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When “I” Becomes “We”

Moving from “I” to “we” requires a shift in perspective and energy. Being an authentic couple is an evolution. People rarely consider what is required to include another person in your overall life.

Love songs tell us that love is woven by the fingers of destiny. From poetry we learn that love is an ever‑elusive intangible that wafts in like a wisp of smoke and disappears just as capriciously. Friends may tell us that finding love is all about timing, yet billboards imply that the secret to finding everlasting love is driving a sexy car, wearing the right jeans, or having pearly‑white teeth, fresh breath, and great‑smelling hair. It can be quite confusing. Yet the real secret to finding authentic love lies not in your medicine cabinet, nor in the hands of fate or time. It resides in your own consciousness.

Before you proceed down the road of choosing to partner or not, it helps first to understand exactly what a true partnership is. A partnership is a union between two entities. Partnerships of any kind are formed when both people believe that greater benefit lies in uniting energies, talents, and resources than in remaining separate.

In the love arena, partnerships occur when two people come together to create a new reality. As both people move toward each other and connect in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, they begin to move from separate “I” realities into a combined “we” reality, in which both “I’s” contribute to the greater “we.” Neither “I” is obliterated; both are simply augmented and enhanced by the chemical fusion with the other. Becoming a “we” reality means that you form a team whose intent is to travel through life together as a united force.

There are pros and cons to partnering. It can cause both positive and negative changes in your life and requires that you find ways to balance these polarities. The positive side is, of course, the hearts and flowers that you see in the movies and read about in romance novels. It is the wonderful rush of adrenaline that falling in love brings, the giddy feeling of being adored, the butterflies that flutter in your stomach when you hear your beloved’s voice, and the warm rush of security you feel when he or she smiles at you from across a crowded room.

For most people, the main advantage is that you will no longer be alone, since you will have someone with whom you can spend your time and share the journey of life. Having a partner comes with some wonderful benefits: you have someone to love you, to give you attention, to take care of you, to act as your companion, to fulfill your sexual needs and desires, to do things with you, and to generally make life more fun. Partnering can provide support when you need it, encouragement when you are fearful, and empowerment when you have lost your belief in yourself. At its most elevated, a partnership can be a sacred bond in which you can share your inner most secrets, admit your weaknesses, grow in new and astonishing ways, and weave together your hopes and dreams.

The downside of partnering is the mirror opposite of its main benefit: You will no longer be alone. If you are no longer alone, that means you are also no longer on your own. You are no longer a stand‑alone entity. You will need to deal with differences between you and your partner‑‑in style, pace, modes of communicating, habits, and preferences. You have to deal with everyday life issues that accompany another person. Your partner, after all, has ideas, feelings, aspirations, habits, quirks, and issues that need to be given the same respect as you give your own.
In other words, you need to make room in your life for another human being. When making choices and decisions, you will have to consider another person; you cannot just do whatever you want whenever you want without considering the other person’s wishes. You will need to confer on everything from how much room you take up in the bed to how to spend your money. You must be willing to make adjustments so that both you and your partner can be happy.

What is your immediate response when I say “Finding love is up to you”? Do you believe you have the power within yourself to attract and find the kind of love you want? If you do, then by all means skip this rule and go on to Rule Three. If, however, any part of you thinks that finding love is not within your personal control or power, then you might want to read on a bit more.

Love does not “just happen.” It needs to be created in much the same way you would create anything else. Let’s imagine you wanted to make a meal. You might begin by thinking about what it is that you want to eat. Then you would assess how much time you have and what you could make within that period of time, decide what to make, take steps to secure the ingredients, follow the recipe, and then eat.

You wouldn’t just sit in your kitchen wishing a meal would somehow magically appear. The process is not so different when it comes to love; love is also created from your imagination, intention, and deployment. Many mistakenly have thought that just wanting love is the same as seeking love.

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The Five Levels of Communication

Excerpted from: Transformational Life Coaching, and written by:

Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D. and Lynn U. Stewart

To be an effective communicator, you need to be aware of the five levels of communication. If you are listening closely, you will be able to discern the level of communication in the conversation. The five levels are:

1. Clichéd conversation. The first level of communication doesn’t require any investment or involvement from you. It is the most superficial level and consists of a greeting, a salutation, or a clichéd comment that doesn’t require any interaction.

