A Young Couples Crystal Ball

1.       What is a good sign that you will be together for a long time?

My opinion is that when we are infatuated with someone we place them on a pedestal and believe that in some way they are gods/goddesses – which of course is short-lived. At some point we come to terms with the reality that this person is human and our expectations of them being perfect and flawless is met with great disappointment. At this point we either choose to exit the relationship or stick it out regardless.

We have moved from infatuation to love if we are able to:

  • Adjust our expectations and accept our partner’s flaws.
  • Recognize our partner is our equal, no better or worse, just different.
  • Tolerate and appreciate our differences.
  • Make the shift in our thinking from what is best for me, to what is best for ‘us’.
  • Feel inspired to become a better person for our partner.
  • Have an attitude of “We can make this work no matter what”.
  • Encourage and support our partner  to be their best self, even if it goes against what we want.
  • Take on the heartfelt sentiment that ‘my will for you is your will for you’ – i.e. we become selfless and want what is best for our partner

2. What are signs that show things may not be working out?

  • A very good sign that things are not working out is when we experience indifference toward our partner. Indifference is the opposite of love, not hate. Hate is linked to pride and ego. Feeling apathetic, that you really don’t care anymore about your partners feelings, is a BIG sign that it is time to move on.
  • Conflict and arguing in a relationship is not necessarily a problem if the conflict is ‘productive’. In other words, conflict can be the catalyst for taking a relationship to the next level provided the way we fight is respectful. In my couple coaching, the couples who do not stay together are the ones who, when they fight, make it personal and go about hurting each other. A sign would be that you verbally and or/emotionally attack your partner and not the problem. The way we fight is more important than what we fight about.
  • We all have things (either consciously or unconsciously) we cannot compromise on. These are known as non-negotiable’s or deal breakers in a relationship. These requirements are unique to each person. When you want your partner to change dramatically, it is usually a good sign that they are not a good match for you – move on.
  • Any person engaged in abuse, adultery or addiction in a relationship is not ready for a relationship.  The expression ‘do not accept the unacceptable’’ is a helpful reminder that it is time to exit.

  3. What sorts of challenges do high school couples graduating face when they go to university or start working?

  • Many students will take up there tertiary education in another city, away from their partner. Distance can cause insecurities and doubt in a relationship.
  • Another real problem is that young people grow rapidly apart from each other when they start to engage with and in the ‘real world’. The pressures of moving home, full time studying, paying rent and becoming a responsible adult impacts on the carefree life of a school going couple.
  • The sad reality is that the purpose of youth is to experiment, experience and explore who we are and who we want to be. If we don’t know who we are, how can we know who will be our best match. It is an unrealistic expectation to assume at a young age, that your current partner is your best match.

4. What impact do trust issues have on long term relationships?

  • A relationship without trust has the longevity of a plant without water. It might make it if it was a strong and powerful plant to start with otherwise it will eventually die. If there is no trust, the relationship might not have literally ended, but it has emotionally. Once it is lost, it requires ridiculous amounts of effort, energy and integrity to breathe life back into it. If you are looking to do something that will jeopardize the trust factor- have some respect for your partner and some dignity, rather walk away. Cowards brake trust, courageous men and women end the relationship.