Intro to Collaborative Relationships

 Experience both freedom AND commitment within a relationship of your own making.

So we’ve gone through The Mating Dance of the Honeymoon Phase.
We’ve arrived at the next phase and welcomed Coupledom.

danceThis week, I’d like to share the kind of relationships I participate in and help facilitate for others to enjoy. It’s about learning to move together, rather than all on one’s own. It’s about asking for what you need, rather than wishing another could read your mind. It’s about owning your desires, rather than keeping them a forbidden secret. It’s about following through in making your dreams come true, while receiving total support. It’s about taking responsibility for your life, while being lovingly held accountable through it. It’s about Collaboration.

Being collaborative ensures that the individuals involved create a relationship that has the ability to shift dynamics based on their needs, desires, and circumstances that arise through life. People can safely adapt when needed, and allow for individual growth, both together and apart. Collaborative relationships encourage a willingness to work with each other, rather than against one another. Unfortunately, the modern, competitive social model for relating fosters the latter. The collaborative approach is a social model that fosters teamwork & partnership. This way of relating includes ALL kinds of relationships – from romantic to familial and from monogamous to polyamorous.

Dear Readers, what does collaborative mean to you?
Please submit your answers. With your permission, your submissions may be used in future articles. 

 

 

 

 

Communication. It’s All in a Word.



imagesI work with all kinds of relationships, but mainly those of the romantic kind.  To be honest, they are my favorite.  I emphasize my work in communication because I found it to be at the heart of relationship.  Quite literally, actually.  In the very meaning of the word relation is  “the act of telling”  also “correspondence” and “connection.”  In the very definition of relating, we find words that imbibe verbal communication and the impact thereof.  What is behind the word communicate?  The root word, commune, means “to talk intimately.”  The word itself means “to share.”   Connection and sharing is the very reason why we humans gravitate towards relationship.

The main issue I have always found in relationships that needed help was miscommunication.  People either misread, misheard, misunderstood and misspoke with one another all the time.  Although their intentions would usually be pure, and each person believed their communication was very clear, in truth, it was not.  This very act of miscommunication is at the basis of almost every conflict I encounter.  Whether it is within myself, with another, among a group or between groups.  There is constant miscommunication.  We, as humans, are constantly, mis-sharing with one another.  Why is this?  As a social scientist, I could go into the myriad of reasons, but that is a book in and of itself.  What I have found, however, is our very ability to communicate and relate with others harmoniously, directly reflects our ability to share.  Helping people develop their ability to share within themselves, and the world around them, is at the core of my work in relationship counseling.

As humans, we are naturally wired for community.  Our innate ability to commune with ourselves, each other, and the world around us has taken a huge back burner within a societal structure that demands our livelihoods revolve around mass production, consumption and exponential monetary growth.  It leaves little time and energy for us to truly commune with ourselves, let alone with each other.  Most communication now happens digitally and I feel this is a symptom of our lack of time in our daily lives that revolve around work for most of us.  In a society that teaches values surrounding individualism, I’m not surprised that so many of us “mis-share” ourselves with one another and find miscommunication to be such an issue in our relationships.

¹All definitions were gathered from the etymological source: http://www.etymonline.com