There’s no doubt about it! Relationships are hard. It’s hard to find the right person and even once you do it’s hard to maintain the relationship and to allow each-other space to grow. So we all need some help from the experts! And you’ll find it right here where The Cheat Sheet has gathered the best relationship advice from the best relationship experts.
This advice comes from Dr. Paul Hokemeyer licensed marriage and family therapist and senior clinical adviser to Caron Ocean Drive . Doctor Hokemeyer insists “easy does it”! Often our insecurities and our fears cause us to try and control our partners. This can become a very destructive compulsion which can destroy the integrity of the relationship. Respect and compassion get replaced by anger and resentment. This will destroy the quality of not only your relationship but your life in general. Both you and your partner need space and not reactivity. You both need and deserve peace, happiness and respect.
All couples struggle to get the balance between togetherness and autonomy right. Often what happens if this balance is not right then one of the partners asks for more physical space in order to escape the tension. Prevention is always better than cure and if you give your partner the emotional space that they deserve then it need never come to actual separation or extended time apart. Remember to give your partner enough space to live and to grow and don’t always try to control outcomes and reactions. You are responsible for running your own life and not that of your partner.
Getting the above-mentioned balance right takes some hard work but the rewards are well worth it.
Dr. Gail Saltz , clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian’s Weill-Cornell Medical College got this excellent advice from her parents and it has worked in her own marriage for 26 years. She explains that it is very important to try to understand how your partner is feeling or try to “stand in their shoes”. You need to be willing to compromise and to be emotionally generous. The reason why it’s only 90% and not 100% is because it’s normal to be selfish occasionally. And also, Doctor Saltz says, this will only work if your partner is giving 90% too.
Sometimes this means giving something up, but actually most times this means we both get what we want and we both feel very loved, supported, and that we are in each other’s corner. I don’t feel afraid to be giving, because he really has my best interests at heart. We are a terrific team and often we agree on what we want. And when we don’t, we tend to take turns supporting the other’s wants.
Jeff Bear, life coach and founder of Bear Partners shares the following advice:
He says partners should remember that they are ultimately responsible for their own happiness. It is not your partner’s job to make you happy! By always needing your partner to behave in a certain way you put them in a situation of emotional bondage which will cause them to feel stifled. It’s not realistic to always expect your partner to be in a good mood and to be affectionate towards you. This might happen in the early stages of a relationship but it is not sustainable indefinitely.
We deliberately focus on things to feel good in our lives and for things to appreciate in one another. If you’re looking for someone to complete you —or vice versa—you’re looking in the wrong direction for the lasting happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment that you truly seek. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to feel how you want to feel regardless of what you’re partner is saying or doing?
Jeff goes on to say how following this advice improved almost every relationship in his life (not just the romantic ones). Before he started following this advice he used to make his partner responsible for his happiness. After he took responsibility for his own happiness his whole changed and improved.
I now have the freedom to choose if and when I spend time with someone else, and I deliberately choose to spend time with others who get this, too. My relationships are more meaningful, more loving, more free, and most importantly – more fun! And my overall happiness continues to grow, too, regardless of whether I’m in a relationship or not.
Lisa, you need to calm down, chill out, and stop expecting love to be here already. Your sense of entitlement is killing your ability to attract a good man.
Lisa realized that he was right. She stopped waking up feeling angry everyday that love hadn’t found her. She stopped resenting her married friends for having the life that she felt was not within her reach. She decided to stop feeling that her life was on hold.
As clichéd as it sounds, I stopped waiting and started living. Overnight, my outlook changed. My results changed, too. I started meeting men wherever I went. I went on dates, had fun, didn’t give my heart away foolishly, and met my husband.
Lisa advises singles who are struggling to find a partner to look within themselves and find the parts within their own lives that still need work. Once you do this you won’t find a partner that is perfect but you will find a partner that is perfect for you.
Paul C. Brunson, matchmaker and author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love gives the following advice. He says that no one will be able to love someone else more than they are able to love themselves. From following this advice he learned that it is vitally important to take care of his own mind, body and spirit. He compares this to needing an oxygen mask if a plane is in trouble – you have to put on your own before you are able to help a fellow passenger. When he put this into practice he found the woman that was to become his wife. By conveying to her that he loved himself he showed her that he could be a pillar of strength and compassion to her as well. Also remember that it’s unlikely that someone will love you more than you love yourself – if you look for this kind of relationship you will land up with co-dependency rather than true mutual love.
Dr. Wendy Walsh is a relationship expert and author of The 30 Day Love Detox. She give the following advice:
Don’t put boundaries on others. You can’t put boundaries on someone else—only yourself. If someone is treating you badly, you can’t change their behavior. But you can ask yourself why you accept it and how you can put a boundary on yourself so that you won’t accept it again.
Following this advice allowed her to take more responsibility for her own role in bad relationships. She stopped feeling like a victim and empowered herself to reject bad treatment and to choose a better relationship. She says that life can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. When you believe that you don’t deserve love, happiness and prosperity then the universe will not provide these things for you. However, if you believe that you do deserve these things then the universe will deliver them to you.
Hunt Ethridge is a certified dating coach. He relates that the best, most interesting and stimulating relationships in his life were with people that he never would have expected to become involved with. He also advises that even if a relationship will not last forever it may still be a very worthwhile relationship. He recommends enjoying each relationship for what it is instead of trying to make relationships into something that they are not. Life is made up of memories and the memories of a happy relationship will last even if the relationship itself does not. He also says the following:
Other good advice: “Always be unexpected.” This doesn’t have to be in grand gestures, but predictability in a relationship = boring = death of romance. Worst Advice? “Don’t worry, it’ll happen.” If I wanted to learn French, if someone told me “Don’t worry, it’ll happen,” how stupid does that sound?! Dating is a skill set like every other and you get out of it what you put into it.
Elly Klein dating and relationship expert and author of Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates explains that is very important to put the required amount of time and energy into dating. She recommends a combination of online dating and socializing. She also insists that you go about this in right way – with a positive attitude as well as an online dating profile that would be attractive to the kind of person that you are hoping to meet. Also you need to learn the best way to communicate and behave on dates. Just sitting and waiting for love to come along is taking a huge risk. Rather be proactive and do as much as you can to find the right partner for you.