I Am What I Am!

—On Relationships

Many folks would have us believe that being single is just as pleasurable and fulfilling as being partnered. The truth is, for nearly all of us being a single adult is a time of disturbing incompleteness. It is a crisis
You might conclude, then, that most of us would take great care in choosing and dealing with our intimate partners. Unfortunately, though, this is usually not the case. In fact, we humans seem pretty inept when it comes to choosing intimate partners–at least if we are striving for safe, fulfilling and enduring relationships. If you doubt this, a glance at the troubling rates of divorce and rape, and of child, spouse, drug, and alcohol abuse may convince you.
Twenty-six years as a psychotherapist have persuaded me that most of us lack a basic understanding of what makes a relationship tick; and that we are misinformed as much as uninformed. Much of what we have been taught about ourselves, other people, and successful relating–and which we have tended to unquestioningly accept and defend–actually hinders us in our relationships.
I’m confident, however, that with accurate information we can begin to learn how to choose our partners better, and be better partners, as well. Out of this conviction, in 1985, I began to teach a seminar, which I called Red Flags/Green Flags in the Romance Game (and which I now call, Why Relationships Succeed or Fail). My aim was to shed light on intimate relationships, on what they are and how to succeed at them, as well as on the characteristics of and differences between successful and unsuccessful relating. What follows is a series of essays exploring this subject.