by Guest Blogger, Julie Orlov
It’s a pleasure to guest blog on DangerousLee.Biz. I’m Julie Orlov. My passion is relationships. I decided to take my 25 years of experience working as a psychotherapist, executive coach, speaker and consultant and create a roadmap along with some navigational tools so that people would be able to create relationships in their lives that work.
All relationships have a predictable developmental pathway, from the moment you first meet someone—to your first disappointment and hurt—to learning how to move past disappointments and hurts—to creating deep love and intimacy. What’s important is to understand the four phases of relationships. In doing so, you can recognize which phase you and your significant other are in. Once you understand that the challenges (and joys) you are experiencing are normal to that phase, you can stop making yourself, your loved ones, and your relationships wrong.
In truth, there is never anything wrong. There is only something to see, understand, and accept. It is from a place of acceptance that one heals, grows and transforms.
In The Pathway to Love, the four phases of a developing relationship are:
Object-Fantasy. In the first phase, we project ourselves, our needs, and our past onto a stranger. Then, we become committed to making sure that our fantasy comes true or that our worst fears don’t. Because this phase triggers so many issues, intensified by anxieties and hormones, it is often difficult for people to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. In romantic relationships, this phase can easily trick you.
Self-Discovery. In phase two, we begin to see the other person for who he truly is, and react to his less than perfect behavior. We also begin to reveal our true selves. Fantasies are lost, disappointments surface, and the real work of relationships begins. This phase offers opportunities for realistic self-assessment—of our beliefs and expectations, our vulnerabilities, and our biases and lack of tolerance—and for practicing empathy and compassion.
Personal Transformation. In phase three, we fully accept our significant other for who she truly is, without manipulating her opinions, choices, or convictions. We also take full responsibility for our own feelings, thoughts, and actions, without blaming our better half for the worst outcomes. This phase demands an ongoing commitment to self-reflection, self-control, integrity, and honest communication. The payoff? ―Experiencing deep and profound love becomes possible.
Relational Transformation. In the fourth and ultimate phase, the relationship goes beyond simply meeting the needs of both individuals. The relationship takes on a life and meaning of its own, affecting other people in the couple’s lives, family, and community. A shared purpose and vision emerges. Each person in the relationship supports each other in working toward that purpose. Each person lives into the vision.
Please join me in a journey of self-discovery. It is now more important than ever that we learn to connect with one another in intimate and meaningful ways. We need to remember that it is our relationships that truly matter, not how many gadgets we have or what kind of car we drive. Our relationships are the most important assets we have. So why not begin creating your own pathway to love.
Until next time,
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com
JULIE ORLOV, MAOL, MSW, LCSW has devoted 24 years to helping people transform their lives through her work as a psychotherapist, executive coach, trainer, speaker, and consultant. She is the author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery and remains passionate about helping people create relationships in their lives that work. Julie Orlov holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University, a master’s degree in social work from University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.JulieOrlov.com.