Here’s a question for you. Which is easier to remember? The good times or the bad times?
Psychologist Karen Young says that we’re literally “wired to remember things that bring us pain.”[i] Ouch.
She says this is a part of an ancient survival instinct. It’s like a warning system left over from a more primitive time. It’s something our ancestors had to do to stay alive.
Which is good. I’m kind of glad they managed to pull off surviving.
But that leaves us with an unfortunate leftover. We tend to be better at remembering negative stuff. And boy, oh boy, can that impact the connection you share with your partner.
You don’t want your strongest memories as a couple to be negative. The fights, the struggles, the times of doubt. Wouldn’t you rather focus on the times when the two of you were really in sync?
Well, I’ve got some good news.
While you’ll have to work a little harder to remember positive times, it’s totally worth the extra effort. Because, get this… research shows that intentionally focusing on positive memories will strengthen a couple’s bond. [ii]
Think of it like you’re building a house. Your connection with each other is the foundation, and I can show you how to make that connection even stronger.
Here’s how it works.
Angie was excited when she met Scott. He seemed to be everything she wanted. An embodiment of the very affirmation she held over the past two months while working with me as her relationship coach.
I knew she was truly smitten with love when she said, “He just makes my heart sing!” That phrase was a part of an affirmation we had been working on since day one.
In my initial assessment of Angie’s situation, it became apparent that she had a self-defeating belief about relationships. There are many variations of this particular belief, but the general theme of it was this: “Guys are all pigs. True romance is a Hollywood illusion.”
This was an unconscious belief for Angie. It became apparent as we began discussing what kind of guy she would be really happy with.
We were trying to get through an worksheet on building a positive vision for the kind of guy she wanted to find. We were both in tears from laughing so hard by the time we got to the sixth item on the worksheet. Because every time Angie began to say something good she would like to find in a man, she had two sarcastic reasons why such a man could never actually exist!
The more we talked about it, the clearer it became to both of us that deep down in her heart, she did not believe any man would actually rise to the challenge of joining her in a truly satisfying relationship.
Your Beliefs Determine Much of Your Reality, and Influence Your Chances of Finding a True Relationship.
So we got to work on replacing that relationship-sabotaging belief with a new, more empowering one.