Big Relationship Questions
Big Relationship Questions
Philip Van Munching (Author) gives expert video advice on: What are the most common relationship problems you see?; What are the "truths" you've discovered about romantic relationships?; What's the best piece of relationship advice you know? and more...
What are the most common relationship problems you see?
Easily, the most common relationship problem is lack of communication or lousy communication. You know, we become so afraid to tell our partners about the things that are bugging us because we really are terrified we're going to hear that those things can't be worked out. But they can. The thing is, if you don't communicate them, you guarantee that your relationship doesn't work.
What are the "truths" you've discovered about romantic relationships?
The truth about romantic relationships is they're made, not born. We don't have soulmates, there isn't a perfect person for us. There's not some psychologically perfect melding out there for us. Relationships are hard work. But the thing is, that's what makes them worthwhile.You know, when I was a kid I built model airplanes. If I could buy them finished I wouldn't have loved them nearly as much as I did when I spent hours on a Saturday afternoon fitting each piece together, painting it when it was done. That made it my plane. Well you know what, my relationship - I've now been married 17 years, is my marriage because I've taken each problem and I've gone through it, and it's so much better for the fact that it wasn't all chocolate and roses from step one. Relationships are work, and it's the work that makes them worthwhile.
Why do I keep falling for the same type of person?
Most of us fall for the same type of person over and over because there's some psychological need that we have to have met. The thing is that's the kind of thing that doesn't show any other person. We don't consciously say, "I need someone to talk down to me, like my mother did." We don't say," I need someone to make me feel inadequate, like my father did." We recognize that trait within someone else's personality over, and over, and over. It's why we all knew women who went out with guys who treated them horribly and it's why we know men who've gone out with woman who were emotionally un-giving over, and over, and over. Those are the things that, unconsciously, we are looking for.
Why was I so crazy about my partner in the beginning, and where did those feelings go?
It's a common complaint in marriages of any length: "You know, the guy I fell in love with is gone, I don't know where he went." And here's the truth: he was never there, because when we first meet somebody, we go crazy for them, not really for them. It's not them we're going crazy for, it's our idealization of who they should be, of our perfect person, our perfect partner. Years later when we look back ruefully and say, "I could just get them back to that person", the reality is they were never that person to begin with. You have to make do with what you have and not pine for what you're missing, because it was never real in the first place.
What's the best piece of relationship advice you know?
When I was a kid, I went to this really lousy World War II movie with Harrison Ford, Force 10 From Navaronne. The point of the movie was the Allies have to blow up this dam so that the water will wipe out a bridge that the Germans were about to cross and at the end of the movie, at the end of the movie, they managed to blow a very small hole in the dam and it's obviously not working and the explosives expert is sitting there on the hill saying, "Give it time, it'll work." Well, of course the little hole get a little wider, and more water comes through, eventually the whole dam comes down and the Nazis are wiped out and we all go home ten dollars poorer for having gone to the movies. The thing is, that was the best piece of relationship advice I ever heard: "it'll work, give it time". We have to be patient when we talk to our partners. Say your piece and trust that you are persuasive enough that when they think about it down the road, you'll make your case. Don't expect immediate gratification in a relationship. Say what you have to say; let it do its work.