I DON’T Want A Good Relationship…

I dont want a good relationship

Good relationships are well, “good”. I just want more.
There is something better that I am looking for and no …it’s not a “better” relationship or a “great” relationship. Too cliché.No. What I want more than just a good relationship is an AUTHENTIC relationship…and there is a huge difference.

So what’s a good relationship versus an authentic one?

1) In a good relationship, people TALK: Couples/people talk about what is going on…what happened during their day, traffic, that project at work, what they had for lunch, the latest office gossip…and so on. They talk about plans and they hang out. All of these are good. But…

In an authentic relationship, people SHARE:  Couples/people share their emotions and a wider range of them. They share their fears and dreams. In authentic relationships, people don’t just talk about their future plans, their share their aspirations. They don’t just hang out, they are intentional about making memories.

In other words:

content vs depth

2) In a good relationship, each person is always strong (at least pretends to be): Yea…in a good relationship, people don’t display, discuss or share their weaknesses or ask for help. Person A may “know of” person B’s weaknesses, but person B never talks about it, owns up to it, or asks person A for help overcoming those weaknesses. Here, people don’t own up to “needing improvement”. When they are confronted about their weakness, they try to make you see it as strength instead, or they dance around it.

…So, what they are trying to prevent actually happens. They never truly resolve weaknesses, so those weaknesses they were trying to hide, keep showing up!

In an authentic relationship, people are not afraid to show signs of weakness or talk about each others’ areas of needed improvement. In fact, they embrace the constructive criticism of each other, knowing that it only goes to strengthen the relationship.  They are open and committed to helping each other grow. They are not afraid that the other will think less of them for showing weakness or for asking for help in an area.

In authentic relationships, people own up to, discuss and ask for help overcoming weaknesses.

This is especially true for relationship weaknesses. It’s not that the people in authentic relationships are not strong or that they are riddled with flaws and weaknesses, it’s just that in the midst of their strength, they are not oblivious to their weaknesses. For people in authentic relationships, they love to be there for each other, but they are not afraid to ask for support when they need it so that their weaknesses are QUICKLY and FULLY resolved and so they can move forward together.

3) In a good relationship, it is still possible to depend on the impression that others (on the outside) have, as measure of how good that relationship is. The health of the relationship is still sort of based on external feedback. What people say or will say still has a very powerful impact on the relationship.

In an authentic relationship, they are centered. Not depending on what others say, not overly worried about deviating from the norm.

Incubate the relationship

(RE-read that!)

4) In a good relationship, each person gives 50:50 Making sure that things are always “fair”

In an authentic relationship, each gives 100%. So things remain fair, but each person gets more.

5) In a good relationship, not only are roles clearly defined, but those defined roles rule the relationship. Those roles don’t change much and they are the operational manual for the relationship. Each knows his /her place and role.  The modus operandi seems to be “As long as we do what we are assigned to do, we will be happy”.

In an authentic relationship, roles are clearly defined, but they are flexible and interchangeable depending on the needs that arise. The defined roles are not the manual for the relationship. Love and Life are. He can tidy up the house when she can’t or shouldn’t have to, and she can head to the mechanic to get the oil change if he can’t or shouldn’t have to.

Relationship Roles

7) In a good relationship, people communicate…but like on eggshells: They don’t want to rattle things. They communicate based on what they think the other person wants to hear. People communicate negative feedback by minimizing the effect of the situation so as to not cause a fight.

In authentic relationships, communication is done in the way that will be truly understood so that the desired change or action can be executed.  There is still respect, love and empathy for the receiver of the feedback, but the situation is not minimized because people in authentic relationships don’t take offense to the idea that someone else thinks they are imperfect…BECAUSE THEY ALREADY KNOW THEY ARE.

8) In a good relationship, people are hesitant to ask for what they really need or feel they have a right to ask for. Even if it’s a critical need for them. In good relationships, people always feel they need to earn what they ask for. The danger here is that once a person’s needs in a relationship are suppressed (because they don’t bring it up and properly communicate it), it always finds a way to show up anyway. In fact if it’s a core need, the person will find other ways to meet those needs outside the relationship.

In authentic relationships, people are not hesitant to ask for what they need especially if the meeting of this need is important for them in the relationship. They don’t wait till their unmet need now becomes a problem.

This is soooooo important.

Better to be needy

This can typically be a bigger problem for us men. Men…don’t let it be.

9) In good relationships, negative feedback is shared and met with deep criticism, guilt and defensiveness: So person A is upset at person B for doing something wrong. Person A brings it up in an attacking mode or uses guilt and person B receives it defensively.  You know, when one person makes the other feel guilty for bringing something up…

They eventually apologize to each other for making each other upset…but they typically don’t actually fully resolve problems.

In authentic relationships, it is shared and met with understanding and empathy. Person A gets hurt, but brings it up remembering that person B probably didn’t intent to cause hurt. He/She brings it up in love and empathy. Person B receives the negative feedback in gratitude knowing that in actuality, by bringing it up, person A has given person B the opportunity to resolve it. Person B doesn’t make person A feel guilty for bringing up an issue and so on.

In good relationships people do conflict MANAGEMENT. In authentic relationships, people do conflict RESOLUTION.

Authentic relationships are not perfect…but they are real. They don’t always have it together but they work together. They don’t always have each other’s’ needs met but each one is committed to being the best version of him/herself for the other person.

Good relationships are not bad…but to really grow….to find fulfillment in a relationship…to experience real depth in a relationship and incredible connection, you need to work towards an AUTHENTIC relationship.

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What do you think?