Quiz: “Should I Leave My Partner?”

I feel most of my clients who come to me for relationship advice, are individuals pondering this very question: should I leave my partner?

Based on my experience as a relationship coach, I put this simple quiz together to help you better understand your motivations, and gain insight as to why you may be feeling this way.

THE ‘QUIZ’

Simply Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following questions, in order, according to the descriptions below them.

Please read through all the questions first, then answer as honestly as you can.

Question 1: Do you Want to Leave Your Partner?

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When thinking about want, think about your personal desires and how you want to live your life. Think about your personal goals and aspirations in life, and decipher if you feel they’re restricted or constrained because of your commitment to your relationship. If you find yourself feeling restricted, then you likely want to leave your partner.

Question 2: Do you Need to Leave Your Partner?

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When thinking about needs, think about your most basic level needs, such as your physiological needs: food, water, warmth, shelter, sex and so on. And your safety and security needs such as emotional security, personal safety and security and in this day and age, financial security. If your basic needs aren’t fulfilled satisfactorily because of your relationship, then you likely need to leave your partner, for your life and well-being has become dependant on your relationship.

Question 3: Can you Afford to Leave Your Partner?

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This question is all about if you feel you can afford the opportunity to leave your partner. Basically weighing up the cost and gain or the pros and cons. For example, if you have little to none mutual investments (such as children, business, property, friends/networks), you yourself are financially independent or can be, your partner is emotionally secure, and you have a strong support network, then you’re likely to feel that you can afford to leave your partner. If, on the other hand, you have many shared mutual investments, are financially unstable, you or your partner is emotionally dependant, and you have a weak support network, then you’re likely to feel like you can’t afford to leave your partner. So think about this answer very carefully.

YOUR ANSWERS

Here’s what your results may suggest, though please keep in mind that this quiz should not be substituted for professional advice. Consider it a useful evaluation tool.

1.Yes / 2.Yes / 3.Yes – Absolutely Positive

You probably should leave your partner or at least consider temporary separation. Your relationship no longer serves any real purpose or value, and the longer you hold on to it, the more resentment you’ll develop. You will likely consider cheating if you haven’t cheated already.

1.No / 2.No / 3. No – Absolute Negative

You probably shouldn’t leave your partner because your relationship is healthy for you, and you’re not likely to cheat. However, if you are pondering this question, then perhaps it’s your partner who should be taking this quiz, for it could be your partner who may have you feeling a little insecure.

1.Yes / 2.Yes / 2.No – Out of Love.

It’s a lack of independence and confidence that is holding you back. Therefore, I suggest you place priority on developing your confidence and gaining independent control in areas of your life, where you’re most insecure. For example, learn to develop your own financial security, improve your self-perception and learn how to live life on your own terms. When you feel more confident re-visit this question, as you may change your mind about how you feel. A physical and emotional affair is likely if left unresolved, so discuss deeply your personal aspirations and desires with your partner.

1.Yes / 2.No / 2.No – Identity Crisis

Your relationship draws too much focus and I think want to feel like an individual again. Start developing your identity by investing in independent hobbies and interests, generally things you’re curious about. You’re likely to get involved in an emotional affair over a physical one, because what you desire is connected more to the mind than the body. Education would be a good route for you or perhaps starting a new career, but don’t make any more mutual investments with your partner, until you feel like you again. Discuss the redistribution of responsibilities with your partner, so that you can have the opportunity to develop a sense of self.

1.No / 2.Yes / 3.Yes – Feeling Guilty.

The lack of spiritual and/or physical fulfillment is motivating this thought. Your compassion and concern for your partners well-being is a contender keeping you from leaving. You can afford to leave and you need to leave, but whatever attachment is keeping you from leaving stems from your very own humanity. You may already be sabotaging your relationship, perhaps not knowingly, because you may be looking for an excuse or blame or exit strategy where you don’t feel guilt or shame. Either way, it’s not fair on you nor your partner to prolong an unfulfilling relationship. Your relationship is unhealthy, so break-up or be prepared to talk brutally honest about how you feel. A physical affair is likely, temptations are probably high.

