Life Intelligence: Relationships

Everyone wants a great relationship. Advice on the subject abounds online, in the bookstore, and every magazine. In a study conducted by Harris Interactive in 2018, 64% of Americans professed to be happy in their current romantic relationship. Which begs the question of why relationships only last, on average, just two years?

When asked about the secret of a long-lasting marriage, an elderly gentleman married for more than five decades,  said, “When you want to leave, don’t!” It’s that simple. I assume he excluded abuse and other forms of harmful misbehaving.

When you want to leave, don’t.

Don’t leave because the grass seems greener through your phone. Put your phone down.

Don’t leave because you haven’t found yourself. You assume there’s something called “yourself” in existence like a mushroom waiting to be found under a tree. “Yourself” is more like a cloud in the sky that goes from fluffy and cute to gray and thunderous and even rains and hails at times. Put another way, get over yourself.

Don’t leave because your partner is not good enough for you. He or she was good enough a few months or years ago. How do you know that you are good enough for him/her? Perhaps the clutter of your respective baggage can be better organized for the benefit of both of you. You can even have fun in the process.

Don’t leave because you don’t know what else to do. Learn.

Consider that the reason your relationship is not awesome maybe because you are not awesome. Relationships are not something you get for nothing. They make you pay for your selfish and inconsiderate ways by giving you grief and unveiling your inconsistencies. Be grateful and make yourself so awesome your partner would feel like they hit the jackpot. No one likes a whining, self-entitled liability.

Finally, a relationship is not something you tend to on Valentine’s only. It should go without saying, but obviously, it needs saying according to the above statistics.

And what of all the singles out there. If single and looking, remember this on your next date. A date is a micro relationship. It’s from moment One that the two of you display your role preferences and set the stage for your future relationship if one should happen. What are you communicating, verbally and behaviorally? Check your expectations. Are you adding value or mooching off the other person? Would you enjoy taking yourself out on a date as you are?

Yes, all of the above applies to friendships of all sorts. If you can’t be a good friend to your good friends, you probably can’t be a good partner to a good partner.

Happy Valentine’s month!

Valentina Petrova has been helping people with life, health, relationships, financial, career, professional, and business challenges since 2015. She has a Master’s in Psychology and is a certified Life Coach. You can reach her at (805)909-1401, and watch her at


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