Seven Principles for being in a
(a paradoxical look at how to make yourself unhappy in love: reflections from a Newport Beach Psychologist)
This post is for those who hope to get into a long-term relationship or even married and are interested in developing relationship problems.
Researcher John Gottman, suggests that a good relationship begins with a wise choice for a partner (obviously the flip-side of this would be to choose a poor partner). This technique is often overlooked because people have difficulties wrapping their minds around the concept that they can CHOOSE who they love and that one doesn’t uncontrollably FALL into it (thank you every love-story film, book, fable, for messing with our minds). Uncontrollable FALLING takes us away from responsibility from our choices as we have been taught to be the victims of our emotions when it comes to love.
We actually DO have control. Actually we WALK into love. We very rarely “fall” into it, though we surely learn to fall in it. Over the course of dating you will meet different people. Then, you will choose to continue dating one person. …so how do you decide on that ONE person? How do you find the courage to stay with that person when a WORSE person may be waiting for you? Below are a few sure-fire rules to make sure you choose a poor partner:
1 Pick the Poor communicator
Psychologists (who are research oriented) know that effective communication is one of the most important factors for a healthy relationship, but for a poor partner – look for someone who doesn’t listen or understand you, talks nearly all the time, or hardly any of the time. If they fit this criteria, then by golly give them a second date. If they are this way now, they will likely be much worse as time progresses.
2 Select someone with Nothing in Common
Search for someone who likes what you dislike. Basically, if you have certain interests – be sure that they are NOT mutual. This is easier than you may think. If you don’t like partiers, pick-up artists or people who are on the prowl – go to a popular pick-up bar or club. If you hate to read – go to Barnes and Noble – anywhere you might meet an avid book reader. If you hate sports, go to an Angels or Dodgers game. You will find sports lovers there!
Next, when you find someone who likes what you dislike – start pretending you like it too. Faking agreement takes more energy than being honest -but it will be worth it, because it will build and intensify the arguments in the future. When you pretend to like what they like, you are engaging in a very powerful technique used in the development of relationship problems- called Pseudotrust.
Sometimes you can go even further by saying, “I really want you to tell me what you think, I don’t care if you criticize me.” If you succeed in creating enough pseudotrust, the person will risk being honest. You can then keep your hurt to yourself pretending you are not feeling criticized – it is better to let your feelings unleash later on in the relationship.
3 Choose the ones with Serious Hang-Ups
Pick someone you want to help change, reform, or to encourage them to become more than they are. This way when problems arise, nobody can blame you because you had “good intentions.” You can create problems AND avoid being blamed for them! That’s cool!
4 Select your Opposite
Many healthy relationship occur with opposites because they blend their strengths and balance each other, allowing each other the space to grow. The trick in problem-development is to find an opposite person that you want to become more like you. When couples are REALLY CLOSE the two become one. Now the two of you can begin to argue over which one the two of you will actually get to be. May the best person win –shazam! – you now have a problem!
5 Go for Looks-Alone
Ignore being rational. Tell yourself that the “connection of physical attraction” will take care of everything. When physical attraction is the main attraction – you can be sure things will get bad before the first signs of weight-gain, wrinkles, or gray hair appear.
6 Select someone with whom you are Not Good Enough
(Of course in reality there is no such thing) but when trying to make relationship problems – who needs truth?) Tell yourself you are not worthy of the person to really upset yourself and try to convince your partner the same. This is where your thinking in key – BELIEVE you are unworthy. This will help isolate your partner from you and then when they are finally over it, you can argue with them for thinking they are better than you are!
7 In-law Incompatibility
When you find a family with a lot of internal conflict, who is hostile with you or you with them – then you will be on-track for sure. Tell yourself that you are dating your partner not their family. This will surely cause issue after issue for years to come!
Conclusion: Before you start dating again be sure to review these suggestions until they permeate your subconscious and appear without thinking so you can be free to repeat any of these a second time.
If you are interested in making changes in some of your relationship habits, feel free to call or e-mail for more information.