The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Relationship

One of the most important things you can do to create the commitment you want in your relationship is to work with a straightforward, knowledgeable, and devoted Love Mentor™. This is the secret, the strategy that has totally transformed my life and the lives of thousands of others: Love Mentoring™ involves reeducating yourself and developing critical skills to build your most important and intimate relationship. In my new relationship advice book, Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love, I describe the importance of having a mentor when you are in the throes of working out a fledgling or struggling relationship. Maintaining and building higher and higher levels of committed love is the hardest task we face in life. As the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. Part of the reason it is so hard is that our relationship killer beliefs lead us to reenact the most powerful love traumas from our past. For example, women tend to revisit these negative scenarios in three different ways: We pick men who are similar to our problematic fathers or exes; project those hot-button traits onto boyfriends; or provoke our partners into acting like our problem parents or exes behaved. So our tendency is to keep picking commitment-phobes, or alcoholics, or [insert your type of heartbreaker]. Even if he doesn’t seem that way at first. Then, if the person does not act in the same old hurtful ways, we tend to project–that is, perceive–him as doing it anyway. And finally, we can be so scared, so expectant of the same traumatic and disappointing behavior that we actually may provoke our partners into doing it. Because of this pick, project, or provoke pattern, we wind up with the same disappointments, the same rejections, the same abandonment, the same abuse we suffered growing up. Not to mention other conflicts, pains, and misfortune that life hurls into the midst of a couple’s work and family life. It is certainly easy to get lost in a murky whirlpool of pain and confusion, and this is why a wise and loving mentor whom we respect can make all the difference in whether things move forward with your happy ending, or whether they simply fall apart. In Sealing the Deal, I lay out the four steps of Love Mentoring but in this article we’ll focus on how you can find this special guide and what qualities they should possess. How to Find a Love Mentor When I’m on radio or TV, women are always calling in with this type of question: “Dr. Diana, you say that a Love Mentor is so important in helping me find love. Where in the world do I find such a person? On Craigslist?” Not exactly! Here’s how: Make a list of all the kind and wise people in your social network. Love Mentors™ can be male or female and may include good aunts, stepparents, therapists, coaches, ministers, rabbis, and 12-step sponsors, among others. Then pick out three people who might be able to meet your TTLC needs. Choose ones who you look up to and admire. Important: These need to be people who have or have had (as in widowed) great love relationships themselves-not your single friends. They know the road you want to be on, while your single friends do not. And often your single girlfriends will simply tell you a guy’s great while you’re dating him and then how awful he really was after you break up–because they’re afraid to hurt your feelings. This is not useful! In addition to being in a wonderful relationship, another plus is if your prospective Love Mentor is an informal matchmaker who has helped a few people get married. She or he also needs to think highly enough of you to want to spend the time to help you! If you are choosing to work with a therapist, make sure that he or she is accomplished in working both individually and with the couple as needed. Obviously if some of the folks on your list are paid professionals, you have to be prepared to invest in your love life. Cultivate a closer relationship with your potential Love Mentor. Reach out and spend an hour or so with them face-to-face and or via phone and e-mail each week. I don’t care if you’re nervous or anxious or feeling not good enough around the person; do it anyway. These feelings actually mean that they are in the position to be able to help you even more with your self-esteem! If you are working with a nonprofessional Love Mentor, give back to the person in any way you can: Take them to lunch, give them thoughtful gifts, make introductions to people who can help them. But be sure to ask them to spend more time with you, talking about your relationship with your Beloved. If you are unable to find a good Love Mentor, you can also consider hiring a strong and validating professional Love Mentor

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