One of the most important skill sets required to bring those blind spots into awareness in order to be successful in an intimate relationship is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.
Whether you are male or female--without some level of emotional intelligence you will always end up sabotaging your closeness and connection to another person.
This is because understanding your emotional world gives you a sense not only of how you yourself feel...
On the other hand, we also unwittingly utilize this same fight-or-flight filter to determine how to deal with our significant other whenever our differences come out...
and rather than help resolve the problems that occur between a couple, relying on this instinct compels us to become either aggressive or passive with our partner...
and doing this only creates more disappointment, more anger, more confusion, and more hopelessness in the relationship.
Here is our Dilemma.
Furthermore, because this survival instinct is also a very fundamental piece of who we are as men and how we express our masculinity, it is difficult—if not impossible—for us to function without it.
This makes it our Unavoidable Dilemma.
Survival is that fight-or-flight, I’ve-gotta-make-it-to-tomorrow-no-matter-what, win-or-lose mode we get into when our backs are up against the wall,
and we have to do whatever it takes to keep our businesses alive and compete in a dog-eat-dog world.
Our survival instinct (survival mode) is also how we react whenever we feel threatened or hurt—either physically OR emotionally.
When things are not going well in an intimate relationship,
we feel emotionally threatened
which cause us to go into survival mode.
While it may be second nature for us to protect ourselves utilizing the same instinct that keeps our businesses or careers alive...
the price our relationship pays is HUGE whenever we engage our partner from that hunkered-down, swords-drawn, I’m-right-you’re-wrong, you-are-now-the-enemy, survival state of mind.
And the worst part...
is that we usually do not realize the damage we have caused until it’s too late
and she is threatening to leave the relationship!
The bottom line is...
being in survival mode creates distance between us and the woman we love.
Our survival mode more than likely also triggers her survival mode...
which then creates a survival relationship.
And when this pattern of interaction repeats itself over and over...
the foundation of a partnership erodes...
leaving no trust,
leaving no goodwill,
leaving no hope that it can be saved.
In a thriving relationship
especially during times of stress...
what a woman needs from us is to approach her as the adult, mature man that we are...
not the wounded little boy that is looking to take his anger and pain out on her.
The way out of our unavoidable dilemma is to talk to her about what is real and honest for us in the moment.
No tip toeing or walking on eggshells around her!
Being real means
revealing whatever truly is in your heart or your gut or your soul,
even if it might not be received well or understood or agreed with.
Even if it hurts her feelings...
even if it makes her angry...
even if it disappoints her.
In other words, it is crucial that you be accountable,
own up to your mistakes,
and speak your Truth,
which ideally will make it emotionally safe enough for her to turn around and do the same with you.
Having a life and a relationship that are not caught up in Survival Mode is a goal not easily achieved,
especially with all the stress of making a living and maintaining a certain lifestyle—
stress which we very often create for ourselves.
It does involve choosing to learn new information
—especially about yourself as a man!
and how to bring a deeper sense of masculinity that is mature and courageous to your relationship.
This might at first be uncomfortable,
but it ultimately will lead to a healthier partnership and a deeper appreciation of the woman you love.