1.No / 2.No / 3.Yes – Complacency

You need a bit of excitement in your life, book a vacation and/or explore new ways to spice up your relationship. Maybe a good opportunity to invest in something, or indulge yourself. Maybe think about having children if you want them/another. You probably don’t want to cheat, but if you don’t do something you enjoy soon, you probably will have an affair out of boredom. People who often find themselves here may cause unnecessary drama in a relationship, because they lack stimulation. Maybe develop a creative outlet, better that than to take your frustrations out on your relationship.

1.No / 2.Yes / 3.No – Oppression

Are you oppressed? Your identity is probably sewn into your relationship, and perhaps you fear the consequences of leaving. Who are you without your partner and what are you worth? You need to conquer some fears and discover/reveal who you really are and what you’re really capable of. You need personal aspirations and independent goals, you need to be able to take care of yourself. So I suggest you start making a list of personal fears and start conquering them, maybe start with the easiest one. Personal triumphs can go a long way for you, however small they may seem. Start regaining control over your life, but to do that, you need some confidence, so investigate your curiosities.

1.Yes / 2.No / 3.Yes – Convenience

It’s like you’re hanging around because the sex is good, or whatever other basic need is abundantly fulfilled. I think that maybe you like being taken care of, or maybe you just like the comfort/convenience of having a partner, either way, you’re probably compromising your identity and personal development for it. I suggest having an open and honest conversation about your intentions for the relationship, and see if you’re both willing to continue until the relationships no longer serves a purpose. There’s not much psychological fulfillment in this relationship, but there is a lot of physiological fulfillment. It’s a relationship not a spa, please tread on your partners heart carefully, or better yet, be honest.

Want to improve communication in your relationship? Discover 5 Alternative ways to improve communication in your relationship…

 

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Are Insecure Women Taking Advantage of Emotionally Ignorant Men?

 

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I had recently shared a post about the state of mental health among men, and as a result of that post, I saw a dramatic increase of consultations from men. Which is when I started becoming aware of another silent, and probably growing epidemic affecting men (and women). Men are being left heartbroken after investing in a relationship for a significant amount of time, because they’ve fallen victim to a fallacy. Their partners never intended to commit, they simply needed “a place to crash” as one client described it.

I’m a feminist, actually, scratch that, I’m a Sikh (still a feminist), because I truly believe that men and women are equal. As a result of this belief, rather truth, and that I also work in the field of relationships, I feel I should acknowledge a growing concern among men which isn’t talked about enough.

Now when it comes to relationships, I do agree, women have suffered far worse. You only have to look back a decade to realize how challenging it was/still is for women to be respected. There are women across the globe who are still having to fight and campaign for basic equal rights, which in 2018 sounds absurd. As men, we have a duty to support and educate ourselves about women. And, in the spirit of equality, women do also need to support and educate themselves on men – if we really are looking to shape an equal world.

Truth is, the majority of women don’t truly understand men, and vice versa, the majority of men don’t really understand women – though I would say the latter is probably more apparent in society today. Through years of conditioning and submitting genders to inaccurate roles represented in, well, pretty much anything we consume, is it any wonder why we define each other by generalized representations? Instead of actually understanding and getting to know each other as individuals?

In relationships, so many people think they know their partner inside out, it just isn’t true inside every relationship. Great relationships are one’s where both individuals are mutually and equally involved in each others personal development, and always trying to understand each other better as individuals. Difficult relationships on the other hand, are basically when two individuals have submitted to roles defined for them, and the relationship is merely a manifestation of a representation or ideology. Where does your relationship fall on this spectrum?

