Feeling the fright, don’t back out of love

You can be in a new relationship where all is going well - you are enjoying each other’s company, have common outlooks and values, and yet for some, there comes a time where you may consider ending it - sometimes for no reason at all. If you find yourself switching off and backing out of relationships, you may need to start asking yourself why that is. There may be instances where, for no good reason, you give up on a love that could have grown and developed in a healthy way into something special. You may be spooked by the prospect of a love you’d never imagined, or thought wouldn’t come true.

This is where a considered contemplation and evaluation of perceived red flags needs to be undertaken. Quite often we can over-exaggerate signs that we may deem as red flags and blow them out of proportion, leading to an otherwise unnecessary break down in a relationship. It is of course important to balance “imaginary” red flags with demonstrations of actual concerning behaviour. Its not to say that you should ignore worrying behaviour from a partner or potential partner, but rather to assess whether this behaviour is indeed an issue or whether you are using it as an excuse to cut ties and run away from potential happiness. 

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt can be one way you express compassion for your partner, depending on what it is they have done. For example, if your partner has had a particularly stressful day at work and comes home and verbally snaps at you, then perhaps standing back and understanding where this has come from can allow you to have a discussion or at least hash out the root of it. However, if your partner exhibits this behaviour frequently and without a triggering event, it might be time to review how you are being treated in the relationship and reassess. Again, taking the time to consider your relationship and the events that occur in it will help you from cutting and running. Often those who are frightened to love won’t take a moment to breathe and think, but simply work off a kneejerk reaction. This - which although can bring short term relief to that person - will merely bring about a cycle of long-term despair, resulting in loneliness and a sense of loss, thinking “what could have been?”. 

On the opposing side are those who stay in bad relationships because they are too afraid to be on their own. This is just as unhealthy as those who exhibit avoidant behaviour, as both paths lead away from love. By remaining in a negative relationship, you are shying away from meeting someone who could bring you a real sense of joy. Being alone can be a frightening prospect for some, but it is important to remember that not only are you wasting your opportunity to find happiness and love but that you are also withholding this love from a potential future partner. Finding love involves a little bit of faith in yourself, and in potential partners. Fear will only hold you back from achieving a healthy and successful relationship and will keep you backed into your bad relationship. 

Be brave and give yourself a chance to be happy. We all deserve love and we all have the ability to find it, so don’t be frightened to find the success you seek - don’t back out of love. 

Cityjet interview with Susie Ambrose

Seventy Thirty is a luxury matchmaking company, offering a discreet and exclusive service to clients of affluence.

“Coming from a background in psychoanalysis,” founder Susie Ambrose explains, “my inspiration came from my clients, who were successful, affluent, intelligent and attractive but single, and often had difficulties meeting the right type of person.

“My entrepreneurial drive was born when I discovered that no other company was providing a truly- bespoke and exclusive matchmaking service. After seeing the gap in the market, I went on to found the first exclusive matchmaking company.

“I was a real novice in the matchmaking world. However, I understood the importance of high- quality service and I appreciated the importance of exclusivity. Our members are ultra-high-net- worth individuals (UHN W Is) who are accustomed to  consistently receiving an exceptional service. We are experts in luxury and we admire the finer things in life, therefore we fully understand our members’ needs, wants and desires, tailoring our service around them individually. This was a very important factor when I started the business. ‘

“Research has proved that the affluent tend to work 70% of the time, leaving only 30% for their personal lives. Before the company launch, market research confirmed that successful single men and women had few resources for finding suitable partners. As I already had some key contacts in London, I invited a few to join with a lower introductory fee until I had built up my critical mass.”

“I also created our unique matchmaking model, which we still use today.

We match on background, lifestyle, attraction and relationship goals.

However, fundamental to these factors is having an understanding of each person’s values, motivations and outlook in life.”

“My focus has always been towards building the brand through word-of- mouth. I had enough contacts within my network to launch the service, and I got stuck in with making select introductions myself. With time, dedication and a lot of networking with highly-successful people, Seventy Thirty became increasingly well- known as being the place to find the ultimate partner. I then brought in a team of young, dynamic psychologists who have genuine passion and confidence in dealing with very powerful people.”

“I hear stories of what new couples get up to in their honeymoon period, then the engagement celebrations, weddings and babies… and I am proud and humbled by the success we have had.”

“We are now in a digitally- dominated era and younger generations prefer to use various dating apps. However, the art and business of matchmaking will always appeal to people who prefer a discreet and personalised bespoke service.”

“In the luxury market, there is money to spend and the savvy rich want to make sure they are making sensible and fruitful long-term investments.

“Seventy Thirty is an investment for a better future. I will continue ensuring that our goals are achieved and that we continue to be an exceptional ambassador for the luxury industry.”

