Did you know that for every degree (1°) a plane flies off course, for each mile flown, it will miss its intended target by 92 feet? That may not sound like much, but if flying thousands of miles, a pilot could miss his/her intended destination by hundreds of miles…just by being off course by 1°!
What does this have to do with your romantic relationship? You may not be a pilot, but you are in the driver’s seat of your life, and in order to reach your desired destination, you must be headed in the right direction!
So then, let me ask you this:
– Is a healthy relationship even on your radar?
– Do you know where you want your relationship to go?
– Do you feel it’s headed in the right direction?
Getting clear on the kind of relationship you truly desire is one of the first steps to actually moving in the direction you want to go. And to help you get started, I’m sharing some insightful navigation tips and exercises.
Being Intentional Instead of Unintentional
As demonstrated in the example of a pilot being off course by as little as 1°, if there’s no specific aim for your relationship, and you’re simply going through the motions of ‘this is just the way it is’, you’re unintentionally missing your intended destination (aka goal or outcome) by months, years or even decades of your life.
“Not living your life is no way to live.” ~ Jen Sincero (love that quote!)
So, one of the most empowering things you can do is to get clear on your intention, so you can intentionally move toward your goal, instead of unintentionally moving away from it.
What is your intention/purpose of being in this relationship with your partner? What do you need in order for it to feel fulfilling to you?
If you’ve been in it for a long time, what you found fulfilling in the beginning of your relationship may have changed over time and perhaps you’re no longer fulfilled by those same qualities and attributes.
For example, in a former long-term relationship of mine, when I first met him, he was exactly what I needed. Our connection was strong and our relationship blossomed into something quite beautiful. The relationship was incredibly satisfying and it stayed that way for a long time.
While in this relationship together, I was still continuing my individual path of self-awareness and growth, and as I deepened my relationship with myself, I found myself being less interested in what I used to consider appealing. And my priorities for what mattered most to me were changing as well.
What I needed to feel connected to my then partner changed over time because I (and my connection with myself) changed over time. This is part of a natural evolution and it happens to many of us.
The question then becomes whether or not both partners are willing to work together in partnership toward the growth and evolution of their relationship as a couple. And in my case, as much as we tried, we simply couldn’t come to an agreement about what partnership means in this type of relationship.
Freedom to Change Your Mind
At first, I felt guilty for wanting something better, because he was still a good man and we still cared for each other.
But as I continued to grow and work on myself, I realized that part of my commitment to love is learning how to let go of what no longer serves me, and/or the relationship I choose to be in, in a healthy way.
Each and every one of us has the freedom to change our mind about anything that is no longer working for us. Many of us change our jobs, where we live, who we hang out with, what we eat, etc., but still let societal conditioning ‘make us’ feel guilty for wanting something better in our romantic relationships.
This isn’t to say that when something isn’t working for us, we should leave it. This is to say that when something isn’t working, we get to choose how long we decide to stay in a state of dissatisfaction – and either do what we can to make it better (and grow as much as possible in the process), or let go of something that no longer contributes to the quality of our life.
Navigating Where You Want Your Relationship to Go (Exercise Included)
If you’re currently in a relationship that doesn’t feel good to you, and it’s been that way for awhile, it’s easy to stay stuck in a rut and just complain about what’s not working. But as you well know by now, this does not solve the problem and it does not move you in the right direction.
So, it’s time to get real about the way you feel, take yourself out of autopilot mode, and change the direction of what’s not working.
Let’s break out your internal GPS, figure out where you are now, where you want to go, and map out how you’re going to get there.
If this sounds good to you, complete the exercise described below. Because we’re talking about a very significant relationship in your life, it’s important to be present and mindful when asking yourself these types of questions.
So I encourage you to make time to really sit with these questions and not rush through them as another task to cross off your to-do list:
On a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best), how do you rate your current level of satisfaction with your romantic relationship?
Now, using the same scale of 1 – 10, write down the level of satisfaction you’d rather have for your romantic relationship. (this helps you see, in a tangible way, the gap of where you are now and where you want to be)
And finally, what needs to change in order for you to experience the level of satisfaction you are seeking? In other words, what’s standing in your way of where you are now and where you want to be? (ex., lack of communication and/or emotional connection)
The answers to these questions will be personal to your experience and need to honor what *you* want and need in a healthy relationship. And I encourage you to write your answers down instead of merely keeping them in your head.
For some women, their biggest priority may be a strong emotional connection with their partner. Others may place a high value on their partner being a good provider for the family. And still for others, companionship and shared interests rank most high in what they need from their relationship.
It’s up to you to define what a healthy relationship looks like for *you*, and it’s up to you to be true to yourself and honest with your partner. You’re already invested in your relationship – now it’s time to invest in making it one that you want to be in.
Whether you decide to work on your relationship to re-establish an authentic sense of love and connection (or whatever’s most important to you), or gracefully move out of a relationship that no longer serves you, it’s essential that you first get clear on your needs and desires.
If you’re feeling hurt, confused and frustrated about your relationship, I encourage you to find empowering resources that will help you with the process of gaining clarity. It’s impossible to get clear when riddled with feelings of confusion.
If you haven’t already signed up for my new ‘HEALTHY Path Process free video training series: Finding Your Answer to Should I Stay or Go?’, be sure to check out the 1-minute intro video on the homepage of my website for details. Amazing transformation awaits!
If you have any questions about the relationship coaching services I offer, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to connect with you and support you however I can. Let’s get you moving in the right direction for the relationship you desire and deserve!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages and other valuable resources – giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
Licensed Heal Your Life® Coach