So back to the topic – which actually resonates with the dire end of the spectrum – are insecure women taking advantage of emotionally ignorant men? Yes, there are women out there, who, in order to maintain a sense of security, are seeking a more emotionally fragile partner (easy to manipulate) to take care of them, only to leave once a sense of security is acquired. It happens, it’s not the majority of all women, and it’s not the majority of all men – please keep this in mind.

When we live in a society where we’re so conditioned to adopt certain ideologies about gender, it’s easy to fall victim to insecurity and ignorance. Men, you cannot buy love and taking care of someone is not an investment in your future. For example, if you choose to spend your time and money on taking care of someone, and choose to ignore the truths of how you feel – perhaps neglected? Insecure? Fragile? Then you are being emotionally ignorant. You cannot stop anyone from changing their mind, or walking away, and if you’re heartbroken because they did, and you feel betrayed, check in with your emotions first – did you ignore your truth? Was it easier to continue the relationship, than to disrupt it and enter conflict with presenting how you feel and facing the truth?

Men often become ignorant as they’re taught to bury how they feel to avoid coming across as weak and jeopardizing their masculinity (their security), and as a result, use their “advantages” as men to secure a partner. Presenting themselves in a way where they feel they can offer security and safety, in exchange for the love and belonging (emotional needs) they desperately need. For insecure women it’s often the other way round, they present love and belonging, their “advantage”, in exchange for safety and security. Women often become insecure because the world isn’t as secure for them.

Why? It’s likely because of how the world interrupts our natural journey into self-actualization/realization. What we see in the media particularly, encourages this type of behaviour. Women are taught to appeal to men’s emotional needs, and men are often taught to appeal to women’s safety and security needs.

How do we prevent it? It’s quite simple in theory, men need to start facing how they feel and learn to seek support independently, and women need to have more independent equal opportunities. This is an example of a restriction in our society which is keeping many people from realizing what they’re truly capable of as individuals, keeping people from discovering genuine partnerships.

In summary then, are insecure women taking advantage of emotionally ignorant men? Yes, but both parties are culpable. Therefore, we can also argue the that emotionally ignorant men are also taking advantage of insecure women.

Equality, it’s crucial to human development, please take notice.

Are you ready to discover the truths about your relationship?

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How to Tame the Ego

Success is like a drug, and like drugs it comes in many forms: a return on investment, a fulfilling experience, or even reaching a higher state of consciousness. And just like drugs, success can develop into an addiction, and the only way to sustain the addiction is to feed the ego. The ego is the only thing that can convince you that the success (the drug) is all you need to live for.

My ego has fought for dominion over my conscious experience my entire life, and with each success, my self-awareness weakens and becomes a window of opportunity for my ego to reign.

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This week has been a series of wins and with each ‘hit’, I could feel my identity escaping me. When you succeed, in the very traditional sense of the word, the world starts to take notice and sort of validates your self-worth with every like, comment, congratulatory call or text. Each validation enhances the ‘high’, and it’s a difficult feeling to escape. I mean, who doesn’t like being validated by someone else?

Over the past few years, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been developing my self-awareness, and when my behaviours started mimicking that of my ego, it was time to put it back in its place. I found myself constantly checking my phone for red notifications, replying “thank you”, to comments from people who don’t really give a sh*t, and allowing myself to believe that only I can do what I do, which I know for a fact isn’t true. That’s not the life I want to build, that’s not the life experience I want live, and nor is it the life I want to share.

Praise is like positive reinforcement, the behaviours (the successes) I was being rewarded for (praised for), we’re reinforcing the idea that if I repeat these same behaviours, I can expect to be rewarded again. Soon, my purpose is replaced with the desire for more praise and validation. This entices the ego to come out and play, and to take control over my life in order to sustain this rewards based system.

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If I let this happen I restrict my potential, because it’ll only motivate me to do enough to keep others happy and keep my ego satisfied. It also places an overwhelming expectation, an unnecessary pressure which’ll distract me from being able to just, be. It’s a difficult behaviour to undo, a difficult behaviour to defeat, when this is what we’re taught from a young age. That the only reason to do anything, is for the reward.

