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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

External Influences and Thoughts

Affect Relationships

Now you may well be wondering what external influences and thoughts have to do with and how they can affect relationships. That’s good! You’re discriminating! The point I’m attempting to make is that we rely too much on external influence to guide our thoughts and attitudes, and not enough on ourselves. This extends to how we view ourselves, our partners, and our relationships. We constantly compare with the opinions and standards offered by people we know, or by media influences, and make judgments on that basis. Once you begin getting into the habit of making important decisions for yourself, you find yourself becoming more content with yourself and your life -- less subject to what others think, or say. This sense of independence is very healthy as it enhances your self-esteem, and that makes you less prone to unnecessary compromises on your own needs. Furthermore, you begin the process of enjoying what you have, and building upon it instead of wasting time wondering if you’ve missed out on something. You will never be content with what you have for as long as you allow yourself to make comparisons on the basis of outside influences. When doing so, one tends to focus on what’s missing -- rather than what’s already there. What you need to remember is that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the hill, it just looks that way from a distance. Consider another common expression which says "you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone". So before you allow yourself to become disenchanted with someone or something, stop yourself and try to visualize what it would be like if they or it were gone. This whole topic is important because once a relationship is established, the two people involved must deal with the day to day realities of life. Other than in story books, day to day life does have ups & downs, and not every day is a red letter one. Routines are established, and patterns formed. It is at this time we become susceptible to outside influences. As put forth earlier in this journal, keeping romance alive is important, but equally important is developing a resistance to external influences which could cause unnecessary discontentment. This is a vigil, since we are bombarded with these things daily -- especially in the various form of media. You must also be wary of the ‘pity party’ mentality. You can see this form of thinking any time you’re around a group of people. It begins with one person sharing a woe -- then becomes a form of contest to see who has the biggest problems. People love to complain for some unknown reason. A big problem with this is that it influences other people who begin to imagine they have the same problem due to some superficial similarity. Unless you actively and consciously resist this kind of peer pressure, you will be prone to sowing the seeds of needless dissatisfaction, & eventual associated problems. An old Latin proverb illustrates this perfectly. Loosely translated, it says; "You’ll get lost in fantasy when you play with theories more complex than the facts justify."  
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There isn't any formula or method. You learn to love by loving - by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done. — Aldous Huxley