Relationships

Relationships are perhaps the most important part of our lives, bringing meaning, comfort and happiness. When we reach the end of our lives and reminisce, it’s usually the connections we’ve formed with others that we remember and define ourselves with.

Good relationships are something we all strive for. They can provide love, support, happiness, friendship, advice and guidance. However, if they break down they can cause problems and emotional turmoil and it’s during these times that relationship advice is sought.

People may seek relationship advice for a number of reasons, and though commonly thought to only involve intimate connections, there are many types of connections that may benefit from help:

  • family members
  • married couples
  • sexual partnerships
  • friendships
  • co-workers

A life coach can offer a host of coaching approaches to different relationships and the problems that can arise with connections during, dating, marriage, friendship and work.

“Taken in a positive way, the 80/20 relationship rule can be about rekindling the passions that have fallen down your list of priorities since finding love. It can be about emphasising the importance of spending time on yourself as an individual, as well as nurturing your relationship.”

- Read more on Happiful 

Relationship problems

We all experience relationship problems at some point in our lives: the problems could occur with a family member, a friend, a lover or even a work colleague. If a certain partnership or connection isn’t fulfilling your expectations, it’s common for your happiness to be affected. Over time, if relationship problems are not dealt with, negative emotions can develop leading to other areas of your life remaining unfulfilled. Everyone copes with and reacts to emotional situations differently, but when the issue isn’t discussed, it can be difficult to know how to treat a problem, or understand how it started.

Many relationship problems start with a person feeling trapped, confused about the relationship direction or feeling unsure about how or where to meet a partner. They might be facing divorce or separation, dealing with infidelity, feeling insecure or frustrated with the loss of connection.

Common issues in relationships include:

  • wanting to improve the current relationship
  • feeling betrayed
  • trying to understand a partner better
  • in need of advice

Whilst there are many reasons why a partnership may be going through a rough patch, with patience, determination and understanding, in general most relationships will be able to get back on track. But for some, complex issues are difficult to fix, sometimes signalling the end of the relationship, be it intimate or between friends.

Who needs relationship advice?

The term relationship is commonly perceived as describing intimate connections with a partner or spouse. Similarly, relationship help is usually associated with those in an intimate relationship. However, the term covers any connection between two or more people: we make different connections with people through all walks of life, whether they’re quick meetings or lifetime associations.

These connections usually refer to the relationship between two people, but it can mean the connection between many: the leader of a country needs a strong relationship with their people and a teacher needs a connection with their students.

Unfortunately, any form of relationship can break down. If a team, or two people, can’t work together, they will in time struggle with relationship problems and the unique dynamic of the connection will begin to fail. Relationship coaching is open to, and may be needed, by anyone struggling to build strong connections or to keep those connections.

What can relationship coaching help with?

A relationship coach or life coach specialising in connections with others can help with a host of difficulties surrounding relationships. If you’re finding things hard with your family, partner, school friends or work colleagues, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our qualified life coaches who can help you on a happier, healthier journey.

Relationship help and advice

If you’re in a long-term partnership and are finding it tough to find a connection with your partner, it can be a stressful, heartbreaking experience. The same, exhausting emotions come with any relationship problem: the first step is to recognise that every one of us goes through this struggle in our lives, find comfort knowing you are not alone.

It can be difficult to accept there is a problem. In some cases, a relationship coach is needed to help and encourage recognising the issue itself, especially if one person doesn’t accept there is a problem. However tough, once you acknowledge that you may be suffering relationship problems, you can begin rebuilding the connection.

Common relationship issues may include:

  • different attitudes regarding the future (i.e. having children)
  • coping with an affair
  • long distance
  • age gaps
  • not talking about stressful situations (i.e. money or moving house)

Talking can be an effective technique. Sit down and talk with the person involved, work out where the issues lie and when they start to fall apart. Try not to place the blame on the other person, but be aware of your own actions.

Be completely honest with your partner if you expect this in return. Usually, communication problems are the start of a problem. Whilst it is important to tell your partner when you feel you are no longer living a healthy relationship or if something is bothering you, it is equally important to let them know when they have made you happy. Negativity can only make situations seem worse.

A relationship coach can offer support and advice. Whilst they will not tell you what to do, they can encourage you to listen to each other and communicate, something you may have been lacking. They will listen to the issues in the relationship, help you to understand the cause and if they can be resolved. If the relationship has reached its end, a coach will support you in moving on but won’t advise you to separate.

Marriage advice

Love

Married couples can struggle for many reasons. It’s interesting to think that most couples will seek marriage advice in some form: it may not necessarily be from a professional relationship coach, but from a friend or family member.

If you’re having trouble in your marriage, it doesn’t mean your marriage is failing. There are many things you can try to get things back on track. Partnerships, and the challenges that come with them, are a perfectly normal part of life. As humans, we strive for an intimate connection with a partner that we love. If things aren’t going well, it can be particularly difficult for everyone involved.

