How To Build Strong Relationships
I think it was John Donne who coined the phrase "No man is an island", and in so doing he described the underlying reason why the relationships in our lives are so important. It's perfectly possible to be happy alone but loneliness is a different matter altogether and, in fact, our willingness and satisfaction to live as separate individuals is a key factor in enabling satisfying and strong intimate relationships with other people.
We are not "wired" to be solitary, and although some may happily live alone, for most of us there is a desire to find people with which to share our days. But we're such complex creatures sometimes, even when someone appears willing to love us we find that we push love away without really understanding why.
How do we prepare for our relationships?
The blueprint for our attitude and expectations from relationships begins early in life. The bond that we form with parents and carers plays a significant role in understanding the attitudes we bring into our adulthood. Often we carry unhelpful beliefs which prevent us from developing healthy and successful relationships but it can be extremely difficult for us to understand what's going wrong.
Why don’t we stick at relationships when they get tough?
Our general expectations of life sometimes don't help. If we are honest with ourselves we probably believe that the enjoyable things in life should be easy, so when we hit a rough patch in a relationship our instinct can often be to get out and move onto someone else, leaving behind a trail of destruction to families, personal wellbeing and finances. That's not to say that all relationships can work, they can't, and remaining in a destructive relationship without consciousness of the consequences is just as bad as getting out of one without trying to fix it.
All in all making relationships work can be a pretty complex challenge, so it isn't surprising that help might be required.
If you are struggling with a relationship it might be time to try and find some clarity to help determine the best next steps, not just the easiest.