Susie Ambrose

Founder

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Enhance Your Connection With Your Partner 

Mindfulness is a lifestyle, rather than a life choice, and where better to apply it than the most important aspect of your life - your relationships.  Research has shown that more mindful individuals have higher relationship quality. Here are five tips and mindfulness techniques that will help enhance your connection with your partner and improve your love life:

1.Active listening  

Active listening is a mindfulness technique that is often misunderstood. It sounds fairly obvious, but when was the last time you stopped, took a pause and actually listened to what your partner was saying, instead of mentally formulating your next response? Listening actively means fully concentrating on what is being said, rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. There is a big difference between hearing and listening that often goes overlooked in everyday conversation. Next time you’re talking to your partner make a conscious decision to listen to and understand the message they are trying to get across. It may surprise you. 

2. Presence 

Following on from this, active listening helps to make the user more presentin the conversation. Too often we get stuck thinking about what has happened and what will happen, as opposed to what is happening right now. Regular mindfulness practice changes the areas of the brain associated with directing attention and focus, which helps us get better at concentrating on the present moment. This is vital in appreciating what your partner is doing in the now, as opposed to colouring their behaviour with or comparing it to their historical actions or your expectations. Appreciating your partner goes a long way, as positive interactions are the basis upon which liking grows and love blossoms. 

3. Verbal Communication

Communicating that appreciation is vital to a successful relationship. It is much easier to vocalise distaste than appreciation, and much harder to accurately express what was intended when clouded by anger or frustration. Communicating mindfully means being conscious of your words and their effect on your partner. Words spoken in a moment of anger can cause long term and deep hurt, even if they weren’t meant. Consider replacing accusations such as “you never” or “you always” with “I feel” and “I would like”. These phrases steer you away from the blame game and help to focus on your own feelings – whilst communicating to your partner that you’re willing to see both sides of the discussion. As well as communicating your feelings mindfully, putting yourself in their shoes and exhibiting understanding and empathy go a long way too.   

4. Self awareness

Communicating your emotions accurately and mindfully also feeds into self awareness, and being aware of where your emotions are coming from. If you find yourself getting irritated with your partner after coming home from a busy, hassled day at work, you can perhaps ask yourself if your frustrations are indeed coming from them, or being influenced by outside forces. Perception is vital to human experience and one of the few things we can control. Clear your head and make sure you are being fair to your partner. They should be a supportive sounding board, not a verbal punch bag. 

5. Stop and breathe

Finally, stop and breathe. There are a multitude of mindfulness techniques surrounding breathing and their importance cannot be understated. Taking a few long deep breaths and counting to 5 on each inhale and exhale can be enough to clear your head, displace anger to think clearly and totally change your perspective. Breathing reduces anxiety and stress, and calms the heart rate. For a process that is required for human survival, it is something many of us don’t pay enough active attention to.   

References 

https://www.londonmindful.com/blog/5-mindfulness-tips-for-a-happier-relationship/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201706/five-ways-mindfulness-makes-your-relationship-happier

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/5-mindfulness-techniques-that-will-improve-your-relationships-and-make-you-a-bet.html

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c8fe6e_65448e5da9754a6c8676f179d07067d1.pdf

How to deal with a partner who is anxious in a positive and healthy dynamic (Part Two) 

Sometimes anxiety can feel like a third person in a relationship, wriggling in between you and your partner, creating distance and sowing doubt. Dealing with anxiety is hard for the afflicted, but it also affects the people they are close with, particularly in a romantic relationship. It’s important to tackle anxiety as a team and educating yourself can relieve a lot of the stress. 

Firstly, there must be acceptance. Abandon all ideas that you can change or fix your partner. It’s unfair to pressure someone to live up to your idea of how you think they should be, and this can result in them feeling like they have failed you. It also makes your love appear conditional. One common fear of anxiety sufferers is that their anxiety makes them inherently unlovable. Let your partner know that your love and support is unconditional, and you want them to feel better because you love them — not because they have to be well in order to be loved. Remind them as often and as naturally as you can that the two of you are in this together, and that you’re not going anywhere. 

Communication is of paramount importance, and one of the most effective ways to cope with anxiety within a relationship. Talking about it openly, honestly and directly with your partner, opens the dialogue and creates a safe space for them to confide in you. Remember that anxiety is not logical or rational, and the worst thing you can do is be critical, dismissive or make fun of your partner. Dealing with a partner who has anxiety requires keen emotional intelligence, patience and the resilience to not take it personally. 

On the flip side of this, you must avoid treating your partner as if they are too fragile. Another common fear of the anxious is worrying about their anxiety being a burden to others. Anxious people are actually very perceptive and will notice immediately should you pull back or withhold things from them. Even if you don’t want to worry or upset your partner, treating them like an adult is the only way to help them manage their anxiety in a healthy way. Too much mollycoddling also leads into potential risk of enabling and reinforcing your partner’s maladaptive anxious behaviours. Find the balance between supporting and remembering that your partner’s anxiety is not your responsibility. 