2. Reporting the facts. Examples of the second level of communication are the newspaper, TV news and weather, or a report describing some happening, such as a sale or an upcoming event.

3. Judgments. At the third level of communication, you expose a part of yourself. This level involves judgments, which requires taking a stand on something.

4. Feelings. All feelings require you to expose part of your internal world. Feelings are more vulnerable than judgments, and at the fourth level you reveal your emotional connection to the subject matter.

5. Peak communication. This is the fifth and the most connected level. Peak communication happens between soul mates, twins, those with past-life connections, some siblings, some parents and children, some spouses, dharmic lovers, and other people who are deeply in love. Peak communication means that you are so connected that you rarely need words. You can complete each other’s sentences, and when one of you thinks something, the other says it.

Since setting the expectation of peak communication in every coaching session would be unrealistic, we set the fourth level as the goal. You may have sessions that reach the fifth level, but you will address those feelings in every coaching session that you do.

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Learning To Love Yourself

Excerpted from If Love Is a Game, These Are the Rules

At its core, loving yourself simply means believing in your own essential worthiness. It is nurturing a healthy sense of positive self-regard and knowing in your heart that you are a valuable link in the universal chain. Loving yourself also means actively caring for every facet of yourself. It shows up in every action you take, from putting on a sweater to protect yourself from a chill to leaving a job that does not fulfill you. It means tuning in to your own wants and needs and honoring them the exact same way you want your partner to attend to you.

Not everyone grows up to have an innate sense of high self esteem or worthiness. In fact, most of us need to work at it to some degree throughout our lifetimes. Each person feels insufficient in one or more areas, whether physical, intellectual, financial, or in interpersonal dynamics, emotional maturity, or spiritual growth. However, respecting, nurturing, honoring, and cherishing yourself is your birthright and something you can learn.

Loving yourself is the best way to learn how to love. Love is an action that requires certain understandings, skills, and capacities. By practicing loving yourself, you train yourself to advance to the next level – loving another.

Only when you have successfully mastered taking care of your own needs can you know how to extend that same attention to others. When you respect the validity of your own thoughts and feelings, you can apply that consideration to others. When you believe within yourself how valuable you are, you can then bestow authentic affection on a partner.

If your objective is to play the game of love and win, then learning self-love is the first step you must take. Before you can roll the dice or even place your playing piece on the board, you need to tap into the inner reaches of your heart and soul and discover all that you are worth.

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The Five Stages of Dealing with Loss

n 1969 Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote her book about the five stages of Death and Dying. In that groundbreaking book, she listed the stages as: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance. Her premise was that when someone is informed that they are terminally ill, they first can’t believe it is true, this is called denial. They say things like, “This could never happen to me. There must be some mistake! I must have been given the wrong test results.” Denial is a stage that is disconnected from the reality of the situation.

Anger is the next stage. Anger starts to confront reality. Anger is an authentic response that reflects the truth of your feelings. Anger is uncomfortable, but it is connected and expressive.

Bargaining is the next stage. Bargaining is when the head bypasses the emotions. The head decides that there is a way to beat the system and tries to invent bargaining chips to use to buy time and change the proposed reality. Thoughts like, “If I eat really healthy, then maybe we can reverse the condition,” “If I stop drinking soft drinks and eating junk food, then maybe the tumor will dissipate,” or “ If I give to the poor, resolve my old relationships, and become kind and loving, then God will have mercy on me.” When all the bargains don’t pan out, then depression sets in.

Depression is the next stage. Depression is the condition when you lose all hope about the future. When Depression finally lifts, then Acceptance can finally be attained.

Acceptance is the state of coming to terms with the truth and letting it be okay. It is when you stop fighting what is and allowing it to be what is next on your path of learning in the game of life.

Whenever you deal with any type of loss you also go through these stages. When you lose your job, you can experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. When your mate tells you they want a divorce, you can transit these same stages. When your house is foreclosed and you lose your home, the same stages can again surface. When you lose your life savings the same stages can reoccur.

