Guest post by Tyler Williams
I thought I was good at relationships. I felt I was a good listener. I cared about people. I paid attention to the little details others often missed. Yet here I was sitting alone in my apartment after my second long-term relationship ended. Four and a half years. Gone. The aftermath was like the fog of war. Unsure of what just happened. Wanting answers immediately, yet knowing it would take days and months to fully understand how I got where I was.
Have you ever felt the same way? Think about the start of a new relationship. A blind date, the ferris wheel and of course the first kiss. Okay, maybe not that perfect of a night but you know what I mean. Even in the awkward moments you feel alive. So you go all in, believing and hoping for great things. And for a while life is good. But what happens when you wake up one day and things are different. What was easy is now a challenge. Conflict grows and little progress is made. What do you do?
Do you engage and go deeper or do you run, looking for a way out?
Me, I used to run.
Looking back I could see how I was good at relationships. Those things I thought, they were actually true. I was a good listener. I did pick up on the small details. But I also missed other cues, things I didn’t see or hear. Things I didn’t know.
Once the fog of the relationship was far removed I could finally see what caused me to run. If you’ve ever found yourself in love yet running from conflict here are 6 things you need to know to create a strong, vibrant relationship. The first three take a look inside at who you are. The last three are all about building connection and intimacy in your relationship.
The ability to understand yourself and how you react in any given situation. This allows you to process events with greater clarity and how they affect you. Get to know yourself and how you react to emotional triggers.
Love yourself before you dive into a relationship. Don’t look to your girl to validate you as a man. That’s not her role to play. Know who you are and if you don’t know, start the journey now to find out. She’ll thank you later.
Your personal value produces confidence and strength. When you work hard and contribute to the world it feels good. Find a mission in life to live. You become significant by helping others become significant. Your relationship will thrive when your world isn’t only about the two of you.
4. Listen Well
Hear what your significant other is communicating. Give your undivided attention in the moment. Respect her with good eye contact and engaged body language.
5. Understand Fully
What is your significant other communicating? Simply repeat back what you heard. Ask for clarification. “So I hear you saying __________________. Is that correct? And it makes you feel _________________?” This is a game changer. Practice makes permanent. Do it.
6. Validate Without Exception
What you hear matters. You don’t have to agree to validate. But you must acknowledge the realness of the experience for your significant other. This creates an environment of trust and support that is essential for sustaining long-term intimacy.
Gentleman, let’s be honest. We want great relationships as much as women. We want trust and intimacy. Yet we don’t earn those without stepping out of our comfort zones and engaging in the unknown. I get it. It’s not easy. But what is true is that you and I, we only know what we know in any given moment. So I challenge you to go deeper, to ask the bigger questions and begin your journey to a more intimate and connected relationship. With these 6 things I found I don’t have to run anymore.
Tyler Williams is an author, motivational speaker, country music singer-songwriter, and former NASCAR All-American driver based in Atlanta, GA. Williams is a trained life and business coach, a Ziglar Legacy Certified speaker and trainer, and emotional intelligence trainer. In his spare time, Williams enjoys motorsports and living a life of exploration. He currently races a sprint car for Cory Kruseman in Southern California.