Article links, Relationships, Uncategorized

Backlog of links: Relationships

Honestly, I’m just trying to catch back up to all the links I save in OneTab with all the best intentions of writing thoughtful in-depth reviews of them… Then I just get busy or distracted and have to clear out the backlog in scattershot blasts like I’m doing this week.

I know, I know: “Therapist, manage thyself”. (We may hear this among ourselves all the time. I’m just sayin’… remember, your therapist is also a human being 🙂

Today I’m sharing a number of links that shape some commonly-held-to-be-true beliefs about what makes relationship more or less effective as an intimate partnership. As with many of these, especially the list posts that offer “Ten of These” of “Five of Those”, bear in mind these are topical suggestions at best. Good ones, but generally left to the couples to explore best-practices for implementation. In many senses left unexplored by these kinds of articles, it’s often not about the *action* itself, it’s about understanding the meaning(s) of these actions between partners. Or to put it another way, sometimes what makes a relationship strong is not following the letter of the law, but understanding the spirit of the law and finding adaptable ways of meeting the need in the spirit, rather than adhering to the limited code of the lettering.

As always, take most web-based advice with a grain of salt… including mine 🙂


The Ten Habits of Happy Couples
I’ve never been really good about the whole “go to bed at the same time”, because in most of my relationships, one or the other of us has been a night owl for whatever reason. But the rest of these are good suggestions, if sometimes challenging to practice in times of tension.

9 Qualities Of People Who Are Great At Relationships
Moving out of what makes *relationships work well”, we come to a nifty list of some common qualities of people most capable of having really good relationships. I aspire to many of these; like I tell my clients, some days are better than others when it comes to actively practicing anything that is an ideal. In the end, we’re all human, and sometimes under stress we resort to earliest patterning. The point is that people who are good at relationships know how to forgive… including themselves.

4 Surefire Ways To Make Your Partner Feel Loved
Number 4 in this list, “letting go of the need to be right”, is something a lot of my clients struggle with. Fighting in relationships makes us fearful, and when afraid, we dig the emotional equivalent of defensive trenches and prepare to defend our positions at all costs… even against our own partners. I’ve done it; I’ve lost relationships because of it. It’s a natural response to what feels like a hostile action from quarters we otherwise presumed to be friendly and supportive, trusted allies. And let me tell you, once you start digging those kinds of trenches through your relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult to dig your way out of them.

Finding Love, The Old-fashioned Way
I really appreciate PT’s ability to present complicated things in relatively simple language, including the complexity of human courtship rituals in the 21st century.

[P]eople feel forced to put up a false front for the suitor—or for their own families. The result is that their more complicated inner selves, personal issues, and needs are not revealed. When that is the case, disillusionment is around the corner. […]
Social media and the widespread use of internet dating sites have compressed the amount of time devoted to the getting-to-know-you process. This may produce a pseudo-courtship in which participants develop the illusion that they are getting to know one another, but there is no nuanced, deep level of mutual appreciation. Oddly enough, this kind of courtship is similar to the early 19th-century chaperoned relationships in which the incentive was to create a suitable persona for the occasion. In both cases, the real self may be omitted. This is akin to building a home on a sinkhole.

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