As a relationship advice expert, I constantly receive questions from readers wanting me to help them navigate the uncertain waters of love. And from their questions, it seems that the vast majority of people out there are relatively clueless when it comes to creating successful relationships. Sure, there are some among us who are “lucky” and appear to just stumble upon it. But for the rest of us, finding and keeping a solid relationship takes determination, self-control, and perseverance. And, at the end of the day, it’s what most of us want more than anything else.
So how do we do it? Is this whole love thing really a game? And if so, what are the rules?
I think, at its most fundamental level, there’s a pretty big gap between the expectations of men and those of women. What we want out of our relationships and from our partners differ vastly. Even so, we often expect the other to think and act the way we do. And when they don’t, hurts, disappointments, and resentments take hold and begin to grow. Major bummer! In my opinion, this is the fundamental problem we experience in our relationships. Almost everything else can be traced back to this fact.
So if love is indeed a “game,” my first “rule” would be this: Quit expecting a guy (or girl) to think and behave like you. It just isn’t happening. Men and women come at relationships with different (sometimes vastly different) objectives. And when we put our own expectations and agendas on another person, we set both them and ourselves up for failure.
My second “rule” naturally flows from my first. Both men and women need to stop expecting the other person to be who we want them to be. So often we meet someone and think the following: “They’re ‘perfect.’ If only they didn’t _____. If only they were more_____.” And then we set out to change them; to mold them into the person of our dreams. Wrong! Love comes with an “as-is” policy. We need to see each other clearly and as they truly are. We either have to accept each other’s faults and flaws or determine that we can’t live with them and move on. Trying to “change” another person is a sure-fire path to relationship disaster. And yet we do it all the time…
So I’d like to welcome you all to my new icedjamb.com page. I’m excited to get started helping you build the love life you’ve always wanted. And, as we move forward, I’d like to encourage you to put your relationship “expectations” aside. Instead of working to get what we “expect,” let’s focus instead on what we’ll “accept.” If you think about it, this makes a lot more sense.