Question: Dear Luise: I am in a relationship that has a different feel to it than anything I have experienced before and I would like some long term relationship advice. We both feel we may want to make it permanent. My concern is how afraid I am of disagreements. I tell him what he wants to hear because I can’t face conflict. Does this mean we should move on and give up on what we have? Lots of it is great. Merrylee
Answer: Dear Merrylee: It’s hard to disagree for a lot of us. We have been taught that the more agreeable we are, the more likable we come across. And likable is valuable, right? No, always having to be likable is unreal. If you move on you will undoubtedly just take this problem with you.
What you probably need is self improvement advice. And the first thing I would recommend is working on better communication skills. All of these things tie together. If you are seriously exploring the idea of a commitment, you will want to work through as many of the things that get in your way as you can.
Why not talk with your guy about your need to please and how it gets in the way of your need to be honest. Ask him if he can give you some support in that department. If he would rather have you be sweet and spineless, then you’re in trouble because what you want to grow out of is something he finds appealing. Now is the time to get it up on the table and sort it out.
Relationships often show us what we need to work on, because we can see so clearly what we trip over. They are the perfect place to expand and mature. I think the best way to approach fixing a relationship is to look more closely at what you need to work on personally. If I were a relationship coach that’s what I would suggest, ”work on yourself with someone who wants to work on himself and the relationship will take care of itself”. Oversimplification? Sure…but think about it.
Why not pass, then, on long term relationship advice and look at your “now”. What do you want it to be? How can you improve on it? As you resolve today’s issues, you pave the way to growing old with someone you respect, who respects you. Blessings, Luise