What is often neglected in a relationship where your partner is anxious, is making equally sure that you are taking care of yourself. Establishing boundaries is crucial to establishing a healthy dynamic, and there are some behaviours that are unacceptable whether your partner has a mental health problem or not. Insults and accusations should be off the table, anxiety attack or no, and do not be afraid to let your partner know where your line is. When you care for someone, it’s tempting to support them by trying to act like their therapist. However, you’re not a therapist and trying to play that role will be emotionally draining and can lead to resentment towards your partner, which will ultimately be toxic for the relationship. If your partners anxiety is really affecting their life, encourage them to seek professional help.  

Anxiety isn’t just a source of stress in a relationship, it’s an opportunity to understand and love your partner more deeply and connect with them on a more intimate level. People with anxiety are perfectly capable of having healthy, and successful relationships and there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t be too. 

Rebound Relationships

In times of hurt or despair, we seek people who will minimalise our pain and distract us from our emotions. This couldn’t be more prevalent than in the period after a break up with a significant other. The element of distraction is most common with men, as they seek to detach themselves from their partner and move away from the emotional distress of a breakup, whereas women move into rebound relationships to gain emotional support from their new partner, subsequently minimalising their pain. 

Rebound relationships form an adjustment period for the individual, a type of transition. This transition period can give a person the time to reflect on their past relationship and help them decipher what they want and expect from future relationships without feeling as though they’re completely on their own. In some cases, the qualities you’re looking for in a partner may be in the person you have begun a rebound relationship with. In other cases, it takes seeing differences or similarities in another partner to really realise what you need and what you’re willing to accept in your future relationships. 

The growth you can achieve in a rebound relationship can both elevate your own understanding of yourself and how you impact the relationship you’re in. In some cases, you can learn more whilst being in a relationship and in turn help yourself recover from the previous relationship. However, it’s important to remember that you may also need time on your own in order to truly reflect and ensure that you’re not entering into this new relationship with the sole purpose of not being on your own. If this is the case, then not only are you limiting your own happiness but you’re limiting your new partner’s happiness too. 

Some research suggests that rebound relationships can, in fact, become more valued than the previous relationship, however, it’s imperative that the focus is on your new partner. Open and honest communication about your preceding partner and relationship is key, as harbouring resentment and being secretive about your feelings still ties you to your previous partner and as such restrains you from moving forward freely. 

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether you should form a rebound relationship - each relationship is separate from what has come before. In some instances, rebound relationships bring growth, knowledge and understanding for future relationships and in others they become fully-fledged relationships. The take home message is to focus on what’s best for you and ultimately a potential new partner. Would you do better to take a moment and concentrate on yourself or do you feel you’re in a position to move forward and give your full attention to your new partner and relationship? The answer to that question should guide your actions. 

Sometimes its easier to lock up than let love in

You’re in the first stages of a new love. Your heart is racing, palms are sweating, and you’re finding it hard to think about anything other than them. As much as you try to stop them, they run through your mind and tug at your thoughts. Your concentration goes out the window. The deeply buried optimist in you starts to wonder - could this finally be it? Hope - wonderful, terrifying hope starts to build inside of you. Should you let it? 

And that’s when the doubt sets in. 

Love, to those who have been hurt in the past, is like a war. Imagine a castle, with two fearsome armies laying siege on either side, each trying to break through to the heart locked in the dungeons below. Half of you wants to believe that this could be it – you know theoretically that you are deserving of love, and you know for certain that you have love to give. You know that love is what you want, what you have always wanted, and yet- 

Are they right for you? Are you right for them? You pick them apart trying to find reasons not to let them in, and when you are looking, you will always find something. They have an annoying habit that you couldn’t possibly put up with for the rest of your life in wedded matrimony. It’s almost a relief to find something – for it’s far easier to shut someone out than to let someone in.  It is easier to wallow in the familiar misery of disappointment than let yourself believe that this person could, maybe, actually make you happy.

Trust is a difficult skill to learn, and an even more difficult one to master. But it starts with making a leap of faith. It requires an intelligence – knowing who is worthy of your faith and who isn’t. You can never know for certain if you don’t try. Maybe they will let you down – or maybe they won’t. And really what’s the worst that could happen? You’ve survived every heartbreak you’ve had so far and come out stronger. 

Maybe they aren’t perfect. We can swipe to find the next one, never moving forward, placating ourselves with superficial connections and endless first dates. Convince ourselves that we really are trying, our eyes firmly on the greener grass on the distant other side. We forget that we have to work to build relationships, which are getting harder and harder to build with each day that passes. In a disconnected society constantly exposed to perfection, we see celebrity couples living idealistic lives on screen, look at ourselves and wonder what we’re doing wrong. But nothing is ever perfect. Real love is built on compromise and trust – seeing your partners flaws and accepting them anyway. Imagine how it would feel for someone to love not only your picture-perfect side but all the worst things about you too. 

In the end, completely unconditional and trusting love is worth the risk of heartbreak. So, what have you got to lose?