We rarely praise each other for feeling completely content with where we are in our lives. Rarely are we impressed with people who are just happy on their journey, wherever it’s headed. It’s always a sort of “that’s nice” or “good luck” or “you’ll go far”- a compliment that suggests we should be doing more for a reward/better reward. I remember these praises, because I got them a lot when I started blogging. It was only when success grows, do people feel compelled to reach out and say “well done” and “Congratulations!”

Where’s the appreciation for just existing and being you? Why does being you and doing what you do naturally, have to be worth something in terms of “success”, before you’re appreciated at all?

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This is what years of feeling insignificant does to us, when we grow up feeling insignificant any experience of validation becomes a high, just like a drug, because the experience is so surreal to us. We want more of this unreal experience. We’re rarely taught that who we are is enough, so a lot of us spend a lifetime chasing the high for no other reason than to just feel worth something. Forever trying to prove our worth, and less time developing and learning from it.

We all have a reason to exist, we all have worth from the moment we’re born, and I think the ego is tamed when we accept that. When we accept ourselves life becomes this wonderful journey of discovery, instead of a mission to know and have things just to justify what we think we know, which is often very far from the truth.

When we equate validation to acceptance, to love, and to appreciation, we lose sight of our own capacity to accept, love, appreciate, so we blindly validate ego.

Without the attachment to traditional affirmations of success: the nice house, the flashy cars, the perfect relationship and all the other trimmings sold to us on social media, who are we? I think it’s a reason why so many relationships tank, why so many great ideas fail, and so many of us give up on things we’re passionate about so quickly. It seems if we don’t get the validation it’s not worth the experience, so we give up or do the minimum to sustain whatever we’ve built.

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All I did was start expressing my truth and once I got comfortable with it, I navigated my truth to different experiences, and the experiences taught me how to share it. Living more authentically gave me the courage to explore the things that truly interested me, and the more I learned, the more I invested my life into it. I was developing my passion and as my passion grew I identified my purpose, all because it just felt right, natural even.

This is why I wrote this post today, to save me and the future me from my own ego. It may not be well written, nor will it ever be perfect, but it’s me, and so long as I continue to express myself honestly, I’ll continue to develop and grow me into the best version of me I can ever be.

I think if we all work hard to develop self-awareness and actively help each other keep our egos in check, relationships will inspire, passions will be pursued and life will become a freer experience to live.

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I Try To Walk Away But I Stumble

*Guest Post*

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Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we all end up in situations that aren’t good for us. We’re in unhealthy relationships, living with our parents again or stuck in dead-end jobs that, even though we want to, we just can’t seem to find the motivation to leave.

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Stop And Think

When the going gets tough, the tough tend to go on autopilot to cope with whatever issue is causing them grief. We shove it, like an old sweater, to the back of our minds and carry on with our day without actually unpacking our feelings. If you’re waking up each morning feeling sick, unmotivated and depressed then there’s definitely something wrong but what can you do about it? If you’re not sure where all the sadness is coming from the best option is to get creative. Take a ten-minute break, turn your phone on silent and get down to the business of figuring out the problem. You may find it weird, or silly to write about your feelings at first but you’ll soon find yourself scribbling manically as you try to find the source of your unhappiness.

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Go Deeper

Imagine you’re describing your current situation to an alien that knows nothing about human beings and so for him not to attack Earth you have to share everything you can about what’s making you miserable. Try to avoid vague, sweeping statements and make it as detailed as possible, so you’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on. Make sure you’ve included what you would do if someone else were in that situation, what your usual response would be and who you can turn to for help right now. Examine how you got to this point and try to understand the decisions that you made to find the one that’ll extract you from whatever mess you’re in.