Each stage doesn’t have a time limit associated with it. A stage can last from a few minutes to several years. The length of time depends on several factors: the person, the severity of the loss, the volume of emotion locked up in the loss, the support surrounding the person, and the opportunities that are presented to let go and move on with life. When a person appears “stuck” in a certain stage, their friends and family may judge them. For instance, if you were laid off your job and you became “stuck” in anger, or you got “stuck” in depression after your spouse divorced you, people might choose to not be around you. They might talk about you in negative or concerned tones.

Each stage takes as long as it takes. Of course, you must seek out help and support to get through each stage because the five stages don’t process themselves automatically. As with everything, you must want to get through the process and “restart” life to be able to successfully transit the five stages.

When my father was ill with cancer I told him I wanted to visit. Since I was in California and he was in Florida, it required a bit of planning. He replied, “Wait until I get out of the hospital, and then come and visit.” I listened to him and made a note to book my trip. A few days after his surgery I received a phone call that he had had complications and had passed away. I was shocked and dismayed that I hadn’t listened to myself. I wished that I had gone to see him while he was still alive. I heard the conversations in my mind discussing what I should have done and then the commentary stating that I had respected my father’s wishes. I went back and forth many times. My two sisters and I flew to Florida for the wake and funeral. At a lunch meeting with my step-mother I asked, “Will there be a reading of the will?” She looked straight into my eyes and said, “There will be no need…he left me everything…and you girls…nothing!” My head was spinning and I couldn’t speak. I wasn’t breathing and I felt dizzy with disorientation.

When I came to my senses I realized that it was true. My father had disinherited all of his children. I hired an attorney and a private investigator to find out if everything was in order and what was, in fact, true. What I discovered was that there was nothing to do but accept the reality. At that time I couldn’t accept the reality that my father left us nothing, not a cuff link, not his backgammon board, not even a monogrammed handkerchief…nothing…not even a note…I was far from acceptance. I realized I had a lot of work to do.

It took me two years to transit all five stages until I finally reached the stage of Acceptance. When I did I was released from the torment of “Why? Why had my father sent this message to us (me)? What did he want to communicate? I finally found peace and framed my new reality in the words, “He believed in us…his three daughters, so much that he realized that we could make our lives whatever we wanted without his help, the family treasures, or any remnants from the past. He gave us the most powerful gift of all, the gift of empowerment!”

©Motivation Management Holdings, Ltd. 2009

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When the Honeymoon Is Over

You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams, courted them, designed a beautiful wedding and planned an extraordinary honeymoon. Now you’re back from Bermuda, or Vail, or Hawaii, and you’re settling back into what you hope to be, “Life as normal,” however, before you picked a dress, location, cake, flowers, and honeymoon destination, you forgot to discuss your future, specifically whether to have or to have not…children? Did politics come up in discussions? What about religion? Did you have a serious conversation regarding your core values and potential knock-out-punches in a relationship?

Divorce statistics are staggering! Half of all first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages end in divorce, and 75% of third marriages also end in divorce! What is the challenge of harmonious cohabitation? Or is it commitment? Or is it fidelity? What are the main issues that make or break a relationship in these changing times? Are fewer people having meaningful discussions before marriage or are more people just realizing they have more options from which to choose? In social media, are people divorcing spouses in the same way they would “un-friend” someone on Facebook? If so, can this be remedied?

I have listed below five important conversations every couple must do to determine if they are compatible as long-term mates. They are:

1. Honestly discuss each of your visions of the future. Consider writing your visions down separately and then when you are together, exchanging the visions on paper, reading them and then discussing them.

2. Have a serious conversation about your anticipated roles, responsibilities, and expectations,. You need to put your thoughts, ideas, and “Relationship model” on the table and see if both of your are on the same page.

3. Have a talk with paper and pens about your finances (earning, investing, spending, joint or shared). Being clear about how finances are handled is not only functional and healthy, it can eventually save your marriage.

4. Leisure time and how you spend it is also an important topic. People often assume that everyone enjoys what they like to do. Since this is rarely the case, exploring preferences for weekend activities as well as holidays is a valuable use of your pre-commitment research.

5. Affection, romance, sex, and fidelity are rarely approached because people get too uncomfortable talking about “Taboo topics.” All too often people end up married who have antithetical appetites for affection. One may think that a hug a month is sufficient while the other is eagerly anticipating making love three times a day. Better to confront the difficult conversation ahead of time.

