holding hands

People have many belief systems about relationships that powerfully affect the quality and length of their relationships. Interestingly, many of these beliefs are not consciously held or are so much part of the background or wallpaper of their lives that folks may not even realize they have them or how differently other people may feel about or view the same situation (i.e. fish discover water last).

Many people have a Destiny Belief System (i.e. it just is what it is) about relationships, love and attraction to others, physical or otherwise. In contrast, others hold what might be called a Growth Belief System about relationships which can be summarized as “effort makes a difference”. Under the Destiny Belief System school of thought, once love dies or begins to fade well, that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Under the Growth Belief System of relationships, ups and downs in closeness, intimacy, and attraction are a normal part of the cycle of life and are a sign post to try harder, smarter, longer; go deeper/closer, listen more, talk it out, touch more, read a book on relationships together, set aside time for date night or mutual relaxation (duo massages?), take a second honeymoon, visit a therapist etc., etc.

The Destiny Belief System clings to the expectation that true love “just happens” Cinderella style, that if it’s work, if you have to “work on it”, then something is wrong. While it is certainly true that physical, emotional, and intellectual attraction can be instantaneous, true intimacy (in-to-me-see) takes time. Like many things in life, relationships often boil down to “Think you can, think you can’t, you are right.”

Closing Quotes

“I mean, if the relationship can’t survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?” – Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song

“Relationship is an art. The dream that two people create is more difficult to master than one.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“There are times when two people need to step apart from one another, but there is no rule that says they have to turn and fire.” – Robert Brault

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier