How to be an Adult in Relationships

Writing Without a Parachute
July 6, 2016
strong silent type
You are the strong silent type, and now she wants you to talk?!
April 28, 2018

The Five Keys to Mindful Loving. By David Richo

T his is the book I wish I had read before my relationship broke down, because Richo gives relationship-saving advice. If you are serious about growing your relationship to be the best it can possibly be, this is an excellent guidebook. In this book you learn to observe your own and your partner’s behaviour.

I particularly appreciate how Richo guides us to the practice of mindfulness and lovingkindness in our relationships.

R eading as I did, post-relationship, I learned a lot about what went wrong and how to build on my strengths for future relationships. I had many light bulb moments, painful but also very healing. I have now applied my learning in my work with couples and individuals.

At the same time, he is very practical in his advice. On this website, you will learn more about applying mindfulness in Why take the most benevolent perspective, and also in When Distraction Stops a Fight.

I particularly like the chapter on Conflicts. This is always a hot topic in relationship counselling. Richo says, “it is useful to realize that in the journey from romance to conflict, we move through three modes”: ideal states when we are our best selves, normal states which mark a level of adult functioning with neither highs nor lows, low ebb, when we are at our worst. I cannot emphasize too strongly that it is best to have the conversations that involve the most conflict, that are the most emotion-laden when we are at our best.

When we are at a low ebb it is best to postpone all important discussions, and instead work on calming, soothing, comforting and nourishing ourselves and our partner.