There are many other items to do to get into the right relationship, rather than a chemical rush that creates an entanglement. This is just an appetizer to start you thinking. The best thing you can do is for both of you to have copies of my book on love (so you can highlight your favorite parts to discuss together), and then let the book initiate your tough conversations.

For more on love, marriage, and finding your soul mate, be sure to read and highlight my book If Love is a Game, These are the Rules available now through our store

Phone: (800) 321-6342 • •

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“There” Is No Better Than “Here”

Excerpted from: If Life Is a Game, These are the Rules, And written by: Cherie Carter‐Scott, Ph.D.

Many people believe that they will be happy once they arrive at some specific goal they set for themselves. For some the goal may be amassing a million dollars, for others losing those annoying ten‐plus pounds, and for still others it is finding a soul mate. It could be getting a better job, driving a nicer car, or pursuing a dream career. Whatever your “there” is, you may be convinced that once you arrive you will finally find the peace you have always dreamed of. You will finally become fulfilled, happy, generous, loving, and content.

However, more often than not, once you arrive “there” you will still feel dissatisfied, and move your “there” vision to yet another point in the future. By always chasing after another “there,” you are never really appreciating what you already have right “here.” Think of past situations in which you said, “I will be happy when…” and then ask yourself, “Was I really any happier when I actually arrived there?” Perhaps for a brief moment, but the same longing arises, and you must embark on yet another new quest.

By continuously engaging a cycle of longing, you never actually allow yourself to be in the present. You end up living your life at some point just off in the future. You only have one moment – the one right here, right now. If you skip over “here” in your rush to get “there,” you deny yourself the full range of feelings and sensations that can only be experienced in the present moment.

The challenge of this is to live in the present. Spiritual teachers from the beginning of time have struggled with the questions of how we can live in the present moment – a challenge that has become particularly difficult in the modern world in which we are constantly lured by visions of greater glory, beauty, fame, or fortune and bombarded by unattainable images of how we should strive to be.

It is important to recognize that being human means coming to terms with the age‐old drive to look beyond the place where you not stand. On one hand, your life is enhanced by your dreams and aspirations. These are what drive you forward and keep your passions alive, not to mention enable society to evolve.

On the other hand, these drives can pull you father and father from your enjoyment of your life right now. In formal education and your job, as well as in your private life, goal setting is a necessary skill. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your circumstances. Your challenge is to focus on the present, and on what we have right now, while simultaneously holding the initiation of your future goals.

The secret is to dance on the fine line between living in the here and now while holding in your heart your fondest dreams and aspirations for the future. By learning the lessons of gratitude, unattachment, abundance, and peace, you can bring yourself closer to fulfilling the challenge of living in the present.

If you like what you’ve read and would like to read more, visit our store to purchase a copy of If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules today!

Phone: (800) 321‐6342 • •

©MMS Institute, LLC 2011

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De-tangling Long-Term Relationships

Ending a relationship can be difficult… especially a long-term relationship. Relationships can be perceived as entwinements, enmeshments, or entanglements, but in every type of situation, your personal lives become woven together.

Whether the weave is made of silk, burlap, or polyester is a matter of the quality of the relationship that you create together. The modern day image I envision is fiber optic cables that stretch from one person to another. Every time you do a kind, positive, selfless, or loving act for your partner, another cable extends to connect you; every time you are negative, pejorative, sarcastic, condescending, or diminishing you sever one of the strands. The strength of your relationship depends on the strength of the cables and whether you are expanding or eliminating those individual connectors. You could actually keep track of how many positive acts occur within a day verses how many negative ones. If the number is equal, then the strength stays the same. Over time, if the negative moments continue to sever the fiber optic bonds, eventually there is nothing left to hold you together. It takes deliberate intention and at times effort to reinforce a healthy relationship. If it is left to benign neglect, the strands will wither and break apart.