With supportive friends, family and a relationship coach, plenty of marriage advice is at hand. Just remember that ultimately, only you and your partner know exactly what your relationship is like. It’s your strong connection that brought you together in the first place, and this will help you resolve any issues.

A life or relationship coach can offer marriage advice tailored to you and your partner, but they will not try to give answers. Instead, they will work with you both to realise and resolve your challenges, an effective skill that will help you in the long-term.

Many couples seek some form of relationship coaching and marriage advice for a number of reasons, so it’s important to remember you are not alone. Rather than feeling ashamed and the issues escalating, start improving things now.

Dating advice

The world of dating can be intimidating. With the increasing popularity of online dating sites and phone apps, it’s becoming easier to get to know people. However, for some it’s a struggle and they may benefit from dating advice. Confidence can play a big part in the dating game, as can our busy lifestyles. If you’re having trouble getting a date with someone you like, maybe you need to start looking at things from a fresh perspective.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How would you like to be asked out?
  • What sort of things do you look for in a potential partner?

Once you think you have an idea on what your love interest would like, start to think about how you will show them the ‘real you’. Your date may prefer to be called on the phone, or met in person rather than receive an impersonal text. Maybe the date could involve a fun activity, where you needn’t be shy or embarrassed and feel less pressured. Have a look for a local crazy golf course, head to the zoo or have a picnic.

While it shouldn't be necessary to change your likes and dislikes to suit your potential partner, do consider what they might like. Building strong connections with others is about compromise and showing appreciation for the other person. The best piece of dating advice we can give is to be yourself and start as you mean to go on.

Despite the modern, time saving apps and devices now available, we seem to have less ‘free’ time to take for ourselves. Many of us feel torn between the pressures of our work and personal life. Whilst it is important to make a living, it’s healthy to make quality time for our partners, friends, family and ourselves. Some days it feels like there isn't enough time to fit in work and our day-to-day responsibilities as well as dedicating time to our relationships, but this is how cracks may start to appear.

In terms of dating, you need to make time to meet the person and get to know them, but you also need time to rest, relax and rejuvenate your own mind. Not getting enough time to yourself can only end in stressful situations and overwhelming feelings.

Some helpful dating advice:

Speak up - Talk about your interests! You may/may not share the same interests as your partner, but don't shy away from sharing them. Being brave enough to ask the person on a date is another thing, we know it’s intimidating but it may be the best decision you can make. Tell them how you feel.

Look after yourself - You have to know who you are before knowing what type of person you are after. Take time for yourself and be confident when meeting new people. If you’re happy with the rest of your life, you will be far more attractive to potential partners.

Switch off - Usually you do have to make an effort to make connections, but don't let it lead your life. Getting stressed and frustrated with being single will only knock your confidence; turn off the phone, the dating apps and have a night in with your friends every now and then.

Take chances - Get out there and try! Chances are, the love of your life will not just knock on your door. If you’re afraid or nervous about a dating opportunity, push the fear aside and say yes to new challenges.

Advice for co-workers

Work relationships can be challenging at times and on occasion, advice is needed here too. Good relationships with your colleagues are vital when it comes to both career success and overall work-life happiness. Making an effort with your team and company will build trust, earn you respect and friendship, and will make for a more positive and productive environment in the office.

If you're starting in a new position or planning a career change, it's important to get off to a good start in your new role. Whilst you're at work, your role and company will benefit if you’re in a positive mind-set. We hear it daily, but the expression 'first impressions count' is true and you need to consider this during your first few weeks of settling into a new job.

How do you make strong work-relationships?

  • be friendly
  • be responsible and reliable
  • be considerate
  • ask for help
  • communicate

What kind of relationship help and advice can a life coach give me?

“Having inner confidence is the best way to find your other half because it shines out. Coaching can always help with that - and help very quickly.”

 - Read more by Rachel Coffey, Life Coach

A life coach or relationship coach can help individuals identify what their vision of a successful partnership is, what their expectations are and help identify any needs that are not being fulfilled. A strategy will then be discussed to tackle the problem, helping the individual reach fulfilment in that particular area, or recognising the end of the relationship and how to move on.

There are many reasons why a relationship coach is needed and the sessions can help people in different ways. Some people may be lacking confidence in their relationship, they may doubt themselves and their ability to connect with others. The person might be struggling to cope with the overwhelming anxiety of going through a relationship problem or conflict. A relationship coach will be able to show you different ways of coping with a difficult situation, how to remain calm and not pass the blame.

A relationship coach is not limited to intimate relationships or marriage problems. They will be able to offer dating advice, help with friendship problems, difficult family relationships and more. Remember that the term ‘relationship’ is not just between two people. Feeling confident and happy in both making a connection with a person and maintaining the relationship will not only benefit your work and social life, but your overall happiness. 

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