Are You Willing to Kindle Your Relationship?



As human beings we live in societies, in relationships with others, and the grand majority of people looks that special someone and would love to stay with that person as promised for a long time …however we have reach a point where relationships have complicated to an extent of being almost disposable. If we pay more attention to that word, that would mean that you’re assigning a person the value of an object that for some time entertain you, for some time “fill/satisfied” your needs, but it has arrived to a point where that is no longer truth.


If the basis of your relationships is that someone else completes, fills, satisfies any need that you might have..then that’s the wrong approach to begin with.


Any fulfilled, happy, generous, reciprocal, consented relationship has to begin with two persons that already know themselves, that already know how to satisfy their needs without anyone else, that have a purpose in life already ..and many times that scenario just looks like a children love story.


Falling in love with someone many times is not a controlled process, is not a goal, and it just happens during the course of your life and ideally we should be able to fall in love and enjoy every relationship we have had. In real life we will experience many types of relationships or at least more than one before we really find that person …and if we are more conscious about loving relationships.


We should not even be looking for anyone, we should be more focused on knowing ourselves, on loving ourselves first, accepting our abilities and opportunity areas before we embark in any relationship and that shouldn’t also mean that you should turn 20 or 30 years to start having a relationship, it simply means that from our childhood, from our parents or caregivers we should learn the principles of knowing our reactions, our emotions, being able to express them freely, being able to recognize our own value, awakening a seeking attitude that also helps you build a resilient, conscious, and thriving personality that will vibrate in the right frequency to attract a person with pretty much the same qualities.


Nonetheless love relationships seem to be encapsulated in a chasing tail cycle where parents or caregivers give the worst examples of how a relationship should be, they hurt their children with the same patterns, and they replicate the model to send off teenagers or young adults to look for that person to fix them, to complement them or they become a rescuer of people with severe emotional wounds and they set a goal to “fix them” and fall into the lousy thought “that they will change once they met them”.


Many love stories begin with a reckless, selfish and needy attitude, which pretty much represents the root cause of failing to have a peaceful, enjoying and thriving relationships where both partners can grow separately or together as they couple.


How can we course correct a Relationship that we want to save?


There are many research theories, endless books, articles or references that might point out the “best path” to follow or the best results, however as many things in life there will probably never be a formula that matches everyone or that anyone can follow and experience the same results. Despite these reflections we do know that if two people that have invested their time into knowing themselves, into expressing respectfully what they need, into having clarity on what they want for their own lives…Then we most likely be witnessing a lot more successful relationships nowadays in my own point of view.


Chapman (1992) reported that from his clinical experience, couples seldom have the same primary love language, inhibiting positive relationship interactions. Hui, Bond, and Molden (2011) state that to manage conflict, partners often realize the need to change how they perceive and relate to each other for the greater health of the relationship by engaging in self-regulatory behaviors. To this end, approximately one third of the variance in relationship satisfaction has been shown to be accounted for by self-regulation. Karoly (1993) defined self-regulation holistically as those processes, internal or transactional, that enable an individual to guide his or her activities over time and across changing circumstances (1).

Hira and Overall (2010) found that targeting one partner’s behavior was not an effective strategy for improving both partners’ satisfaction; the best outcomes were achieved when both spouses were committed to self-change. Hence, based on research, relationship improvement interventions should ideally address the self-regulatory behaviors of both spouses (1).


As we can read from the paragraph above, the most effective predictors that a relationship will have a good outcome, are the self-regulatory behaviors of both!! As mentioned earlier, we have several examples of empirical/real relationships that have still enjoy a successful experience together and most of them are sustained by the awareness, self-commitment, selfless attitude, caring and loving behaviors that both members give to each other.


Therefore there’s hope for everyone to experience a successful relationship if you are able to see the message communicated here that matches the one found by psychology research.


People in general have to be committed with themselves first, have to put a good amount of time and effort into knowing themselves, generating consciousness and awareness of their actions, owning the effects of their behaviors and having a very solid self-image which of course includes their purpose in life, their path to continue growing as a person and the commitment to share with their partner the journey.


A New Fresh Approach.


Research on romantic relationships shows that one of these strategies is to spend quality time together. One way couples do so is through sharing enjoyable activities, such as traveling, watching movies, playing sports, or gardening. In fact, taking part in such joint activities offers great opportunities for couples to share positive emotions, which should lead to important benefits for their relationship. Thus, sharing enjoyable activities appears to bring partners closer together and to reinforce their romantic relationship because of the positive emotions that they both experience throughout the joint activity (2).


Numerous research has shown that passion plays an important role in the way people engage in their passionate activity, as well as in their romantic relationships, and impacts the emotional experience during activity engagement (2).


In particular, the Dualistic Model of Passion proposes the existence of two types of passion, harmonious and obsessive, that entail a different form of quality engagement in the activity, leading to the experience of positive and negative emotions, respectively. Passion is defined as a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity (object, person, or ideology) that one loves, finds important and meaningful, and in which one invests time and energy (2).


