When you’re dating, sometimes issues crop up that require fixing. Or, do they?

In this article, I’ll share with you three ways to completely transform your relationship, right in this moment, without having to do anything more or less than what you’re doing right now. In fact, you’ll probably have more time to do the things you love if you follow this advice.

Ready to completely change your dating life for the better?

Let’s dive right in.

Act As If

Woman riding a bike in a park
Photo Credit: Hero Images / Getty Images.

I’ve gone into acting as if a bit more in another article (see: My Boyfriend Won’t Make Plans With Me. Help?) so I won’t go into too much detail here. In a nutshell, though, one of the easiest, best and most quickly transforming things that you can do for a relationship is to “act as if”.

Act as if she really does love you. How does that change your behavior?

Act as if he wants to marry you, just not right now.

How does that make you feel?

When you act as if, you’re choosing whatever it is you want, and then acting on it. You’re staying true to yourself while still honoring your partner at their very best. You’re seeing them in the best possible light, and being joyful, no matter what.

In my decade of experience writing this column, the fastest transformations that I’ve come across in long-term relationships have happened when one of the partners acts as if.

Stop Problem Solving

Woman drawing a happy face on a wall
Photo Credit: Brand New / Images Stone [Getty Images].

When you think there’s a problem in your relationship, you’re focused on – that’s right – the problem. It’s all you see, all you talk about, all that exists in your relationship. The Problem.

Instead, take a step back, and refuse to problem solve. In fact, they refuse to even see that there’s a problem.

How? This sounds crazy. How on earth can you ignore that there’s a problem when it’s staring you in the face everywhere you go?

See, that’s where all your frustration and negative emotions lie: in your holding onto this “problem”, and refusing to just… let go of it.

When you let go of a problem – even if for ten minutes – you make room for something else. I suggest that, in that ten-minute time frame, you allow love to flow in. You ignore anything other than love and focus entirely on that.

Here’s an example of how to stop problem-solving and allow love in using a real-life couple’s experience. Joel was always home late from work, no matter how much Marnie asked him to get home at a decent time. When Marnie decided she would “forget” there was a problem one night, she thought only loving thoughts of Joel instead.

“Oh, he must have had such a long day, I’ll put his dinner in the oven for him so that it’s warm,” she thought to herself. She then busied herself with other things, before she realized, “He’s likely wet from all the rain today, maybe I’ll put out some dry socks on the chair by the door for him”. 

Every time Marnie’s mind went towards her normal, “Gosh, how can Joel be so inconsiderate?” tape, she gently reminded herself she’d committed to only love until Joel got home.

Soon, she forgot what time it was, and when Joel walked in, she was happy to see him. She greeted Joel at the door with a kiss, to his utter shock, and then grabbed his food from the oven and put it on the table. She didn’t mention Joel being late; she just smiled at herself, proud at choosing love. It was hard, yet it took no more work than being angry, and she was much happier.

See how some small actions on your part – usually just a way to see things differently – can completely transform your relationship? I urge you to pick one of these suggestions and try it out tonight, even if only for ten minutes.

Surrender To What Is

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accept in my life is when a relationship ends. I’ve fought, emailed, texted, called, ran into them “accidentally”… you name it. If I’d just taken this one relationship truism to heart and actually understood it years ago, I may have saved a partnership or three.

So, I’ll use myself as an example. In one particularly potent partnership, the gent I was with decided to stop communicating with me.

One day we were joined at the hip, the next, it was complete silence. There was no explanation or even a heads up, and it took me a little bit to realize what had happened: he was no longer speaking to me. I actually ran into him at a restaurant I’d introduced him to and had a five-minute, one-sided conversation with him. He acted like I was invisible the entire time.

Once I got over the shock and embarrassment, I had to figure out a way to change the situation, so I started talking to my colleagues and friends, read voraciously, and even spoke to a spiritual advisor or four about what I could do. The consensus? Surrender to what is.

This answer troubled me for quite some time. How do I surrender? What does that even look like? I fought (like I usually do) with this concept and beat myself into pieces trying to figure it out — until one very eventful meditation, where it all became very, very clear.

To surrender, in this situation, meant I had to accept whatever really, truly was. I had to see the truth with zero judgment, and then say, “Okay.”

Deep breath. “Okay.” 

What I would tell myself (and still do whenever I choose surrender as a relationship transformation practice) was, “I accept this for what it is.” In this specific situation, I said to myself, “I accept that this person does not want to speak to me, and I accept that we will never, ever speak again.” Once I was actually able to accept this (it took a few seconds during my meditation, after some major tears), I could see quite clearly what I had to do. Sure, I could talk to this person or text them if something came up, or whatever I felt reasonable, really. But I had to accept they’d never reply. And I did.

While this might all sound really airy-fairy, I can speak wholeheartedly from experience and say: this is the best possible thing I could have ever done for myself and for the relationship. I surrendered to what was, I allowed him to be him, and I honored whatever my needs were. I let the situation just be. Once I did that, a weight lifted off my shoulders. I no longer had to make him do anything or be something I wasn’t. I could forgive him, forgive myself, and move on. I could be free, literally, from the mental shackles that bound me.

It didn’t hurt that, the day after I surrendered, he emailed me.

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