Do you find yourself taking on a certain role in every relationship you are in? The truth is most of us take on set roles in our relationships whether we realize it or not. Although we like to think that every relationship is unique, in fact experts have identified six different ‘couple types’ that we all fall into. This is determined by experiences growing up and a recent article in Psychologies magazine stated ” ‘so often when we’re in a new relationship, we think of it as a fresh page, and we tell ourselves: “I’m going to do it my way. But, of course, when we’re children, we absorb information like sponges — we can’t help but take on board how our parents behaved and what went on in our own family.”
The article suggests that we often copy the type our parents were and actively seek partners who can recreate this, leading to disharmony in a relationship when this is not so. Experts believe that if couples can define their type and understand the differences, many more relationships could be saved. The six types identified are:
Cat and Dog
We all know couples where the thought is, why are they together? Somehow it seems to work. This couple enjoys the thrill of fight and make-up and their relationship survives due to the passion (and sex) involved. If, however, there are problems, it becomes “the relationship from hell” as the underlying insecurities that define this relationship type come to the surface, making breaking up difficult and extremely messy.
This type is defined by the constant pursuit of affection from a partner who seemingly is not interested. The cycle can turn the other way if a lack of interest is noted by the distancer. Both are afraid of being seen as “needy” by the other but often end up totally dependent.
Often seen in couples with children where the other partner also becomes “a child” due to lack of self-esteem or is at a vulnerable stage in life, for example, a busy executive on a sabbatical or a workaholic who loses his job. Driven by the need to nurture and be nurtured, it can go wrong when the “parent” starts to control and the “child” partner feels stifled.
You are the Greatest!
This type is all about adulation. One partner idolizes the other who they see as never wrong and so gives up all of their own ambitions, the classic idol-fan relationship. However, this is generally done for the sole reason that the “idol” suffers from a lack of self-esteem and the “fan” does their best to bolster this. Works well until the fan needs some attention too, which is why these relationships are usually short-lived as the “idol” seeks out fan after fan in order to boost their ego.
Best of Friends
“This couple seems to share everything — from opinions to hobbies to clothes. ‘These are two individuals who recognize great similarities in each other and are reassured by that,” says Susan Quilliam, Relationship Counselor. Due to insecurity gained by bad experience or lack of self-esteem, this couple presents a strong image and it is difficult for others to come between them. They find security in each other and “often lack the differential spark that creates passion” This could lead to boredom and a lack of excitement in the relationship including a lack-lustre sex-life.
Talk about everything, do everything together in a sense of mature dignity. Arguments are dealt with without emotion and without repercussions. This sounds perfect but often the passion is missing and very little is done in a spontaneous manner. This relationship is characterized by routine and no surprises.
What is a Soul Mate?
During a recent conversation with a friend of mine, I was asked if I had found my soul mate and how did I know? The term soul mate is often used in relationships but I wonder if many people actually know what it really means. It might be easier to start by explaining what I think it isn’t. Being soul mates does not mean engaging in win-lose or lose-win relationships where one partner takes and never gives or gives and never takes. It is not expecting a partner to cater for all your needs while neglecting their own. It is love, respect, partnership but much, much more. So what is this elusive thing that everyone searches for and only a few find? It is not something you can label and date like a bottle of wine. It is a feeling and you instantly recognise it when it happens. When you move a relationship onto a higher level, building on love and respect as a foundation, you have the chance to experience one of the greatest things that can ever happen. A soul mate grows with you, allows you to develop while developing and growing with you. Soul mates do not accept win-win situations, a classic compromise, where one loses some things sometime and vice versa, they work together to find an even better solution. Soul mates put the partnership in first position and terms like envy, jealousy, conflict, dishonesty and hidden agenda are alien to them. This sounds like a perfect marriage vow but being a soul mate should not be confused with the daily grind of living together or the euphoria of a new love. Soul mates work hard every day to ensure that the relationship stays alive and vibrant. All sounds very technical but wait until you have that feeling when you know you have someone there that will stick with you through thick and thin, enjoying your successes with you, helping you through tough times and allowing you to do the same. It’s that feeling when spending time together brings on a feeling of ‘ teenager-like’ anticipation and excitement. It is knowing you are making plans together for now and the future and looking forward to spending the rest of your lives together living your dreams.
Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a Counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who are housebound or located in rural locations where therapy is difficult to find.
Online Therapy details : http://www.therapy-for-leaders.com/buy-online-therapy/