Harmonious passion (HP) is a motivational tendency that leads individuals to freely and deliberately engage in the beloved activity. HP results from an autonomous internalization of the activity into one’s identity. An autonomous form of internalization emanates when a person freely receives the activity as valuable for itself and without any contingencies attached to it. This internalization process originates from the integrated self, meaning that it is in harmony with one’s sense of self. When it comes to HP, behavioral engagement is flexible: individuals are able to decide when to and when not to engage in the passionate activity. Individuals with this type of passion can thus fully concentrate on the task at hand and experience positive outcomes both during and after activity engagement (2).


On the other hand, obsessive passion (OP) refers to an internal pressure that leads individuals to engage in an activity that one loves. It results from a controlled internalization of the activity into one’s identity. A controlled form of internalization instigates from a forced involvement in the activity, with contingencies attached such as self-esteem and social acceptance. In such case, the activity is in discord with one’s sense of self and there is conflict among the internalized components. Thus, people with an OP for the activity feel controlled by their passionate activity. They just cannot help but to engage in it. Because the activity becomes out of one’s control, it can take disproportionate space in a person’s life and lead one to neglect other areas of his or her life, thereby resulting in conflict. Even though individuals with an OP may derive some pleasure from their involvement in the passionate activity, they mostly experience negative cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences during and after activity engagement (2).


One of the many areas that gives sometimes conflict in relationships is that they fall in the trap of monotony, boring or even totally separated activities, regarding this issue we can totally take into account this new research approach of enjoying our different passions and finding activities that match both partners self-interest passion in a shared activity, that of course could be even varied because most likely both members of the relationship might not have the same interests or enjoy the same activities, however often several activities, entertainment or relaxing activities could be shared.


If we also pay attention to the model proposed we have a common denominator found above, harmonious passion is defined as flexible, self generated, not imposed, and free to accept. All these characteristics completely match with the pillar to experience a fulfilled relationship — knowing yourself and what you like — even with the risk of sounding repetitive, we have made a lot of emphasis on the task of knowing your identity, knowing your passions, listening to your inner voice, reclaiming your present and letting go toxic behaviors, because I firmly believe that when you have worked to the different facets, challenges and experiences to know yourself in different arenas, to know yourself in hard situations and being able to succeed in the journey, I am sure that you have come to a place to accept your whole being without guilt, resentment or self-criticism.


More importantly you have come to a place where you are kind, loving and not judgmental with the way you are, that has as a consequence being able to accept the other person with their full range of unique abilities, opportunity areas and you even have the possibility of expressing more love and compassion for the other as you see yourself reflected in her or him.


On the other side if you are still in the place of being selfish, of looking for your partners faults, expressions or behaviors that turn on your own wounds then you will probably engage in activities with the obsessive passion which matches with just one party satisfaction and takes the other person into a road that was not fully consented or sometimes (frequently performed by females) silenced behavior and acceptance of the activities just to “go along” and “avoid discussions”, however this kind of behavior of “accepting” and activity that you don’t really enjoy or going to an event that you know you will not have a “good time” often triggers more problems than giving a solution.


A very important component of a healthy interaction or relationship is when both parties respect each other differences and are able to accept that not all the activities also have to be a common denominator, recognizing your own value by saying no to an activity or event that before hand you know is not your passion and you most likely won’t enjoy it is also a very important part of knowing yourself and accepting yourself and it doesn’t have to be at all with disrespecting your partner.


Learning to have space, learning to respect each other likes and dislikes is a huge part of not falling into the obsessive passion component of sharing time and activities. This also means accepting your responsibility of saying yes to your own and true self and not neglecting you or worse deleting yourself from the relationship, because this behavior will only cause more conflict and confusion in the other side that thinks and believes he or she knows you but in reality he or she knows a fake person self-invented to “satisfy” another with the risk of completely nullifying their own passions and even love for herself or himself.


In summary couple relationships can be and will be fixed/repaired when both parties commit to the same destination of “self-regulatory” actions that allow themselves to know their likes, dislikes, reactions, detect and acknowledge their own wounds, heal them, turn the toxic self-actions towards self-accepting, self-recognizing and self-love. Only when they own their true self and discover their uniqueness and divinity inside they will be able to share that awesomeness with each other.


#relationships #couple #partner #spouse #husband #love #harmony #peace #happy #conflict #acceptance #self #selfknowledge #like #dislike #activity #passion #language #communication #bunt #rapaport


References.


  • Bunt, S., & Hazelwood, Z. J. (2017). Walking the walk, talking the talk: Love languages, self-regulation, and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 24(2), 280–290.

  • Rapaport, Maylys, et al. "More than Shared Love: Does Sharing a Passionate Activity with a Romantic Partner Strengthen the Relationship?." International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology 2.1-3 (2018): 61-78.

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