5 Reasons To Keep Kondo-ing Out of Your Dating Life

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The minute I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up”, I was instantly inspired to sort through all of my belongings, ridding myself of all items that no longer brought me joy or peace in any way. I raided my closet, emptied my drawers and cleared out my nightstand that was overflowing with old mail and greeting cards. From there, I set my sights on the kitchen next, de-cluttering my refrigerator and pantry to ensure that each item I held onto served a very specific purpose for either myself or one of my family members.

Well in some cases, you can have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to managing your relationships. This new KonMari trend has now made an impact on the way some are approaching their relationships. The “Kondo-ing” dating trend takes a different spin on Kondo’s popular cleaning method, as partners drop their mates the moment they no longer spark joy. Here’s why eliminating someone from your life completely because they don’t bring you joy can spell disaster for your connections with others:

  1. You’re missing out on supporting them - If your partner is going through a difficult time at work or in other areas of their personal life, they may not have the emotional energy to “cheer up” or “relax and have a good time.” One of the benefits of having a relationship is for support when life’s circumstances challenge us. Instead of cutting them off completely and assuming you know the root cause, take the time to express your concern for their happiness and well-being.

  2. It sabotages your ability to commit - Any real, meaningful connection will be tested at one point or another. Cutting someone out of your life simply because you’ve had a disagreement robs you of the opportunity to sharpen your conflict resolution skills and create an even deeper connection with your significant other. When conflict arises, discuss your concerns and be open to hearing your partner’s. We can learn so much about ourselves and those around us when we are open to hearing other opinions.

  3. It stunts your personal growth - Sometimes you need to hear the cold, hard truth and it WON’T always “bring you joy”, but it can bring you a new outlook or perspective you hadn’t considered before. While you may think you want a partner that always says “yes” to any and everything you want, the ideal mate will challenge you to be your best self. Stepping into the fullness of who you are can be uncomfortable and an amazing partner will encourage you to do just that.

  4. It breeds resentment - Imagine living with a partner that has expressed that the moment you upset them, they will leave. The threat of abandonment in this case is incredibly cruel, one-sided and unhealthy. In fact, it’s not a relationship at all. Over time, this kind of arrangement will breed resentment and is prime for infidelity, as only one person’s needs are being met.

  5. It’s unrealistic - The reality is, there is no way that your partner will always bring you happiness. While the good times should certainly outweigh the bad, life changes and situations will arise that cause you to question what truly makes you happy to begin with. How can we expect our partners to bring us happiness when we are not always sure what that would entail? Saddling your partner with aiming for a moving target is unfair and a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

The real key to enjoying yourself and building healthy relationships is to bring yourself joy. So, instead of eliminating your partner the moment they do something to upset you, challenge yourself to examine the situation, your feelings about it and express that to your partner. By working through the issue together, you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Relationship Reset: 5 Tips to Stop Relationship Patterns Dead in Their Tracks

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Feeling as though you are committing the same relationship mistakes again and again can be both overwhelming and frustrating. Check out these tips to get a fresh start.

#1. Are you ready?: Ask yourself if you are willing and ready to endure some discomfort as you charter new territory by approaching your relationships differently. While it may be unsettling at first, the potential for happy and fulfilling relationship possibilities are endless.

#2. Take a closer look: In order to make change, we must examine our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. What are your thoughts about your last relationship? How do those thoughts make you feel? When you experienced those feelings while with your partner, what did you say or do in your relationship? The answers to these questions may lead you to a deeper understanding of how and why you repeat the same relationship patterns time after time.

#3. Remember the family factor: Many of us often try so hard to either replicate or reject the experiences of our parents that we find ourselves getting into trouble as a result. Whether through therapy, prayer or self-reflection, examine what your family taught you about relationships and how these lessons may or may not be serving you well today.

#4. You’re worth it, right?: Examine your own self-image and compare the kinds of relationships you’ve had in the past with the kind of relationship you are seeking. Do you feel in your heart that you deserve to be happy?

#5. Move on: Learn how to move on from past relationships by forgiving your former partner and yourself for past mistakes. Don’t bring your baggage from your last relationship into the next.

Positive Relationship Rituals for Couples

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Relationships are living, breathing organisms that need to be nurtured on a daily basis. Relationship rituals are behaviors that a couple participates in on a regular basis to communicate their thoughts and feelings, verbally or non-verbally. Demonstrating these behaviors is a way of signaling to your partner that you support him or her in a way that no one else can. Long-lasting, healthy relationships are those in which you choose to be with your partner again and again each day and these rituals serve as a reminder of that.

It’s no secret that an “inside joke” can bond people together like nothing else. In times of stress, it is critical that couples maintain their relationship rituals whenever possible to keep them grounded, connected and supported. In 2011, The Communication Quarterly published a research study regarding the necessity of relationship rituals to maintain a satisfying relationship. It concluded that participating in relationship rituals led to the development of a small but very powerful cocoon of two, providing support and the space to share and express intimacy.

My Top 4 Recommended Relationship Rituals

#1. Practice mindfulness together – For a few moments each day, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and join hands in silence. Doing so will keep you grounded, focused and decrease stress. Prayer and/or meditation can also be incorporated is applicable.

#2. Keep it Sexy – While you may not be able (or want to) have sex everyday, why not talk about it? Compliment your partner’s appearance, give them a pinch here and there or let them know how much you are looking forward to your next encounter. Engaging in sexy talk and touch keeps things fresh and let’s your partner know they’ve still got it.

#3. Perfect your “hello” and “goodbye” – Chances are, if you’ve been together for awhile, you already have a special way that you say “hello” and goodbye”. Whatever you do, keep it up! There’s nothing like wishing your partner well as you embark on your day and greeting them when you see them again.

#4. Allow yourself and your partner alone time – This one may be surprising, but giving yourself and your partner the time and space to do things solo or with friends on a regular basis is an essential relationship ritual for most successful relationships. Giving one another both physical and psychological space allows for a deeper emotional connection and a stronger appreciation for one another.

Is Long-Distance Love Right for You?

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While it may not always be the goal, it can and does happen. So when life’s circumstances land you in the middle of a long-distance relationship, use these tips:

1) Be clear about what your expectations are of one another from the beginning. Don’t wait to establish ground rules once trouble arises. Instead, let your partner know what you expect from them and vice versa.

2) Work together to determine the maximum amount of time you all will spend apart without seeing one another in person. Even if you live thousands of miles away from your partner, it’s important that you sacrifice and make the commitment to meet up with one another at the mutually agreed upon times. Long distance relationships are hard work, but this is a great way to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to your partner.

3) Don’t bother driving yourself crazy regarding who your partner is with or what they are doing every moment of the day. Whether long distance or local, trust is the cornerstone of all successful and long lasting relationships.