People need help finding love and creating healthy relationships. Compatibility differences, communication challenges, or an inability to co-create a life you want together are all challenges that every couple faces. It’s not natural or instinctive to be open, vulnerable and committed with our hearts.
Even when we find someone we trust and love, it’s not easy to be completely honest and raw about what we need, value and desire. It’s normal to measure our responses, to wait and see what our partner favors instead of advocating for the love, that we don’t always feel, we deserve.
Love requires a high level of intimacy and trust. It takes courage to see your partner as they are, and not as you want or even need them to be. This sort of naked realism is uncomfortable to those dating and becoming lovers or even lovers who want to form a deeper commitment.
Partners, married or otherwise, are not immune from uncertainty or even mistrust. In relationship, mistrust can be as subtle as fearing that your feeling, ideas or person are not respected or honored. Fearing that you may feel resistance or even be rejected by your partner can cause enough distress in partners to keep them from being authentic and uninhibited.
Coaching is perfect for these situations, when things are good but could be better. When you know you want to have a long and harmonious relationship but aren’t certain what that type of love, communication or relationship would look like. A coach can give you direct help and advice to take sure steps towards your desired relationship outcomes.
Here are 10 ways to know if individual relationship help or couple’s help can benefit you and help you improve and expand your relationship.
1. You catch yourself feeling resistance
Whether it’s a date or your long term relationship, when you catch yourself being resistant to your partner on a regular basis then coaching may be appropriate.
Resistance occurs when you notice that you are taking exception to the actions, sayings or feelings of another. You feel critical, annoyed, and/or irritable. We often try to curtail our resistance with self talk like “Don’t worry about that”, or we may ignore or deny our resistance altogether. We may say “Nothing is bothering me” or “No one is perfect” as a way to get over our resistance.
Resistance is felt on the other end of our communication with others. Whether you speak your resistance or not, your nonverbal communication gives the other the tale-tell sign of your resistance. Before long, resistance starts to feel like rejection and soon after you have a serious mistrust and eventual communication breakdown.
2. You find yourself being controlling
When you feel uncertainty about your connection to someone, one love strategy, albeit a poor one, is to become controlling. Negative control is giving yourself permission to control the reality of another person. The reality of another person consists of their body, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Even when we believe we are acting in another person’s best interest, we are still exerting a form of control over another’s reality and thus engaging in negative control.
Control is a compensatory behavior, meaning it is an action you resort to when you feel you don’t have any other way to get the security you need. People become controlling when they feel they won’t be heard or whatever they say won’t be honored. They then want to take matters into their own hands, by exerting control on another. Control always produces negative consequences in a relationship; over time the consequences become devastating. Coaching is useful to help the controlled partner “let down the wall” that was put up to keep from being controlled. Coaching can also teach the uncertain partner who wants certainty by controlling how to find his or her voice.
3. You are disappointed by the reality of your situation or your partner
As a single person you are happy and fulfilled a lot of the time but sometimes (more and more often) you feel dissatisfied by your situation. You catch yourself feeling lonely, down, and tired of doing cooking, eating and enjoying life alone. If this is you, then working with someone who can help you workout your concept of love and relationship can be useful.
Partners within relationship can find themselves disappointed as well. When you hold on to hopes and dreams that are countered by the realities of your relationship, you can feel disappointed about your relationship and about your ability to change things. When this happens, the distance between your ideal relationship life and what you feel is possible can become huge.
Coaching can help you close the distance between your ideal relationship life and your reality by teaching you tools and skills to face hard realities and manage them. And most often, it’s about learning techniques that put you in control of your life and help you create what you want from the inside out.
4. You prefer time at work
When your relationship is not providing the energy and juice you want to feel, you will eventually turn to others or other things to get the feeling of appreciation and love of life that you want. Work is a natural safe haven from feelings of confusion, inadequacy and pessimism about getting what you want.
Love creates a desire for balance in you life. When we choose to create an imbalance between work and relationship, it is a signal that something is off. There is some fundamental need that is no longer being met at home.
Don’t be fooled. The reports and emails will get done, even if you take time to create moments with your partner. Good business is more about creativity and efficiency than it is about time and worry. So a desire to burn the midnight oil at work could be an indication that one or more personal needs are not being fulfilled by your relationship.
Coaching is a great way to help you identify what your needs are. Maybe there is a need for community or maybe your compatibility is less than ideal. Coaching can help you get in touch with yourself and your partner.
5. You don’t feel anything
Love creates a wonderful sensation of pleasure and joy within us. There is nothing better in life than feeling accepted and supported by someone who cares about you. If you don’t feel anything anymore, your love could be numb or even worse it could be frozen.
Emotions stop flowing for various reasons and when they do, it’s hard to unthaw, trust and be open again. Emotions are your friend. Even when you aren’t feeling anything, your emotions are saying a lot.
Even in the absence of feelings, your emotions are screaming at you. Numbness is signaling that you need to change course in your relationship. This could mean anything from communication to learning to calibrate with one another. It could be as simple as an intimacy ritual to get into each other’s space or as big as a change in housing or city.
Coaching is a good place to identify what is not working, where the feelings shut off and how to get the flow of feelings working again. PS: Sometimes it is not your partner at all, it’s just you and coaching can help you with that as well.
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If you find yourself in one of these “not so good” situations, then coaching is an appropriate option for you. It is a way to make your solid relationship stronger. Coaching can also help struggling couples right the ship and navigate dangerous steps within the process of love.