The “detangling” or “un-weaving” of lives that have been intermingled can be challenging especially since the levels of engagement span different dimensions. For example, if you have been involved for one year, with no property in common, no legal papers, no children, what you need to resolve is the unfulfilled expectations that will never come to fruition. If you have been together for five years and have property or children, then the separation of your lives becomes more complicated and potentially more painful because it involves more people and the realization of possible shattered dreams. If you have been together for 10, 20, or 30 years, then the separation will surely evoke feelings of abandonment by one or both partners, coupled with hurt, disillusionment, resentment, and even bitterness. It is easy to point a finger, blame, judge, and criticize your partner for not living up to your expectations, hopes, and wishes. It is much more difficult to take responsibility for your part in the demise of the relationship, to reflect, and learn the lessons rather than repeat the same lessons in your next relationship.

If you don’t want to relive the last relationship over and over again like in the DVD, Groundhog Day, then you must allocate some time for reflection. Ask yourself these questions and make sure you write down the answers:

1) What benefits did I receive from this relationship?

2) What did I learn?

3) How did I grow as a person?

4) How can I apply my learning to the next relationship?

5) What will I do differently?

If you answer these questions honestly and keep the answers close by to re-read from time to time, you will leave your past baggage behind you and bring your continuously improving self to your next relationship. The past doesn’t need to dictate the future, however, if unexamined, it surely will.

For more on Love, be sure to check out my book: If Love is a Game, These are the Rules Around available now.

Phone: (800) 321-6342 • •

©MMS Institute, LLC 2011

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How Negativity Impacts Relationships

Have you ever taken a moment to consider how your attitude impacts your relationship? Do you wake up in the morning, grumbling “We’re out of coffee, the paper is wet again (from the sprinklers), and the dog needs be let out,” do you consider how your overall demeanor affects your partner?

Some people are early birds, others are night owls, and then there are those few that are just Nuthatches or Negaholics ! Despite time of day, weather, schedules, and responsibilities, Negative people appear everywhere. If you received a raise at work, they think it wasn’t enough. If you’re suddenly taking better care of yourself, they assume you’re having an affair. If you go shopping for new clothes, they call you selfish and narcissistic.

Even if you, yourself are not negative, you could easily be in a relationship with a Negaholic. Negaholics can drag down even the most positive of people. Focusing on what is wrong, missing, or a mistake can drain the energy out of anyone. List five things that are wrong and notice how you feel. Then list five things that are going well or could be classified as “Good News,” and then notice how you feel. Chances are that positive news makes you feel hopeful, while negative news makes you feel depressed and lacking in energy.

Most Negaholics don’t believe they are negative; they think they are being realistic, honest, and siting the truth rather than being Pollyanna-ish.

For more on Negaholics, be sure to check out my book: Negaholics: How to Overcome Negativity and Turn Your Life Around.

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Hurting, Healing, Helping

Opening yourself up to a new relationship isn’t always easy. Based on what happened in your last relationship, you may be hurt, have baggage, be in need of healing, and as usual, ready to help everyone else with their problems and concerns, while ignoring your own. If you can learn from everything that happens to you, then no hurt is insurmountable, no pain is insufferable, and no loss is irreconcilable.

Creating love is a process. Authentic love is built on the foundation of strong, intimate bonds that can only be formed through time and experience.

A partnership is a union between two entities, formed when both people believe that there is greater benefit in uniting energies, talents, and resources than in remaining separate.

In the love arena, two people come together to create a new reality. As both people move toward each other and connect in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, they begin to move from separate “I” realities into a combined “we” reality, in which both “I’s” contribute to the greater “we.” Becoming a “we” means that you form a team whose intent is to travel through life together as a united force.

But what happens when things don’t work out, when your expectations are unfulfilled, when the dream becomes shattered into tiny fragments? That is when healing is required. If healing strikes a chord, then the following steps will be helpful:

Treat yourself with tender loving care
Process all the feelings associated with the unfulfilled dream
Look at what you can learn from your most recent relationship
Determine what you are going to do differently in the future
Do extra random acts of kindness for yourself

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as your self.” Truer words were never spoken. Yet how can you love anyone if you don’t first love yourself? The “You” in this relationship is the observer, the coach, the editor and the critic who surveys your thoughts, words, feelings and behaviors, and who determines how much of your essential self is shown to others.

