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posted Mar 20, 2015, 12:38 PM by Susan Nguyen

The whole topic of relationships is one which permeates every area of our lives in one way or another. Yet we so often take relationships for granted. Coaching can help uncover our needs for them, and help clarify which ones are beneficial for us, and how to nurture them, if they are.

We are made to have relationships. Our first one was in the womb with our mother. Next, it was out of the womb with our mother, and then with other near relatives. Later, with our friends on the playground. Then come adult relationships in family, social and work settings. And of course, we can't leave out romantic and spousal relationships. The better our relationships with others are, especially those who affect our life the most, the better off we are in so many ways. So it makes sense to invest in our relationships, in finding what does and doesn't make them work. 

First on the list might be to figure out what our absolutely indispensable needs in a relationship are, what needs are semi optional, and what are things we don't need at all. We certainly can't expect to get everything we want, and even if we did, that might not be what's actually best for us in the long run. These needs will vary depending on the particular type of relationship. Second, we could list what things we are able to give to the relationship. What we could become able to give, and also what we will never be able to give. After careful scrutiny of these lists, we can come up with an idea of whether each relationship is worth having. For example, we have a need for someone to do fun things with, and we have a need for a friend to be reliable. Is our need for fun activities with someone great enough that it isn't cancelled out when a friend shows  severe/moderate/slight tendencies to be unreliable? We can't have everything perfect in a relationship, so finding an appropriate balance of good vs bad vs OK can be helpful. Making pro and con lists on paper can make things more obvious. Also, something is to be said for sheer gut instinct or intuition about these matters, and these should also be explored, and even added to the list.

To discover what is the best relationship one can have, I like to put first things first and deal with my relationship with God. What are the essential elements there? Number one is Love. What does that entail? Forgiveness, long-suffering, kindness, faithfulness, patience. These are what God has for me, and what, if I don't want to be a hypocrite, I should have for others. God has these for us because He really, really wants to have a relationship with us, and it cost Him plenty, but it's worth it to Him. Is my relationship worth having with this person? There can be a surprising number of reasons why or why not, if careful thought is given to this. If it is, then following God's template of love is the way to go. It is expensive, but always worth the cost. The results of such a relationship are priceless.