This is round two in my “Best Relationship Advice” series. If you haven’t checked out my first post, which was focused on the best relationship advice that offered you quick wins, you can finish up here and then mosey on over to that one.

Today, I’m going to teach you five philosophies or mindsets. These are the tried-and-true ways of thinking that have helped my clients move from disconnected, resentful and frustrated with their partner to emotionally close, at ease and happy with their main person.

Before we get there, I’d like you to think of one person you can share the podcast with. This is a time to be contagious with love, not fear, so share, share, share and watch that love and understanding grow!

Philosophy #1: Focus on Being of Service

So many things we get upset about can be avoided with this simple philosophy. It’s a change in focus. It’s leaving the “but it’s not fair” attitude behind and moving toward being of service.

Instead of focusing on what’s fair or right, I want you to focus on patience and kindness. I want you to set an intention of loving service. From this mindset, you’ll be more self-aware, relaxed and thoughtful. Your relationship will transform.

Philosophy #2: Feelings Aren’t Facts

Feelings aren’t some out-of-control mystery. Just because you feel something, doesn’t mean it’s true. If you feel a certain way about your partner, it’s because you’re thinking certain thoughts about your partner. You feel the way you think.

If you want to feel differently about your partner, you need to choose a better-feeling thought. And you need to do it over and over again. “We’re never going to change” needs to become “we’ve made changes before and we can make them again.”

Philosophy #3: Your Partner Shouldn’t Make You Happy

You heard me: your partner shouldn’t make you happy. You should make you happy. In fact, you’re the only one who can make you happy. Everything else is just a temporary fix.

It’s so common to say things like “She drives me crazy” or “he made me so mad” because, despite all the stuff we know, we still think it’s possible for other people to “make” us feel things. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” But really this line should be: “No one can make you feel without your consent.” In other words, other people do what they do, but our reactions are our own responsibility. It’s not their “fault” that we’re angry, sad, lonely or impatient.

Philosophy #4: Focus on Unconditional Acceptance vs Unconditional Love

When I meet with individuals or couples, it’s generally clear that there’s love. In fact, I would say they often unconditionally love one another. What’s getting in the way of feeling emotionally close and connected is that they don’t unconditionally accept one another.

We can know we’re unconditionally loved all day long but, if we don’t feel accepted, we don’t feel loved. I don’t want you to love your partner despite certain things. I want you to love them because of those particular things. You’ve got to accept the whole package, not just the parts you deem OK.

Philosophy #5: Work on Yourself and Stop Comparing

From now on, whenever you start focusing on your partner and what they’re not doing or comparing it to what you’re doing, immediately stop and focus on what you’re doing only.

Stop and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. “What am I feeling right now?”
  2. “What thought or belief am I having right now that’s making me feel this way?”
  3. “What else could be true? What’s a better-feeling thought I could have right now?”
  4. How do I want to feel in my relationship?
  5. “What’s one thing I could do or think to create that feeling in my relationship?”

Then do that one thing (right now – go do it)!

Resources and Links:

Love No Matter What, Andrew Solomon

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