Tag Archive | commitment

Why Do Some People Shy Away From Love?

Why Do Some People Shy Away From LoveA question I received just recently was from a young man who said that he falls in love at the drop of a hat, or maybe that should read heart, and then just as quickly feels an equally strong need to withdraw from the relationship when it gets to the part that she is asking for more of a commitment.

I was told that everything is just great until the moment it seems that the woman starts to ask questions like ‘where are we going?’ at which time he gets an overwhelming sense of dread and a need to just pull out of the relationship. He says he just wants to ‘run with fear!’

So the question is: ‘why, when everything looks and feels perfect, does he do this?’

The answer can be found in his statement: ‘run with fear!’ because it is fear that is driving it. So without an opportunity to explore his background further the answer maybe either in a past experience between someone who was very important to him, such as his parents, or from a previous experience of his own in which he might have been deeply hurt and has not yet fully recovered.

All our past experiences affect how we respond to what is happening to us now. So if our past experiences have been positive then so will our present experiences be positive and if our past experiences have been negative so will our present experiences be unless we have taken the time to review those experiences, learned what we need to learn from them to ensure a comfort within ourselves that we will not make the same mistakes again.

When we have done this satisfactorily then we can enter into new experiences without the past impacting on the outcome. And sometimes we need some extra help with this and that is where counselling can play a truly valuable role.

I often wonder when I hear people say that there is no such thing as love. The reason for such thinking is that, most likely they have been deceived by someone in the past, so they become cynical and begin to say that love does not exist.

They do so because they do not want to get hurt again, but in saving themselves, they hurt many other people by first getting into a relationship and then shying away telling their partner  that they do not love them when what they probably really want to say is simply: ‘I’m scared’.

If this describes you take a good look inside of yourself and be really honest with yourself. Is this about no love or is this really that you are scared. If it is because you are scared help is at hand. No-one should spend their days alone because of something that happened a long time ago.

And if it really is that you think that you just want to spend some time with someone, and not really commit to a relationship, then you should let the other person know that you are not into anything serious and that you will not commit to them. You should tell this to them in the beginning, rather than breaking their heart afterwards.

If you are not in love then you cannot be happy in a relationship because the relationship does not really exist. To get the most out of your life and out of your relationship firstly do the work you need to do to be finished with any past relationships and then open your heart and your soul to all the joy that true love, without any fear, can offer you.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is Marriage Going Out Of Style?


You may already know that I have four children, all adults, who are starting to look at entering into long term relationships now that their childhood has passed them by.

Accordingly two of my sons have now ‘tied the knot’ having done so in the last couple of weeks and it left me with the question: Is getting married still the ultimate goal for this generation or is it, as I was believing, going out of style?

My thinking was that this generation, probably more than any other in history has been witness to their mother and father’s liberation as a consequence of the changes in family law that has happened, in Australia at least, during the 1970’s. The new laws allowed for ‘no fault’ divorce and as a consequence there was a rapid rise in divorces for the rest of that decade.

Up until that time for a couple to divorce it needed to be for a reason. This often led to couples creating reasons or one or other of the couple ‘taking the heat’, so to speak, in order for there to be good grounds for divorce. In this regard they would accept an allegation of adultery in order to get the application accepted by the court.

This certainly was not fair or honest and left many couples, and families, in distress as a consequence.

‘Happy Ever After’

So my belief was that possibly this situation tainted our children’s view of marriage and the notion of ‘happy ever after’.

But maybe not so! As I chatted with the guests at my children’s weddings, I was curious about this and so asked several young people the question. The responses, I must say, surprised and delighted me as I was challenged to put aside my own preconceptions and cynicisms about whether young adults today thought differently about marriage than my generation might.

Following my conversations with many of these young people I was astonished to hear that not only did they believe in ‘happy ever after’ but wanted to seal it in their marriage vows.

Not only that but I also discovered a refreshing interest in this generation of wanting to learn the skills necessary to make their relationships work with a strong commitment to that as an outcome.

I was so happy to hear that, especially in terms of where my work is now taking me, being into the area of pre-marital coaching.

Let me then invite all of you, whether you are going into a marriage or are already in one, and who wants to make your relationship the best it can be to head on over to my website and check out the quizzes page. There you’ll find a questionnaire titled ‘Are you ready to be in a relationship?’ It’s free! Complete it and let me know how you went.

Pre-marriage Program

If you want to extend yourself further check out this page: ‘Pre-marriage Program’ where you’ll be introduced to an in-depth analysis of your relationship and an answer to your question about whether you have what it takes to make your relationship last your lifetime.

Interesting – the one thing I didn’t hear my children say to their new spouses was that they would be there ‘til death do them part. I think this was as it should be as I don’t think its right to promise something for some time in the future when we really don’t know what that future will be or how we will be in it. I’ll say more about that in another blog.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Are You Addicted To Love?

Are You Addicted To Love?

Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life and maybe only second to becoming a parent. Consequently it is crucial that it is a decision made with considerable thought and care to ensure that, as much as possible, it will create a lasting relationship.

Having said that I have never come across anyone who made a decision to marry with the intent of divorcing and yet, as we know, more than 40% of first marriages do end in divorce and the statistics are even higher for second and subsequent marriages – 60%++.

Is There Something Wrong That They Have Been Married Three Times?

Maybe there is or maybe it is that some people just keep making wrong decisions. For some people it just takes time to figure out that the relationship is just not working. Maybe some people are just poor judges of character or don’t know themselves well enough to know who actually might be a good match for them.

Maybe there are people who just don’t take the time needed to know someone well enough, or long enough, before diving into a marriage.

And then there are those who are just plain addicted to love. It’s like the beginning part of a relationship, the honeymoon stage, feels so good that they want to create it again and again. So as soon as the fire in the current relationship starts to flicker then the love addict will end the relationship and go and seek the buzz of another new relationship.

If a person has been married three times should I stay away from them?

As already spoken about there can be many reasons why people end a marriage. So for someone who has been married three times, the decision to marry them, or not, needs to be based on a clear understanding as to why this has happened in the past and the likelihood of it happening again.

If they have come to understand what it means to be married and still want to marry you then there should be no problem. If you don’t go ahead you might be missing out on the possibility of creating something truly beautiful with your soul mate. And while they might not have been able to make it with someone else it might just be that this time it will work with you.

Marriage is a very beautiful relationship and the depth of relationship that is possible comes from the heart not from the mind. The mind may tell you not to marry a person who has been divorced, but the heart tells you marry them, because you love them. Listen to what both your heart and mind have to say and then make a decision. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones to make it last your lifetime.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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He says he wants me but will not commit

Committed RelationshipTo know in your mind, and feel in your heart, that you are in a committed relationship and that whatever happens, your partner will still be there for you, brings a sense of security to those in the relationship that love alone cannot provide.

One thing I often ask a couple when beginning work with them is whether they are committed to each other as well as to the relationship. The answer to this question is even more important than the answer to the question – “Do you love your partner?” as the two may actually not be mutually inclusive.

Let me explain this a little more. You might believe that you love your boyfriend or girlfriend with no interest in making it a long-term relationship. You may equally feel committed to the relationship without really being in love: Love may be more a feeling that comes from the heart while commitment maybe more a thought that comes from the mind.

So, what if your boyfriend or girlfriend says that he or she wants to be with you but will not commit? For many this raises the question – “DOES HE REALLY LOVE ME?” The answer may be “yes!” he does love you but for whatever reason cannot commit to you.

So what does this really mean?

Commitment may encompass love but it’s really a whole lot more. It is the unconditional giving of all of oneself to the welfare of the other and to the relationship above all else. It requires an absolute acceptance of an obligation to and a responsibility for another human being and to the connection between you.

For some contemplating doing this is way scarier even than just saying “I love you!”

Commitment refers to the “honor” part of the marriage vows that state that you will each “love and honor each other all the days of your life”. For some this is just too big a thing to ask.

If you ever face such a situation, you need to consider a few things before deciding whether to continue with him or her. If you are truly serious about him or her, then he or she should also be equally serious about you and if he or she is not, I would suggest you think very carefully about continuing the relationship.

To help you decide think firstly about what may be the possible reasons that he or she is not committing.

Sometimes the hesitation is because of some earlier life experience either as they observed their own parents or other family members where there has been heartache and pain. Maybe the reason they cannot commit is that they love someone else and they are just having fun with you or more specifically you are just a “TIME PASS”.

Alternatively they just might not be sure what they want, or they want everything. The sad thing is that generally such people end up with nothing.

So what do you do about it?

If you hear from your partner that he loves you and is committed to you but you don’t feel it clearly in your heart and mind there are three possible directions you can take:

Firstly take a closer look at yourself to see if you are the one fearful of really giving yourself to this relationship.

Also take a close look at him or her and in conversation express your concerns openly and honestly. Ask questions about their earlier life experiences and about their beliefs about relationship to assess whether the issue may be from somewhere in their past.

If you still don’t feel you are getting a convincing answer then consider carefully whether it’s time to move on, for the truth is that there are some out there to whom you will give and give and from whom, for all you give them, will simply not be able to match it in return.

This might sound harsh but sometimes the kindest thing to do for you and/or for another is to let it go. There’s an old adage that says something to the effect of: if you truly love something let it go, if it flies away it’s not yours to have if it comes back it will be yours forever.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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To Commit or Not To Commit

Men who are truly OK in their masculinity, find a woman, truly OK in her femininity, simply irresistible.

I met with a couple yesterday, let’s call them George and Sarah, (not their real names) who just seemed so typical of many young couples I meet these days.

George is a healthy young man who, now in his mid thirties, has had a lot of freedom in his life to pursue his own interests. These have often been around ‘boy’ things like cars and football, and much of his adult life has been around satisfying his wants for the moment without too much concern for the future. He has a great job and sufficient income to support a good life so, in his own mind, really wants for nothing.

