“But I’ve never had a good relationship. How could I possibly have one?”
You create it.
It’s very true that your early life relationships can have a huge impact on your growing brain and who you become.
Children who grow up WITHOUT what’s called a “secure emotional attachment” (knowing that they are important, valued, loved, taken care of) and especially those who face abuse and trauma may be more likely to create less than rewarding relationships themselves as adults than those who do have “secure attachments” growing up.
Does that mean you’re screwed if you’ve never had a good relationship?
If you’ve never felt truly safe with someone to just show up vulnerably as yourself?
At one point, psychologists would have said YES, sorry, you’re screwed, out of luck, once you form an “insecure attachment style” – that’s what you get for life.
THANKFULLY, now we know better!
EVEN IF you’ve never had a good relationship…
You CAN form strong, healthy, solid, loving, and emotionally safe and supportive relationships REGARDLESS of your past, regardless of how “messed up” you consider yourself and regardless of how you’ve been treated.
Research in psychology (which I abhor doing myself but appreciate) has backed that up – people CAN change their ways of connecting and relating to others.
One thing I’ve always been amazed by is how resilient we are as humans.
You are a human; you are resilient.
So if you can read this, you can create a strong and healthy relationship, regardless of your past. Even if you’ve never had a good relationship.
It can be difficult to create something if you don’t know what it looks like, if you don’t know what it feels like, and if you still have lingering doubts about your deservedness.
For starters, please know this:
You — as much as anyone else — deserve a strong, loving and fulfilling relationship — even if you’ve never had a good relationship.
This may be repeat for you — but here are 3 other keys to a solid foundation in your relationship (**taken directly from Dr. Sue Johnson’s work of Emotionally Focused Therapy…
To read more, please grab her bestselling book that has helped countless couples globally, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love):
A – Accessibility — are you and your partner accessible to each other? Can you SEE each other? Your true feelings? Can you SHOW yourself to your partner and be accepted? Can your partner show themselves to you and be accepted?
The more you can be accessible and SEEN by each other, the stronger you are together.
R – Responsiveness — do you respond to each other when you call? You ask your partner a question, if they’re engrossed in their phone, do they respond? Do you? We are all guilty of “not hearing” each other at times … but is this a pattern? Could your partner feel that your business or work is more important than they are because they are on the ball with their emails but hardly give you the time of day? Or vice versa?
It is so simple, but you can really show someone how important they are to you by RESPONDING to them fully – 100% present – all of your attention. We are more and more starved for attention and responsiveness, start giving it to each other more, you’ll be amazed…
E – Emotional engagement – do you really care about what’s going on in each of your inner worlds? Do you show each other that you care?
Next time you see your partner, if you have one, really ask them what’s going on? What’s on their mind? How are they feeling?
A strong romantic relationship involves a couple who are accessible and responsive to each other, and are emotionally engaged with each other.
You deserve a relationship in which you feel your partner is accessible — you can really REACH them (and you can be accessible to them), you are responsive to each other, and you are emotionally engaged.
THAT is the foundation for a strong relationship.
If you’ve never had a good relationship, it can be more of an “effort” to create, no doubt, but I truly believe you can.
I speak more about this on my live video in my Facebook group – Your Best Love (which you’re welcome to join!) – but that’s the gist.
Join us here to check it out, and to come alongside others who are intent on creating their best relationships this year and beyond.
AND…if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and read more about how to create that solid relationship in the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.
All my best,