Posts in life
Relationship Myths: Part I
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The wonderful thing about the internet is that there is a wealth of information, advice and wisdom made easily accessible for us regarding anything, including relationships!  But the downside of the internet is that it’s hard to sift through all of that information to find the good, helpful and wise advice!  There is a lot of information posted by anyone and for anyone. But it might not be true.  This is no different with relationships.  There can be a lot of myths about relationships; our hope is to dispel a couple of them in this post.

 “My partner should know what I’m thinking or feeling”

By definition a relationship is two separate people coming together.  You may feel a connection with someone but no matter how similar you are in your beliefs and ideas, you are two unique individuals with your own unique DNAs.  You will have differences in some areas of your lives. These differences may be in interests, beliefs, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, how you listen or communicate and your experiences.  There is this idea that when you’re in love with someone or when you’re with the right person they ‘will just get you’.  But they are not in your head and they are not you.  Communication and boundaries are important.  Both of you are unique individuals who are responsible for your own thoughts and feelings.  Communicating your feelings and thoughts when it’s appropriate and safe to do so is better than assuming that your partner knows what you are thinking and feeling.  If you need help learning how to communicate in healthy ways, you can ask a trusted counselor, mentor or friend to help you learn these skills.

 “Our relationship has to be a certain way”

Healthy relationships involve: mutual respect, trust, individuality, good communication, compromise and understanding.  There are many different opinions online about when you should become official, when you should say ‘I love you’, how to know if you’ve found “the One”, where you should meet someone, etc.  There are important things that you should do to make sure your relationships are healthy, respectful and aligned with your own values.  However, determining where and how you meet someone, how long you should date till you meet the parents, get engaged, etc. can look different for every couple because, every couple includes two unique individuals with different opinions, beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings.  One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to relationships.  Your relationship might look different than someone else’s. Don’t feel pressured to speed up your relationship to different stages just because another couple is at a different stage or does things in a slightly different timeline or fashion.  Focus on your relationship and hold it to your values and standards.  Make sure both you and your partner are comfortable with how things are going and progressing – this requires good communication so try to practice this early on if you can.

As always, our centre provides support to clients who wish to talk about relationships and how to create and build healthy relationships.  Feel free to contact us if you want to talk with one of our Client Advocates or our Community Education team.  

4 Factors to Consider When Making Life Decisions
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Maybe it’s what job to take, what career to explore, who to date, who to marry, or what to do with an unplanned pregnancy… Depending on the stage of life you’re in, these life decisions can be big.

We understand.  We help women and their partners navigate choices about pregnancy options and relationships almost every day. 

Sometimes life decision can have an impact on your future and your relationships in both negative and positive ways.  For this reason, it’s important to take some time to think about what you wish to do so you can feel confident in your decision(s) as you move forward in your life.

Here are four factors that are helpful to consider when making life decisions:

1) Information

Our centre is pro-information.  We encourage our clients to do a bit of sleuthing to find out as much as they can to prepare themselves for what may come as a result of their decisions and choices.  No matter what life decision you are making, finding out as much as possible about the different directions you can go in and the different choices you can make will help you make a fully informed decision.  Knowing as much as you can will also help you emotionally prepare and feel more confident in the direction you choose to go.

2) Goals

Everyone wants to do well in life, to move forward and be successful at achieving what they hope to.  In one way or another, we all have goals.  Whether our goals or ambitions are to achieve lots of admirable things, achieve some admirable things, or to not have goals or ambitions, we all have an idea of what we want our life to look like and we make choices daily that either help us get there or don’t help us get where we want to be. 

Considering your goals when you make a life decision is quite natural in many situations.  Often our first concern is that life decisions may interfere with us reaching our goals. It’s important to consider whether it’s possible to find ways to achieve your goals while pursuing new life directions or other avenues.  Is there still a way to finish your education while taking on a dream job prior to finishing your degree?   Do the life decisions you’re making still allow you to achieve your financial, relational, personal goals?

3) Values

Values and goals can be closely related for many people.  Sometimes they overlap.  Some of our goals may also be to live out our values.  What we value is important to us.  Just like goals, many people make choices daily that help them live out what is significant to them.  Values are central to an individual and they don’t often change very quickly or frequently.  They are more often developed throughout life based on upbringing, family of origin, religion and/or experiences. 

Because what we value is often most important to us and who we are, it’s also essential to consider our values when making life decisions.  In any situation, is there a way for us to make our life decisions align with who we are and what we value?

4) Future

Naturally, when we think about making big life decisions we think about our future, at least in some respects.  Sometimes it’s easy to think about our futures with certain ‘big’ life decisions.  But if it’s not a big decision we can quickly make a decision without a thought.  Though often not detrimental, our decisions and actions (even the small and insignificant ones) can have an influence on our lives and the lives of those around us.  So, if you have a decision to make, visualizing your future and how the different choices you can make will influence it (and could influence your relationships or those around you) is also a valuable exercise to help you process your decisions and ultimately feel confident in the choices you make.

Although this article is generally focused on any life decisions, if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy (whether you think it’s ‘a big life decision’ or ‘not a significant decision at all’) know that we are here to provide any support you feel you need as you evaluate your options.  Call, email, text or chat with us today!