Relationships are perhaps the most important part of our lives, bringing much meaning and happiness. When we reach the end of our lives and look back, it is usually the connections we have 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 upset - it is 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
This fact-sheet will look at the types of relationship coaching available, the problems that may come with relationships, dating and marriage advice, and how a relationship coach can help.
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 is not fulfilling your expectations, your happiness can be affected. Over time, if relationship problems are not dealt with, they can worsen. Everyone copes with and reacts to emotional situations differently. When the issue is not discussed, it can be difficult to know how to treat the 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, feeling insecure or frustrated with the loss of connection. Other issues may include the individual:
- trying to deal with infidelity
- wanting to improve their current relationship
- feeling betrayed
- trying to understand their 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, most people will be able to get things back on track. But for some, the issues are not so easily fixed - sometimes it signals 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 a relationship. However, the term covers any connection between two or more people - we make connections with people through all walks of life, whether they are quick meetings or lifetime associations.
These connections usually refer to the relationship between two people, but it can mean the connection between many. For example, the leader of a country needs a strong relationship with their people and a teacher needs a connection with their students.
Any form of relationship can break down. If a team, or two people, cannot work together, they will in time suffer relationship problems and the dynamic of the connection will begin to fail. Relationship coaching is open to, and may be needed by anyone struggling to build strong connections.
What can relationship coaching help with?
A relationship coach or life coach specialising in connections with others can help with many issues surrounding relationships. If you are finding things hard with your family, partner, school friends or work colleagues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our qualified life coaches.
Relationship help and advice
If you are in a long-term partnership and are finding it tough to connect with your partner, it can be a stressful, heart-breaking experience. The same, exhausting emotions come with any relationship problem - parent and child, friends, work colleagues or intimate couples. 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, for example one person may not realise there is a problem. However tough, once you recognise that you may be suffering relationship problems, you can begin rebuilding the connection.
Common 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.
Married couples can struggle for many reasons. It is 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 are having trouble in your marriage, it does not 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 - the pressure on a life-long marriage can also put stress on a troubled couple.
With supportive friends, family and the help of a relationship coach, you can be given plenty of marriage advice. Just remember that ultimately, only you and your partner know exactly what your relationship is like. It is your strong connection and dynamic that brought you together in the first place, and that is what will help you resolve any issues.
A life/relationship coach can offer marriage advice tailored to you and your partner, but they will not try to give answers. Instead, they will help you both to resolve and realise your challenges - an effective skill that will help you in the long-term.
Many couples seek some form of relationship coaching and marriage advice and for all sorts of reasons - remember you are not alone. Rather than feeling ashamed and letting the issues get worse, start improving things now.
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 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 are at work, your role and company will benefit if you are 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 in a new job.
So how do you make strong work-relationships? Here are a few tips:
- be friendly
- be responsible and reliable
- be considerate
- ask for help
The world of dating can be intimidating. With the increasing popularity of online dating sites and phone applications, it is becoming easier to get to know people. However, for some it is 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 are 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 over an impersonal text. Maybe the date could involve a fun activity, where you needn’t be shy or embarrassed; there are plenty of fun activities available. 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 is 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 our day-to-day responsibilities as well as dedicating time to our relationships, but this is when 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 an overwhelming feeling - this is not the mind you need when looking for ‘the one’. Some helpful dating advice includes:
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 scary 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 are 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 are afraid or nervous about a dating opportunity, push the fear aside and say yes to new challenges, you never know – they could be ‘the one’.
What kind of relationship help and advice can a life coach give me?
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 marriage and dating advice, help with friendship problems and difficult family relationships. 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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