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Play Pretend

It’s now time to have a little game of make-believe, yes it sounds a bit weird but don’t worry we promise it’ll help you come to a firm resolution. Allow yourself to take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and think about what your dream solution would be. If you’re stressing out over your career maybe it’s being offered a brand new job, or a fantastic promotion in your current company. Having marital issues? Instead of worrying about Divorce Mediation and how much everything’s going to cost think about what it would be like to be in a happy, loving relationship again.

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Don’t Look Back In Anger

We’re not saying things are instantly going to get better but remember mighty oaks grow from small acorns! Do one thing that’ll instantly make you feel better about your situation in the next five minutes. Followed by three more little things that would help move you closer to that dream goal. Don’t get bogged down with what ifs just focus on those three little things and spend time achieving them. Then rinse and repeat steps two and three, make bigger decisions and before you know it, you’ll have left the bad situation far behind and be on the way to living a happier, healthier and  more fulfilling life.

The Pursuit Of True Love: How To Increase Your Chances Of Finding The One

*Guest Post*

It’s Christmas time, and many of us are looking forward to spending time with loved ones. For some, this means enjoying quality time with a partner. For others, it may involve visiting friends and family. Some people love being single, but others hanker after finding true love. If you are on your own, the festive period can be a stark reminder of just how single you are. If you’re desperate to be in a relationship, don’t worry. Just because you’re not with somebody now doesn’t mean that you’ll never find your perfect match. Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of finding the one.

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Give yourself a chance

Are you working all the time or do you spend every available minute with friends or family? Sometimes, love doesn’t come to you. You have to go out there and give yourself a chance of finding it. If you’re not meeting new people, there’s a very low chance that you’re going to stumble across the man or woman of your dreams. Try and be sociable, and cast your net wider. You can learn something from every person you meet. If you don’t have time to date a lot, try taking up a new hobby. Go to evening classes and learn a language, join an art class or play team sports. Internet dating is very popular, but be careful. There’s a perception that many people are looking for something casual, rather than trying to locate their soul mate. If you are talking to somebody, take things steady. Get to know each other before you meet.

It’s also really important to learn and appreciate your value and worth. It sounds cliche, but if you don’t love and respect yourself, you’ll find it tougher to find somebody that does. It’s very easy to zone in on your flaws. We live in a critical society where we’re under scrutiny all the time. Try and concentrate solely on the good points. Everyone has imperfections. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.

Adopt a positive mindset

If you’ve been knocked back several times, it’s easy to go to dates with a negative mindset. Why should this one be ay different? Is there any point in putting yourself out there only to be rejected again? The truth is that if you have negative thoughts, this will affect your mood, and possibly the outcome of the date. Think positively. Why can’t this be the day that changes your life forever? What’s to say that this person isn’t completely different to all the others? The beauty of human relationships is that every single one is different. What works for one person won’t for another. If you’re focused and you’re persistent, you can attract what you want in life. A positive mindset is much more appealing to other people, and it will help you to feel more confident.

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If you’re single, you may think that finding the one is impossible, but don’t give up. Give yourself chances to meet new people, and appreciate what you can offer other people. Learn to deal with knocks, and try and stay positive. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You may find that you stumble across love when you least expect it.

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Why Do People Breakup?

why do people break up?Relationships are the assembly of individual identities. They’re about support, equality, balance and most importantly, acceptance. 

Preserving these types of values keep relationships alive, and help us rise above a lot of relationship challenges. However, if these core values are neglected, communication starts to breakdown, intimacy begins to dwindle and we’ll no longer feel understood by each other. Which then establishes the foundation for every disagreement and difficulty that soon proceed. Indeed, it’s drifting away from core relationship values which carry us into ‘breakup’ territory.

