The Art of relating

with Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW, Therapist & Relationship Coach

Love Is An Action Word

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Anyone can be in love, but it takes something more to have a successful relationship. Passion alone will never fully equate to what is necessary to make two completely different people be able to get along and work in unison for the sake of maintaining the connectedness we all deserve. Are you just getting back into the dating world and constantly wonder just how “into you” he is? Do you find yourself in relationships sounding like a broken record repeatedly asking for help, compromises and changes to no avail? Is he or she saying that they don’t want the relationship to end, yet they seem unwilling or unable to address and fix the elephant in the room? If you are experiencing any of this you may be in a relationship with someone who is unwilling to put forth the action to make the relationship work.

Clients who come into the office for relationship coaching are always encouraged to be dating while we work together. Naturally, they relay their dating experiences and ask for my feedback. It is quite common to question whether or not the other person is really that into dating you, as they act inconsistently and there seems to be a lopsided effort in getting the whole process rolling. The inconsistency in contact can wreak havoc on many people. Then, try throwing in a little insecurity from past relationship experiences and your barometer goes haywire. If you do better with consistency, then just own it and ask for it. After all, love is an action word. Ask for it and see what happens. The outcome of this request will act a great beginning gauge for determining possible relationship success and longevity. Are you starting something up with a person who can put forth the effort to have a relationship? It makes for a much nicer beginning if you date someone who calls with consistency, makes plans with consistency and certainly makes it clear to you that he or she is indeed interested.

Some people find themselves in relationships that have left them exhausted, repeatedly asking for requirements that should be a part of any well-functioning relationship. These would include things such as compromise, validation, loyalty, independence, etc. You should not have to spend years begging for the relationship attributes that should be there in the first place. It starts with a common understanding that these things need to be present in order for things to run smoothly and each individual to be happy. Love is an action word. Therefore, compromises must be made. People need to make adjustments to address the needs of their partners. If you find yourself with someone who repeatedly proclaims, “I am who I am so accept it” each time you ask for cooperation, then you really need to take a look at getting out. Someone who doesn’t want to do anything or have any requirements of them has much to learn in the realm of love and relationships. This will never work in that you will never be happy in this type of situation.

Some people find they have a big, pink elephant in the relationship that needs to be addressed. Does your partner have serious issues with temper, control, alcohol, gambling, drugs or computer porn? Does he or she say that they want the relationship to last when you voice your concerns and hesitations about staying, yet seem to refuse to do anything that could logically begin to help or address the situation? If so, you may be with someone who cannot or will not put forth the effort to repair the trust and damage to the relationship. Love is an action word. Love alone is not enough. We all hate to have to accept that adult concept, but it is true. Love without action is immaturity at its best. And, it takes an emotionally mature person to be able to own their part in the problem and work to resolve the issues.

Take a hard long look at your relationship and ask yourself if you are getting the action that needs to accompany love. If you are not try asking for it and see what happens. Likewise, if you are just dating, be sure to pay attention at the beginning and access if this is a person that can put the action behind the words. When action pairs with love you have the potential for a great relationship.
Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a therapist and relationship coach. For a free consultation call 314-374-8396.

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