The quality of the relationship between you and your “self” is paramount, for it is the one upon which all your other relationships are based. Your relationship with your self acts as a template from which all the unions in your life are shaped, setting the quality, tone, and manner in which you relate to others and how they relate to you. It establishes the working model of how to give and receive love. The depth and efficacy of the link between you and your “self” ultimately determines the success of your relationships with others.

If an authentic love relationship is what you desire, then the first natural step you must take is to learn to love, honor, and cherish your “self” as a truly previous and lovable being.

Therefore, in order to help others, you must first help yourself. Determine what kind of help you need. Perhaps it’s increased social time with your friends. Maybe you want to be introduced to some new possible dates. Church or an ongoing support group can help you connect and process the feelings from the past and help you get over the loss.

Whatever help you require, make sure that pride doesn’t stand in your way. If God had meant us to go through this process alone, he would have given each one of us our own island. We are all human, and reaching out for support, as well as receiving it when it is offered are part of the process of being human. You can recover from any broken heart if you allow yourself to feel the feelings, heal and learn the lessons, and love yourself enough to ask for and receive help.

If you like what you’ve read and would like to read more, visit to find more from author Dr. Cherie Carter‐Scott today!

Phone: (800) 321‐6342 • •

©MMS Institute, LLC 2011

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Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.

If Love is a Game, These are the Rules presents the option of playing “the game” with a partner, one who is playing with the same rules as you. It is one thing to play “the game” by yourself, however, when you add a partner, the learning opportunities become multiplied exponentially. When you add a partner to the equation, one and one equal three: your own experience, your partner’s personal experience and the experiences shared between the two of you. Entering the arena of love will provide you and your partner with an entirely new set of lessons – lessons that can greatly enhance your life.

Intimacy is a process in which two people pursue their own personal growth within the context of their relationship. Throughout the past 25 years, I have led workshops and facilitated couples in search of authentic relationships – relationships based on principles of honesty, respect, communication and a deep level of connection. I have assisted couples in defining their purpose, their expectations, their visions, their values and their willingness to go beyond two separate entities of “I” and intentionally create a joint “we.” I have witnessed unions being formed, formalized, and finalized.

Learning about authentic love is a process. It requires that you go deeper than the thrill of infatuation, that you go beyond the rush of chemistry, and that you sometimes transcend the expectations of family, friends and society. Authentic love requires that you discover and embrace your authentic self, and from that essential self draw to you the person with whom you want to hold hands and experience together the adventure of life.

Yet what exactly is authentic love?

Authentic love is choosing your partner exactly as they are; it is putting your energy behind your choice and causing the relationship to be magical, rather than searching for reasons why it can’t work. Love is supporting your partner in their choices, urging them to fulfill their hearts’ desires and go for all of their dreams.

Authentic Love is honoring your partner’s truth and wanting the very best for them. It is not controlling or possessing but rather respecting and trusting their unique path in life. Love is the courage to tell the truth especially when you believe it is unspeakable.

Authentic Love means knowing your boundaries and respecting those of your partner; it means reaching out when you don’t want to, communicating rather than assuming, and asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions. Love means working things out rather than fighting; fighting rather than leaving; staying through the misunderstandings, the hurt feelings, the disappointments and knowing, through your commitment, all can be healed. It means staying when you want to give up; honoring your commitment to work things out with the one you have chosen.

Authentic Love means focusing on what you appreciate and why you are grateful. It means focusing on solutions rather than on problems. It means focusing attention on your partner and letting them know each day how much you care. It means treasuring your beloved and never taking them for granted.

Authentic Love means living without judgments to create the safety to tell your truths. It means living each day with your partner as if it were your last. It’s the willingness to be yourself and live in harmony with each other.

What does an authentic relationship look like? It looks and feels real. It thrives on honesty and shimmers with truth. An authentic relationship flexes and bends with the fluctuating needs and changes of each partner and gracefully weathers hardships. It is a relationship in which both partners are committed to the growth and evolution of both individuals in their respective life paths. Much like the diamond used to symbolically represent the bond of matrimony, an authentic relationship sparkles with brilliance and light while maintaining a solid and enduring core. It is the context in which true love was meant to exist.

Excerpted from If Love is a Game, These are the Rules: Ten Rules…

If you liked what you read, consider purchasing the paperback edition for everyone you want to have more love in their life!