We’re all conscious beings full of complicated emotions, and we’re driven by what we desire from life. When two of us decide to align our lives together, we do so because we’re enthralled by each other’s identities. As we explore each other’s physical and metaphysical worlds, an intimate bond develops, and makes it easy for our emotions to intensify, and for our personal desires to get blurred. In these moments, we become very present and nothing else matters but the here and now. We want nothing but to hold onto these feelings for a lifetime; we want nothing to change because of how we feel within ourselves.

We all want to be completely understood and want to be accepted and embraced for who we are, and it’s never more realized than in newer relationships. When we meet people who make us feel this way, it’s easy to develop an attachment towards them. It’s about how we feel. We long for these traits because they help us believe in ourselves and help affirm our identities, and this is how we need to feel in order to fulfil our own desires. Being truly understood, accepted and embraced, these are the innate, underlying intentions we all share when pursuing a relationship, because they allow us to love ourselves. If we’re not feeling any these fundamental emotions within, love, generally, cannot grow and the relationship will struggle to fulfil its purpose. Instead, we can find ourselves holding onto an attachment that lacks substance, and that’s when the doubts and uncertainties start to arise.

We tend to forget, or pay very little attention to, our own contributions during the growth stages in relationships. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, the future is brighter, we’re feeling good and if, by, some sort of sorcery, we manage to become just as valuable to our partners as they are to us, but it’s easy to lose sight of that for a number of reasons…

We become so mesmerized by the other person in the beginning, that we’re not mindful of the conscious exchange that’s at play. If the balance of the exchange is not maintained, and the scales tip in favour towards one person or the other – i.e. we receive more love, appreciation, understanding and acceptance e.t.c., than we give, or, give more than we receive, or, don’t give each other any at all – a pressure or burden begins to amount and that’s when we start drifting apart.

…for one, we live in a world abundant with messages that reinforce a certain ideology of love, and we get so caught up in these ideas and ideals, that our natural intentions get skewed. It’s a wicked conditioning that uses our motivations against us. We’re bombarded with associations of what love and belonging looks like, sounds like, tastes like and what it’s like to touch and smell love. These imitations reinforce a belief that love is limited to our 5 physical senses and as a result, we start moulding ourselves to appeal to these senses. It’s a reason why ‘profile dating’ even exists, and why it’s difficult to develop the courage to strike up a conversation and get to know somebody. It’s a reason why inequality is still a struggle today, because we’ve been taught to believe that love is not blind, that love is biased and that true, genuine and honest emotion can quite possibly be bought.

Political, social and economic conspiracies aside, we shouldn’t be entering relationships being understood, accepted and embraced, for qualities that do not represent who we are. Qualities that do not represent the conscious being within (our trues heart’s desire). Otherwise, we’ll find it difficult to sustain any emotional connection with anyone, because the core relationship values would’ve been built upon a fallacy. I think all of us can agree that no matter how hard we try, the truth of what we’re feeling will always find a way to surface. The weight of that truth will continue to get heavier and more unavoidable over time, and places a strain on our relationships.

If truth cannot reside within a relationship, how much longer an individual go on feeling misunderstood? How much longer can two people live with misaligned desires? How much longer can an individual live complacently?

However, there are still many of us who have managed to escape the influences of the world and have established and maintained very honest relationships. Breakups that do occur in these sort of bonds are the result of mutual understanding. If we’re constantly being honest about how we feel, and we completely unveil our truths as soon as they surface, then issues are given the opportunity to be resolved. We can avoid a lot of prolonged upset and heartache, if we preserve an environment where we can open up and communicate. After all, a lot of arguments and frustrations are the manifestations of unresolved problems.

In summary, relationships should empower us to explore life fully, so that we can each discover and/or fulfill our individual purpose. When we form a relationship, we enter a mutual agreement based on this very philosophy. We don’t enter them to feel restricted or suppressed, nor do we want that for our partners.  Therefore, if any of us are ever feeling this way in our relationships, we have duty to ourselves and to each other to open up about how we feel, and work towards a resolution so that we can each continue to progress our lives forward.

Vancouver Life Coach