Here is a summary of all that I have learned, all the mistakes I have made and all my experience as a psychologist…into 4 broad sections.
1. You have to learn how to live and experience peace: Your partner cannot make you happy, but can add to what you are emotionally available to. Spend some time working on what the good life means to you.
2. Intimacy requires each partner spend time “figuring out” their stuff (i.e. childhood issues, ego, projections, emotions, etc). Nobody likes it when they are the brunt of all your emotional "stuff." You need to figure it out and your partner will be forever grateful.
3. How you act and react is your responsibility. You have nobody or event to blame, own it.
4. Any use of force or emotional control will destroy intimacy. Enough said.
Lose Yourself in Their World
1. Knowledge: The more you know about someone, the more you can feel empathy for them and love them. It is essential to explore their narrative and how it changes over time.
2. Respect and Admiration: Frequently express fondness and admiration. Never disregard or discount your partners viewpoint. Constant critique is the opposite of respect and admiration.
3. Partner Influence: The small things count; The unseen deeds performed for the benefit of our partner are what count at the end of each day. When an issue is especially significant to our partner, it is time to “look at yourself” and let them influence you.
1. Explore and Validate Differences: You will always be different! You will never feel the same, have the same perspective or want the exact same things.
2. Let your partner figure out their “stuff.” Do not force them, inspire them.
Roommates no More
1. Everyday Shared Experiences: Tiny moments of emotional connection must be created for your partner on a daily basis.
2. Make your partners little dreams come true.
3. Building Shared Meaning and Goals: Couples should frequently share with one another what makes their life journeys meaningful as well as explore, develop and achieve shared goals.
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