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Wouldn't it be nice if you could tell when someone was going to be a cheating girlfriend or cheating boyfriend BEFORE you get involved with them?  Don't you wish there was something you could do that would help you avoid having a cheating spouse? There is something you can do, and it begins with you. As you read on you will discover how to identify what you really want out of a relationship, what they want out of a relationship, and if the twain should ever meet-- or stay together.

Perhaps you've found out your partner has cheated on you. This can be a very painful experience, but fortunately, it's possible to learn from these experiences.  If you're willing to let go of the pain long enough these situations can teach you about you--what's most important to you, and what you want out of a relationship. With this information you're guaranteed to come closer and closer to having what's most important to you in future relationships.

We know it can be incredibly frustrating to want a long-term, satisfying relationship and then so often find yourself in relationships that are so much less enjoyable than what you hoped for.

In this article we'll be discussing two areas:
1) How to avoid settling for less than you want when you start a relationship, and
2) A few simple steps for creating more honesty in your present and all your future relationships.

Often, when people have painful experiences, they never go beyond the realization that they “don’t ever want to experience that again.” However, just knowing what you “don’t want” doesn’t help you get what you “do want.” It’s unfortunate, but if you only know what you don’t want, what you don’t want is all you‘re ever likely to get.

It would be nice if experiences were like pancakes and whenever you were looking at what you don’t want you could simply flip the experience over and find what you do want on the other side. It will take a little more work than flipping a pancake to develop a really good list of what you truly value in an ideal relationship. But you‘re worth it, don’t you think?

Let's take the thought: "I don't want my partner to cheat on me."  If you do a pancake flip of this you'll be looking at: "I want my partner to be faithful to me." But what does "faithful" mean to you, and what would you "get" if they were faithful? You see, "being faithful" (or monogamy) is a behavior, and behaviors are only strategies that we use to get something we value.  

If you want your partner to be faithful, then you probably desire monogamy because you value dependability, predictability and security. Without these it’s hard to satisfy other values you hold such as intimacy, honesty, closeness, etc.

It’s not important whether this list is accurate for you personally as much as it’s important for you to create your own list of values. Think of it like going shopping for a car. If you're finding yourself insecure in a relationship, we assume that there must be something “very attractive” about the person that you‘re getting involved with.  

So let’s say your relationship desire was like wanting to own a sports car. You dash out to the nearest car lots, find an attractive, sexy convertible that you just love the looks of, and minutes later you’ve signed on the dotted line and you‘re out the driveway.

But next month, as you‘re having it towed into your local garage for repairs, you get the loan payment book in the mail and it’s twice what you can really afford to pay, and you start worrying about your sexy convertible being repossessed.  

So, while it may satisfy how much you value attractiveness, it doesn’t quite satisfy your values of dependability, predictability or security, does it?

This may seem simplistic, but on a regular basis we find ourselves coaching people who could give us a much more detailed list of what they value in a car than what they value in a relationship. And, not coincidentally, they tend to be happier with their cars.

So the only way to avoid settling for less than you want in a relationship is to be very clear about everything you want in a relationship in the first place. This isn’t just a list of which behaviors you don’t want and which ones you do. This starts by developing your own list of everything you truly value in a relationship, and then identifying character traits and behaviors that will give you everything you value.

When you make your list of what you most want and value in a relationship, we strongly suggest that you put honesty at the top. If you find yourself insecure in relationships often, this may be the biggest missing ingredient.  

Honesty starts by being honest with yourself about what you truly want, and then being honest with yourself about whether what you truly want is "negotiable".  In the past you may have wanted honesty, but on more than one occasion you may have been willing to enter into a relationship before you were certain that honesty existed.

You may also be relying on your thoughts, feelings and guesses about your partner’s really wants,  rather than direct, open, honest communication straight from the horse's mouth.

Here are a few simple steps for creating more honesty:  

EVERY TIME you feel tense or concerned about anything in your relationship, stop and ask yourself: “What do I want that’s not happening?” and “What might prevent me from asking the other person about this?” After you answer these two questions ...
Tell the other person about what’s not happening that you want, such as: honesty, predictability, dependability, etc. Then ask the other person if these things are also important to them. Then listen to what they have to say.
You may hear any of the following, or some combination of these:
If they avoid answering your question, work with them to figure out what prevents them from answering.
If they change the subject, then make sure you address whatever they brought up instead, and then be sure you get back to your question.
If they also want what you want, work with them to figure out what’s preventing this from happening already. Then see what you‘re both willing to do to make it happen.
If they don’t want what you want, figure out what they want instead. Then see if what they want would be satisfying for you too.

Of course, there are many other possible ways that this conversation might go. The important thing is to make sure you are honest about what you want and are communicating this to your partner. Honest communication is the only way to ensure that you‘re not giving up on what’s important to you, or end up being surprised that your partner wants completely different things in a relationship.

We hope this limited amount of advice will begin to help you create more successful relationships in your future.  

If you're ready to discover more information on building positive, honest relationships and more [Link Removed]. Sign up for our free thought-provoking and motivational Weekly Action Tips eMail series. This year long series has practical advice on how to create and maintain happy satisfying relationships in all areas of your life.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Apr 8, 2009
    • To me, and looking back on my own story, there is no better way to leave a cheater than to disappear with NO explanation whatsoever.
      Never accept a phone call or any other contact again from that day forward.
      A cheater deserves that.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Beth Banning wrote Apr 8, 2009
    • Hey you two... thanks for stopping by and commenting. happy

      My hope was this article would support people in getting clear about what they want in a relationship and going for it. When you‘re clear about what you want and consciously choosing what’s okay with you in a relationship and what’s not then you‘re at choice... question to you is, did you learn more about what you want in a relationship after you were in a relationship that you didn’t enjoy?

      and mybabygators... I’m not sure what you thought the article meant—That you didn’t agree with.  

      I’m all about conscious choice. As long as you‘re choosing to be in a relationship, and how it’s going is working for you, then great.

      This article is more about when you end up in the same dissatisfying relationships over and over again and not know why. Or you just want to make the one you have better.

      I hope this helps to clarify. Or if there’s something I’m missing about what you said please let me know.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Fortynlivin09 wrote May 5, 2009
    • Beth thank you for posting this article and I can say for sure that based on my last relationship, which was long distance as well as one I have learned from because I settled. Being in a long distance (200 miles) relationship is something I will NEVER do again because you cannot possibly know the person well enough across the miles. This was a man who I thought to be a kind person.  He complained in the beginning of being dumped all the time (one flag I missed), he expressed anger at times and admitted having been in anger management (another BIG RED FLAG missed). All the signs of trouble were there but I SETTLED just to have someone in my life, which I have learned was a HUGE mistake.  I am currently looking inward to discover my real problem, which lies within myself to avoid this mistake as well as others I’ve made in my choice of a partner.

      Thank you again

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kerri1985 wrote May 11, 2010
    • Beth,

      This article is very good and much needed. I thank you for putting i out there we need more articles such as this, it really has helped me.



            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Thecat wrote May 15, 2011
    • I just did what jenz41 did.  Left without a word... no room for contact.

      It has been three months now. I hope to get support from here to keep on with my strength.

            Report  Reply