After years of studying and practicing the art and science of romantic relationships like a doctor practices medicine, I’d been pretty confident I had that shit down better than some people in long-term marriages. While certified life coaches are trained to help the client arrive at her own answers, for the longest time, I could read or listen to just about any story of heartache, diagnose what went wrong, and prescribe a solution.
Why did Samantha fall head-over-heels in love with Dave after the first date and wonder why he disappeared? She felt too much chemistry and not enough compatibility, blinding her of red flags. Why did Jillian feel like she was giving too much of herself to Austin and not getting enough in return? She needed more boundaries and self-love. Why did Marla imagine her boyfriend Trick picking her up in a limo or a horse-drawn carriage on the night of their one-year anniversary and feel disappointed when he arrived in his usual car? She needed realistic expectations.
So, I’d been feeling pretty good about my ability to help others leave their anxiety and insecurity behind for a peaceful relationship. But my confidence was a little rattled like a baby toy when I discovered this TEDx Talk. It offers a new relationship model that sort of flipped my world upside-down.
It was almost like being a mid-19th century woman reading Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” for the first time and then flipping out. Yet, I think it shouldn’t have had that effect on me, because one simple idea in particular aligned so well with life coaching.
Let me explain. I’ve mentioned “compromise” several times on my blog—that because relationships (usually) involve two people (as opposed to “throuples“) with different needs, personalities, expectations, etc., compromise is necessary.
But what if it’s not necessary? What if you could thrive in a relationship without compromise (at least most of the time)? What if you could enjoy pizza without gluten? What if you could backpack with less than 20 pounds on your shoulders? What if you could drink straight from the milk carton? (“What’s with the weird questions, Holly?!”)
Basically, we’re throwing away what we’ve been taught growing up. We’re throwing away old rules and adopting new ones.
So, what’s the new rule? Relationships thrive on win-wins! Compromise is a dirty, smelly sock with holes in it, and win-wins are sexy Victoria Secret pantyhose.
The woman in the TEDx Talk explained why compromise sucks: Who feels great conceding all the time? Who likes feeling resentful? I don’t see anyone raising their hands.
With that said, how would a win-win work?
Exhibit A: When traveling together, pick a destination where there’s something for both of you. Phillip and I like going places where I can scuba dive and he can mountain bike.
Exhibit B: Don’t like the music your partner plays in the car? You can listen to your own through your earbuds. (I’m speaking from experience!)
Exhibit C: In a long distance relationship? While I recommend you eventually close the gap, work out a communication plan. When are you both free to video chat each day? How often will you see each other in person?
It’s so simple, yet sometimes we need a reminder.
Who’s ready to toss compromise in the water like a sack of bad memories and get you and your partner some win-wins? I see everyone raising their hands!
If the time is right and you need help leaving your relationship anxiety and insecurity behind for some delectable peace of mind, then fill out the easy form toward the bottom of this page and I’ll be in touch ASAP.
Interested but not ready to commit to a coaching relationship? Grab your earbuds or turn on your Bluetooth to listen to “Your Relationship Is History—Unless You Fix These 3 Things That Are Making You Crazy.”