine falling in love, enjoying the best romance possible, you expect that you'll be loved and adored for who you really are, right?
But have you ever received any training to create and keep alive that kind of relationship? We've asked thousands of workshop participants around the world and for ninety-nine percent of them the answer is "No!"
Yet developing a relationship that respects and values both of you is at the heart of the only kind of intimacy in which you both get to be loved for who you really are.
Sound challenging? It's pretty simple, actually, as long as you follow the five key principles below.
Each one will help you be romantic every day as well as maintain a clear vision of the overall purpose for the challenges that are unavoidable when two different people join their lives together.
And remember, the greatest purpose for your being together, going through the ups and downs of life as a team, is to help both of you expand your capacity to love and be loved. Nothing less.
1. YOUR PARTNER IS NOT YOU
In every relationship there are always two distinctly different people. Very often, however, each person tries to get the other to match his or her fantasies. That's a sure-fire recipe for heartache.
But when you remember that your partner is not you, you become keenly aware of the differences between you and the need to respect those differences--different feelings, beliefs, and behaviors--each and every day.
We're not talking about self-destructive or abusive behaviors like drug abuse, self-sabotage, domestic violence, or emotional abuse. They are categorically unacceptable. We mean the need to get beyond consciously or unconsciously needing to control the other person.
In our new book, The Smart Couple's Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams, we strongly advise couples to create their wedding together. In doing so, they can learn how to work with each other, to value what each other brings to the relationship, and to celebrate the distinct people that they are.
When you accept that your lover is a gift to your life, a blessing to be cherished precisely because he or she is not just like you, only then can you begin to appreciate the richness of the special romance the two of you can share. Only then can you love and be loved on your own terms.
2. YOU CO-CREATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP RIGHT FROM THE START
You are always teaching each other what you want and don't want, what you like and don't like, what you will put up with and what you won't and you've been doing do right from the beginning of your relationship. You do so directly by stating your desires, or indirectly through gestures and attitudes. Each of you is an active participant. Neither one of you is powerless. If you don't like how your relationship has developed, you have the power to change it. After all, you were an active partner in creating it.
How do you do that? If you want to be loved for who you really are, you have to show up and make yourself known.
What do you want from your partner? Tell him. Tell her. What changes do you want? From you and from your partner. Remember it's always a two-way street. Also, what is working for you? Be sure not to leave that out. And we say it again, make yourself known. Do it everyday. Do it with awareness. The results will be much better for the both of you.
3. CURIOSITY ABOUT YOUR PARTNER IS ESSENTIAL
Curiosity is the sweetest aphrodisiac. Think about it. Don't you want your
partner to want to know who you are? Don't you want your lover to care--not in some general way--but for you, the singular and unique you that you are? And don't you want to feel the same way in return?
Curiosity opens the path to being truly known and truly loved. And when you feel truly loved, isn't that a turn on?
See, we told you. Curiosity is an aphrodisiac.
When you appreciate each other and support each other's passions, self-expression, creativity, and your need to grow, each of you expands through experiences you cannot predict. And that inspires even more curiosity. Your mutual fascination extends to more and more areas of your lives so that your relationship never becomes boring or stale. Quite the contrary, it will thrive and blossom, taking both of you into further reaches of what you are here to learn and bring into the loving center of what you share.
4. CONFLICT IS UNAVOIDABLE
Two people cannot live in the intensity of a long-term relationship without falling into conflict from time to time. Conflicts, even fighting, are bound to happen.
But would you believe that conflicts can be healthy for the growth of your love? They not only can be, at times they are necessary to break open the emotional log jams that are part of every relationship. Fair fighting and creative conflict resolution honor the changing needs of your partnership and keep the relationship strong and growing.
Most people see conflict as a win-lose situation. Nobody likes to lose. And the winner never wins because the loser will get you back--somehow, some time. That makes conflict dangerous and destructive.
But there's another way. We call it The New Intimacy.
What is any conflict all about? It's an SOS, a warning that something in your relationship needs to be changed. When you pay attention, and learn the rules of fair fighting, your conflicts become a spur to emotional and spiritual growth.
In any conflict, neither of you is looking at the whole picture. That's a fact and key to finding a resolution that will satisfy both of you. When you see that each of you brings distortion and old emotional baggage to your conflicts, then you end up feeling closer and more deeply bonded, and you know that conflict can be a magical source of sweet and caring romance.
5. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO RECEIVE LOVE
You must be able to receive the love that is given to you. Whether it comes to you in words, gestures, or physical help, if you cannot identify it as love, take it in and allow it to nourish your soul, then you will always feel dissatisfied and empty.
Receiving love depends upon whether or not you believe you are lovable. If you don't, you won't be able to receive because you won't feel deserving. When you do, the love that comes to you will be sweet and warm and completely acceptable--especially when it is different from how you expected it would be.
As you open to the differences between you and to the fact that love is expressed in many different ways, then love is often surprising. It comes as a teacher, a healer, and, of course, a deep and dear lover. You can see yourself in your lover's gesture, because real-life love acts as a mirror of who you really are. You are deserving of love, because you can see that you are lovable.
So open your heart to give and receive more of the affection, the care, and the sincere love that celebrates the very precious life the two of you share.
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