When Margaret found the lid to her pot, she had consciously put her relationship seeking on hold. Instead, she focused her attention into what made her happy, brought her pleasure, fed her.
She was attending a charity event with a girlfriend when she met him.
His interest caught her off guard.
She’d been having so much fun on her own.
Margaret had already been working the first of the 3 steps of long-term relationship success. She was uncovering her own unique needs so she could communicate with them clarity to another when they showed up.
She had fully immersed herself in Readiness.
Because she’d learned to identify her true needs, listen to and, most importantly, act on them, she had already built a foundation of self-trust over the first few months of our work together. She’d also used that time to both understand and develop the skills to be at cause for what she wanted to create in her next relationship.
So when he surprisingly showed up, she had enough awareness and skill not to throw herself under the bus when he did. She the whole thing as a grown woman, not a little girl.
…and she could confidently determine whether he was a match for her.
“I, with deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”~Anaïs Nin
Do you want his respect or his approval?
One of things Margaret and I worked on was shifting her need for approval to validate her worthiness. This habit had engendered a long history with men who loved her for her niceness, her affability, her willingness to do anything for them without their need to put any real skin in the game.
It repeatedly left her anxious, questioning, doubting herself and her ability or even worthy of being fully committed to.
If your tendency is to vie for a partner’s approval, you’ll probably be disappointed when they don’t commit to you long-term. They’ll invest only to the extent that they benefit from the relationship. The emotional stakes will be low.
And emotional unavailability will be your experience. Again.
It’s uncomfortable practicing doing it differently. It means you learn to undo the familiar conditioning of meeting with another person’s approval: bending to meet their needs, being “easy” compliant, pleasant, not making them work.
Instead, you confidently stand for your desires and earn a partner’s respect. You allow them to come to you so you can receive. When they do, you cultivate the foundation for a long term relationship.
Don’t misunderstand me. You needn’t compromise your genuine and sincere niceness. In this second stage of the relationship journey, you practice balancing that with earning a prospective (or current) partner’s respect.
Stage two of Conscious Coupling is crucial for real-time, on the ground training and testing of your relationship readiness skill set. You assess fit, not based on preconceived or socialized notions, rather on what you truly desire.
This means that you get to practice communicating needs with clarity, engaging in courageous conversations, asking for what you want and increase the capacity to receive it with an open heart.
It means you get to practice vulnerability as a skill.
In that willingness to authentically show up at this stage allows you develop discomfort resilience when things don’t go as planned and trust you can handle the outcome. Whatever that may be.
This. Is. Key.
When my, now, husband and I moved through this stage, I consistently recited this mantra:
“Will I be devastated if this doesn’t work out?”
Because I’d done my readiness work, the answer always came back a resounding NO. Even now, 8 years in, the answer is still the same.
This is exactly why I included this second stage of Conscious Coupling as part of all of my yearlong Love by Design Mentorship Programs – supporting you with accountability to practice growing your relational skill set and confidence to lead you to a partner that is the perfect match.
As for Margaret, she’s engaged to be married. Now fully immersed in the third stage of relationship success, she trusts herself. She confidently knows how to navigate the joys and challenges of being coupled long-term.
Next week I’ll be sharing how to negotiate this second stage when you identify with being highly independent and successful in your career. A different approach for you is required. So come on back.
But, if you don’t want to wait that long and want to chat, great. Click here to schedule your complimentary 1-1 Discovery call with me. Let’s see if the relationship work I do is a match for you.
In the meantime a reminder to choose love, always.
See you next week,