This piece is for couples and singles alike. Many of us grow up with unrealistic expectations of love.
These ideas are often limited, portrayed as a feeling—such as butterflies, non-stop chemistry, or someone coming along and sweeping you off your feet.
The deeper aspects of love and what that actually means in a relationship doesn’t get the airtime it deserves. The quieter, less flashy yet incredibly powerful bits often get forgotten.
The components that make up a dream relationship exist in so many ways beyond what we see on the big screen… Hollywood just hasn’t been imaginative enough to turn any of them into a major blockbuster yet.
For those who already have a significant other but feel as though they’re in a bit of a relationship slump, these tips may be the key to turning your current relationship into a dream relationship. Really!
Be Clear About What Your Needs Are
In relationships especially, it can be hard to separate your needs from what we’re told we should expect. For many, a steady flow of diamonds and other gifts may seem great, but ultimately, those are a poor substitute for an emotional connection, shared vision, presence, and a supportive partner who loves you, flaws, and all.
Regardless of if you’re single or in a relationship, consider these questions:
Who are you, and what do you need from someone so you can feel emotionally safe?
If things become challenging in life, how do you need to be supported through that process?
What makes you laugh, and brings you joy?
How do you envision growing old with someone; what does that look like?
Many people never give themselves a chance to explore these questions, and because there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s unique for everyone – it can be challenging to discover, and remain connected enough to notice if your needs change.
When Socrates was asked to clarify what he meant by ‘the unexamined life is not worth living,’ he simply said, “know thyself.” Though that 2,500-year advice may seem dated and sound a bit stodgy, it’s true.
Therapy is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself and answer the question of what you actually need.
At the Relationship Therapy Center, we offer both individual and couples counseling. We have two locations, one in Old Fair Oaks and the other in Roseville. If you live in Northern California and think you may benefit, we’d love to hear from you.
Communicate Openly, with Honesty and Kindness
One of the worst things you can do in a relationship is expect your partner to be a mind reader. That’s something they simply can’t do, and expecting them to “just know,” is likely to leave them confused.
Feelings are like an onion. There’s often more to them than what appears on the surface. For example, if you peer deeper at anger or jealousy, you usually discover there’s a lot more underneath. Usually, the feelings beneath the big explosive emotions that people tend to act on are tied to vulnerability, shame, or fear of abandonment.
Expressing these deeper level feelings can be scary. It requires trust, patience, and the ability to not react immediately when the bolt of anger strikes or the pang of jealousy jolts.
Again, this is something therapy can help you learn how to do.
Discovering how to connect with your needs is powerful. If you’re single, being clear about what your deeper level needs are will increase your chances of finding someone who checks those boxes – i.e., a dream relationship.
If you’re currently in a relationship, learning to share them with your partner, and discovering how to do the same for them and their needs, is an absolute game changer.
Honor and Protect Your Connection
A relationship is like a plant. Tend to it regularly, and you’ll be treated to beautiful fragrant blooms. Ignore it, and it will wither and die.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s important that you maintain that connection, and head the same direction. Share goals as a couple.
Continue being curious about each other and open yourselves up to learning new skills and discovering things.
If you’re single, it’s helpful to think beyond just meeting someone. What are things you enjoy that you’d love to share with your future partner? What are some goals you have, and what would the ideal support from a partner look like as you set out to achieve them?
A dream relationship is a place where you are seen, heard, valued and loved. It’s a place you’re free to grow, and the joy of sharing that with someone else and having their unwavering support is incredible.
If you feel like your current relationship needs some help, or if you’re single after a series of failed relationships, therapy is an excellent way to uncover what’s really going on.
Curious to learn more? We’d love to hear from you.
Therapy in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:
If you are ready to change your life for the better, we can help. To begin therapy at our Sacramento area locations or online, follow these steps:
- Contact the Relationship Therapy Center and schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more.
- Meet with one of our talented therapists
Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.