Determining your relationship values featuring Carole Sandy

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BY: KEZIA ROYER-BURKETT

Usually, this column focuses on my relationship experiences and topics related to single people, this week I have decided it was time to switch it up. This week’s article features certified therapist and relationship counsellor Carole Sandy. Carole Sandy has been married to her husband for over ten years and helps individuals and families heal and efficiently communicate. Carole has comprised some relationship value questions to help any blooming or established relationships.  For single people like me, this article is a great resource that can help provide understanding for some of the questions you will eventually have to ask yourself.  Values are an excellent tool for distinguishing what is truly important to us, but at times our values change, or we forget the values we set for ourselves before our relationship. Here are some great questions to consider, to determine your exact feelings towards your current relationship state.

So, you have been dating for a while now, and you’re beginning to feel more comfortable in this relationship. You both met each other’s friends, you’ve even spent time together during those important holidays and you’ve noticed that being over at each other’s place is less awkward. If you’re honest with yourself, there is nothing for you to complain about but something in the back of your mind is telling you to get more curious and ask yourself some hard questions about if you see the two of you have a stable future.  Here are a few things that you might want to consider if you find yourself struggling with if certain beliefs and patterns can have an impact on the future of this relationship.

Do you have a strong emotional connection? We all have busy schedules, but do you both make a consistent effort to spend time together?  It can be something as simple as taking a walk, having a meal out or finding a shared activity, the idea is that you are both feeling supported, respected, and there are opportunities for you to talk and share. When relationships experience long gaps in emotional disconnection, bitterness has a way of creeping in and draining the relationship.

Have you entered into the high expectations vs low expectations dance? Does it feel almost impossible to please your partner or even the other way around? Do you have minimal expectations about making people happy, being on time or dealing with a challenging issue? At the beginning of a relationship, these tendencies can seem cute or harmless. However, these expectations can breed chaos. It might be worthwhile to find common ground that merely requires learning and accepting each other’s habits. 

When disagreements arise do you find yourself in the battle between being right while your partner is more concerned with understanding where you are coming from? In order to hear one another out, you need to first recognize that there is almost never a right or wrong position in arguments in relationships, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. When you have both created space to hear each other out it allows for both logical and emotional points of view to have a place because we all deserve to be heard, accepted and taken seriously when in a relationship.

Have you lost a sense of yourself in this relationship?  Too often when we enter into a new relationship we begin to make exceptions and create a world that does not ask- are we building one another up while at the same time establishing who we are meant to be in the world. Finding a way to balance the ME as a team requires supporting each other while placing the needs of the couple first so that you have joint goals, safety and connection creating the type of foundation that is vital for individual growth moving forward.

Great advice from Carole Sandy therapist and relationship counsellor. I once watched a Tony Robbins film on Netflix where he had a woman break up with her boyfriend in front of thousands of people over the phone at a conference; because she knew but was too afraid to acknowledge that she was in a relationship that wasn’t true to her life’s values. Often, we stay in relationships that we know should end because we are afraid of being alone, afraid of hurting the person’s feelings, fearful of acknowledging our emotions and the list goes on. If you enjoyed this article and wanted to hear more from Carole Sandy or have a story to share regarding love and relationships, please e-mail me at Kezia@carib101.com.

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