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7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

How do you imagine the perfect relationship?

I am pretty sure you think about harmonious conversations, long walks in the park, and romantic evenings with delicious candlelight dinners. When you think about your perfect relationship you probably feel all kinds of positive emotions. You think about respect, security, support, passion, and unconditional love that lasts forever.

While all those emotions can (and should) be an essential part of every relationship, it would be naive to assume that a relationship consists of nothing other than looking into each other’s eyes and smiling as if you are on the most addictive drug that this planet has to offer.

A relationship is much more complex than what Hollywood shows you. Every romantic movie that I can think of ends either with a big wedding or with a scene in which two people kiss and embrace each other in the middle of the street.

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The reason why we love those movies is because they show us an ideal image that we would love to see in our own lives. The danger, however, is that it is impossible to fulfill this ideal image. Yes, you heard right. I said that it is impossible to live in the ideal relationship that the movies portrait. The romance genre sells fantasy just as much as The Lord of the Rings movies do.

You might not want to hear it, but the truth is that there are a lot of things that can happen after the director screams “cut!”. Real life provides you with a lot of unforeseen events that have the power to make you question your ideal picture of the perfect relationship. That’s why it is better to wake up and accept the naked truth about relationships, before the false image that you have created in your mind destroys your relationships in the real world.

1. The perfect relationship doesn’t exist

Nobody is perfect – and relationships aren’t perfect either. Everybody who claims the opposite is either a helpless optimist who ignores reality or somebody who has never been in a relationship and only knows the concept from movies and songs.

I’m not saying that you should stop dreaming about ending up in a relationship with the partner of your dreams. I’m also not saying that you should stop trying to find a partner who makes you happy. All I’m saying is that you have to accept that no relationship can be happy and harmonious 100% of the time. There will always be the tiny 1% that isn’t perfect.

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And you know what? That’s absolutely okay. You and your partner are only human. Expecting that you don’t have any flaws would be completely unrealistic. Just make sure that you don’t allow your false image of the perfect relationship to sabotage your current or future relationship.

2. Love can last if you work on it

You clicked on this article because you wanted to know the naked truths about relationships, so I assume that you are also ready for the naked truth about love. The idea that most people have about love is even more unrealistic than the idea they have about relationships.

According to my experience, most people believe that all they have to do in order to reach a state of lifelong happiness is to meet the love of their life and the love will just magically last forever. Well, if it would be that easy everyone who has ever married the love of their life would still be together with this person.

Unfortunately, the high divorce rate is proof that it is not that easy. What most people forget is that love can fade away, especially when you don’t work on it. On the other hand, love can last and it can get stronger if you are willing to work on it. It is your decision if you work on it or if you allow it to fade away.

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3. Support is a two-way street

There is this famous saying that there is a strong and supportive woman behind every successful man. While this may be true, there should also be a strong and supportive man behind every successful woman.

Support is a two-way street. One of the most common mistakes that both men and women make is that they take the support from their partner for granted. Don’t ever assume that your partner has to support you, just because you are in a relationship. I’ll say it again: support is a two-way street. If you don’t support your partner, you can’t expect to receive a lot of support in return.

4. Your partner is not the only attractive person

In case you are in a relationship, I am sure that you are attracted to you partner. They might even be the person you are attracted to the most. However, just because you desire your partner doesn’t mean that you don’t desire other people. One popular lie that a lot of people believe in is that being attracted to another person who isn’t your partner is the same as cheating and that it is wrong to have those feelings.

Are you ready for the truth? It is neither wrong to have those feelings, nor is it the same as cheating. You are a human being; therefore, it is absolutely natural for you to be attracted to other people. There is a big difference between desiring other people and acting upon this desire.

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5. Your sex life will change

In case you think that your sex life will stay the way it is during the first couple of weeks, you still need to learn a lot about relationships. You sex life will change. That’s an inevitable fact. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that the sex in a relationship gets worse over the years.

A married couple who is willing to try new things, to experiment, and to learn everything about each other’s fantasies can have a far more exciting sex life than a couple who is together for two weeks and doesn’t know anything about each other’s fantasies and desires.

6. Hard times lead to a strong bond

I already told you that the perfect relationship doesn’t exist. As a result, you probably agree with me when I say that there are good times and bad times in every relationship. The only thing that separates happy from unhappy relationships is how both partners deal with those bad times.

You only have two opinions. On the one hand, you can quit whenever it gets tough and end an amazing relationship because it wasn’t as perfect as your favorite movie promised. On the other hand, you can support and love your partner during hard times and enjoy the strong bond and deep connection that you eventually have once you have survived the hard times.

7. Your past leads to your future

A lot of people who sabotage every single one of their relationships do this for only one reason. They are afraid that this relationship will end like the last one. They are terrified that their past will repeat itself.

I hope I don’t have to tell you that this fear works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only way to break through this vicious cycle is by realizing that it is your past that leads you to your future, but your future doesn’t have to look like your past. If you regard your frustrating past as the road that will lead you to a bright future, you will be able to embrace the idea of landing in a relationship.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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