Having the Best Relationship Ever — a look at what’s behind my book, The. Best. Relationship. Ever.
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Back when I was in private practice, three topics came up… a lot:
- stuff about passion, vocation, sexuality
- stuff related to getting your life together, and
- stuff about relationships
There’s a lot of bad information out there. I wanted to help more people… so I wrote books!
After writing three books geared toward individuals, I wrote two about relationships.
First, I wrote a greatly expanded version of my booklet, the List of 50. This book is a methodology to figure out how to, as the title says, “Find Your Perfect Partner.” The concept is simple. Hormones do a lousy job of helping us to pick someone to date.
Thinking through (which is a component in “getting your life together”) who you want to be in relationship with is the only way to get what you want.
But finding a great partner is only “Step 1.” The rest of it happens as we practice, day in and day out, the fine art of relating.
Many years ago, I started writing a relationships book. It’s had various names, and was an odd book.
I’m usually OK with writing and finishing up, but this one was slippery… it kept getting longer and longer, and I couldn’t figure out how to end it.
I think this was because I really believe in the value of an excellent relationship.
And that meant I wanted to get the book exactly right. I realized how much trouble I’d had getting to the place of knowing what works and how to do it…
No question, hanging out with Darbella for almost 40 years now has been “interesting.” I really did have a lot of baggage back in 1982, when we got together.
This would include 2 failed marriages, and an ego that filled rooms. (I’ve got it down to closet size. Really.)
Dar was patient, and crystal clear about not playing my games. I learned to focus on me, and me alone — as in, not blaming her for any part of my internal experience.
That was the turning point for me: I accepted 100% responsibility for my life
As I mentioned above, this led to my first 3 books books, This Endless Moment, Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall, and. Living Life in Growing Orbits… which are focussed on individual exploration.
But that relationships book… that was another story.
Anyway, I got a lot of requests from my clients for a relationships book. I decided that I needed to “get ‘er done,” so I worked through several stored and dropped versions, looking for the meat of the book.
I found it
The. Best. Relationship. Ever. is a guide to what works. I’ve included details on the Communication Model, as well as 8 other Tools for Relating.
I devised exercises and a plan for working through the Tools to create a relationship that works.
Here’s the Introduction
First of all, welcome!
My wife Darbella (Dar for short) and I have been developing and teaching Elegant, Intimate Relating since we met in 1982. We’ve helped hundreds of clients to strengthen and deepen their relationships. Needless to say, what you’re about to read is the bedrock for our own relationship.
We’d like to help you — if you use what we’ve learned, and your relationship will become the best is can be.
Over the years, I’ve written two booklets about relating, as well as creating “The List of 50,” — a method to figure out what you want in a partner (expanded to a full length book, Find Your Perfect Partner.) Recently, I decided it was time for a practical guide based on Elegant, Intimate Relating.
The. Best. Relationship. Ever. teaches the nuts and bolts of building and maintaining a great relationship. You’ll learn about what Elegant, Intimate Relating looks like, you’ll discover how to communicate with clarity and curiosity, and you’ll discover how to continue deepening your relationship over time.
The Plot Thickens
The best gift you can give yourself, right now, is an acknowledgment — you really don’t have a clue what it takes to have a full-bodied, lush relationship, now do you??
And really, why would you? They’re pretty rare. Most experts, including me 😉 figure that only 5% of the population ever figures this one out.
That’s why so many people divorce; that’s why so many others have dull, boring relationships.
Hard Work is Required
Fair warning: Elegant, Intimate Relating is a long and winding road. I want to be clear. This book has no short-cuts — just plain speaking, and hard work.
Relationship work is personal and individual
Now, that may seem a bit odd in a book titled, “The. Best. Relationship. Ever.” I’m stating it this way to make a point. Despite the fact that the number of people in a traditional relationship is two, there is only one person that can change how you relate to your partner. You!
Therefore, not one suggestion in this book is aimed at your partner. This book is not a tool to bludgeon your partner with. This book is designed to get you to stop looking outside of yourself, either for rescue, or to blame.
Have a look at the relationship you are in (or the one that just ended!) Now, say after me:
“I created this. Every aspect of my life is just as it is, and it is as it is because of how I think, and what I do. Waiting for my partner to change is silly, as the only person I have a chance of changing is me. So, here I go — from this point on, I am claiming total responsibility for how I see myself, and what I choose to do.”
There! Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
We’re going to go on a walk into 100% self-responsibility. By the end of this book, you’ll know whether there’s a chance in hell to save your current relationship (hint: there is, but not easily, as there’s a ton of water under that bridge, and doing things differently requires strenuous effort.)
If your latest relationship has tanked, then reading this book may just make your next relationship soar.
In either case, you must keep your nose on your side of the fence, learn and implement what this book teaches — a new way of being in the world — and get over yourself.
The. Hardest. Rule. Ever.
I say this to my clients, first session, and often in the first 10 minutes:
“The hardest thing to accept is this idea — everything, 100%, that is going on inside of you is caused by you. Others do not “make you feel” — they don’t create your internal experience. That’s you in there, doing all of it. Therefore, everyone else is off the hook.”
The only way another person can affect us is physically — someone with a gun can “make you” do stuff. Someone verbally demanding you do something is powerless.
Similarly, others do not make you happy, sad, angry, bored, or horny. What you feel is you, choosing.
This is the “make or break understanding” for having a meaningful life and for The. Best. Relationship. Ever.
- OK, so the plan is to share some essential concepts, and look at how relationships fail.
- Then, a case study, featuring Sam and Sally.
- We’ll look at Elegant, Intimate Relating.
- I’ll then give you tools for Elegant, Intimate Relating, so that you too can have The. Best. Relationship. Ever.
Let’s go for the ride. Read carefully, absorb what you read, and experiment with the exercises. This stuff doesn’t happen by magic. You actually have to implement it!