Meet our conscious love and relationship expert, Lemarc Thomas. Lemarc takes a wholistic approach to love and dating and the very human desire for a relationship that lasts, grows and deepens no matter what the challenges. This month, he explores the secrets behind happy couples who know how to build and nurture an equal partnership.
Have you met a couple who embody the perfect relationship – with a sprinkle of Hollywood sugar on top? I don’t know anyone who has it all together, but I do know lots of couples who work hard to build happy, healthy, sound relationship bliss. We are not taught this stuff, but maybe we can be inspired, and even learn a thing or two, from couples that have the knack of nurturing happy, healthy relationships that last. Having explored the findings of over 40 years of research from the Gottman Institute with thousands of couples, I have incorporated much of this into my own relationship and taught these methods in my couples coaching workshops. So let’s get started. Let’s look at the habits of those they call … the Masters.
Couples who play together stay together.
Couples with great relationships also have great friendships. This is the foundation upon which they build their partnership. They know what’s going on in each other’s world, know their partner’s dreams; fears; guilty pleasure. They know what gets the other giggling, how to turn up the heat – and how to say yes and no. They know that, tomorrow, an extra big hug, would be appreciated before facing a challenging day. There is a love map in their brain for their sweetie pie, and, this information is updated over time as they remain curious and continue asking questions. Turning towards each other, bids for connection are recognised and reciprocated. They laugh, play and have fun together. Friendship acts as a buffer to stress and gives resilience to conflict.
Couples who win, fight for each other not against one another.
Couples with great relationships deal with conflict effectively. Since 69% of conflict is perpetual, has no solution, they negotiate a mutual position:
Having two different perspectives, one can identify what is non-negotiable and find the larger list of areas of flexibility. Using the zone of flexibility partners can meet each other in the middle.
They deal with conflict lovingly, openly and even use humour; ensuring a soft introduction to the discussion. Showing affection in the face of conflict, they recognise when things are escalating and make attempts to repair, plus they reciprocate repair attempts from their partner. Each accepts that their darling has influence over them. When things get heated, they sooth, knowing that they are on the same team and they can only win if both are winning. Couples who get to a deeper level of connection recognise that their partner may have a dream underlying this conflict that is not being fulfilled. Such recognition gets one to a place of understanding.
The universe that is your coupledom
Couples with great relationships create shared meaning.
What kind of partners do we want to be? How do we deal with difficulties? How do we celebrate wins? What values are important to us? If we have kids, what kind of parents do we want to be? What traditions do we have/ want to take forward? How do we connect with each other? How can we support each other’s dreams?…
Rather than assuming they are on the same page, heading in the same direction – mutuality is reached through exploration. They know and support each other’s dreams. They communicate and align shared dreams. Creating the bigger picture, a culture is nurtured around their relationship, with symbols of their love, stories they treasure and rituals for connection. Like a good business is driven by a mission statement, these couples follow their family mission– giving purpose, meaning and a vision that propels them into the future they desire.
Play together. Laugh together. Connect. Be intimate. Touch. Nurture and recharge that spark… that desire.
Value the individual. Value your partnership. Let conflict be an opportunity to go a little deeper.
Be fulfilled. Create the type of future you both want, even if there is no script for it yet.
Lemarc Thomas, Director at The Relationship Consultancy – Helping singles find love, helping couples maintain their love and helping professionals in the business of love – love love love.
Lemarc has been an expert in the world of Matchmaking and Relationships for 6 years, and now spends most of his time coaching clients internationally to achieve their dreams.