Sarah is a healthy young woman who is in her late twenties; a career woman with a brilliant future, and, as well, with her sites very focused clearly on her future, not only in terms of career, but also in terms of relationship and possibly even a family.

Sarah and George have now been in a relationship for over a year and they came to see me because they are in a rut not seeming to be going anywhere. For him it’s about feeling that she is asking for more than he feels he can give right now. And for her it’s a desperate want to feel safe in this relationship with the knowledge that it really is going somewhere.

Maybe the real struggle here relates to commitment and even though it might seem that this may be more of an issue for him it might be for her as well.

Let me explain this. What I see when a couple presents with this sort of issue is maybe nothing more than good old-fashioned FEAR! So, I hear you say, I can see why he might be fearful, given that he is potentially being asked to give up some of his free and easy lifestyle, but how is that showing in her?

My thought on this is simply this: If someone needs to be constantly reassured by another to feel truly OK within themselves, then it may come from a lack of OK within themselves in the first place. The danger then is this; what it is you want most and fear not getting, because of a belief within yourself that you are not deserving of this thing, in this case being love and commitment, may actually create a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ and indeed result in the loss of that thing after all.

Wow!!! Is that a head spinner or what? You might need to read that through several times to actually get what I’m saying.

And here’s my final thought on this topic of commitment. Some Fear, as long as it doesn’t hinder us to such an extent of inaction, can be a good thing really and, from my perspective, may be even a necessary part of the process of making a commitment to another in relationship.   If we really value ourselves and each other and make our relationships important enough then they deserve serious consideration before jumping in boots and all.

My advice for George and Sarah? Given that they seem to be well-matched, even though there are also many differences, for him my suggestion was to jump in and do whatever to let her know that, beside himself, she is the most important thing in his life. This means that he makes her even more important than his mates and his job and all the other things that might distract him from being truly present in this relationship.

And for her? Maybe she needs simply to come to believe that she is the best thing that has ever come into his life and trust that if she truly believes that and acts accordingly the validation she seeks will then naturally be there for her.

As the old saying goes: Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway!

You may agree or disagree with what I have said here. Either way let me know how it strikes you by responding in the “Comments’ link at the bottom of this blog.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Ten Reasons Why Someone Might Be Unfaithful and What to Do About It

Blatent Cheating

Betrayed By A Fiancé/Fiancée?

I receive many emails asking about the meaning of affairs and what to do when you catch someone out. This question is one that comes up regularly both in my rooms as well as via email. In this post I will try and put my thoughts down about what I understand about affairs when they happen and what you can do about them.

Let me first define what an affair is and what an affair is not. For me, and you may agree or not, an affair is when someone creates a relationship with another person, with or without sex, in which that other person becomes the centre of their attention at the expense of their partner.

An affair is not a “one-night stand” where someone gets carried away in the moment and has a sexual encounter with someone outside of the marriage/relationship. Both, however, may be considered equally a betrayal and unforgivable to the other party in the relationship.

When someone has been caught out in any kind of unfaithfulness some of you have simply decided to walk away and others have decided to forgive and move on. There is no right or wrong way to respond to this. It is up to each of you to decide how significant the indiscretion is to you and decide on how you yourself should best react.

Often the actual decision made is more likely based on your personal value system. For some of you, when someone betrays you, it feels like the worst thing that they can do and there is no room for stepping away from the hurt or the loss of trust. For others of you there is such a strong value in your love and commitment that you will find a way to forgive even this most unforgivable of betrayals.

In either situation it seems to come down to which value is the strongest – the value around love and commitment or the value around fidelity.

When someone has been unfaithful it is worth pausing for a moment to take a look at why they may have done it before deciding what the best course of action is.

Reasons for being unfaithful may include:

  1. Fear of committing to one person at the exclusion of all others
  2. The behaviour was modelled by a parent or someone close to the person
  3. Curiosity, especially for the inexperienced, of what sex might be like with someone else
  4. Boredom in the current relationship
  5. An escape from reality into fantasy
  6. A lack of, or insufficient, intimacy in their marriage or relationship
  7. A way to experiment with sex that might not be welcome in their marriage
  8. A spontaneous response to the moment with or without alcohol or other drugs present
  9. A way to exhibit a position of power over another person
  10. An escape from an otherwise tedious or unfulfilling life

Once you have ascertained what might be behind the betrayal then you can make the best decision about what to do about it. You may ultimately decide it is totally the responsibility of the wrongdoer or you may decide that you have to take some responsibility for what has happened as well and change some of your own behaviours.

My belief about this is that when two people truly love each other and are totally committed to their partner then unfaithfulness simply does not have a place. Instead when there are issues they will talk them through until they get a resolution.

And a word of advice: if you ever find yourself in a situation where there has been an infidelity, I would really encourage you to seek professional counselling before making any decisions you may come to regret.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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