Top 5 Skills for Developing and Maintaining a Relationship with Your Soulmate (or so I think)

 In Communication, Health, Personal Development, Professional Development, Relationships
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Top 5 Skills for Developing and Maintaining a Relationship with Your Soulmate (or so I think) 

It takes TWO to TANGO.
That is my thinking around relationships.
Both the building and maintaining thereof.
If only one person is committed to Tangoing, it won’t work.
At least not for long.
This concept applies to both relationships of the romantic and non-romantic kind.
But today, I am wearing my romantic relationship hat.

In Chapter 22 of my book:
MONDAYS don’t have to SUCK! How small changes can make a huge difference
I write about trying to find my soulmate.
In one of my previous blogs I write about coming up with a list of:
The Top 10 traits of my soulmate.

That list, by the way, needs some updating based on my experiences since then.
More than a few of the traits on the list are up for review and likely to change.
But hey!  Live and learn, or in this case, love and learn, or at least try to.
And if there is one thing that I learned from both trying and doing and,
from leveraging the shared wisdom and learnings of others is that,
it takes WORK.
You hear that potential soulmate!
Apparently, there is no special, magical force that will unite our souls
and allow us to live out our lives in perfect bliss and harmony.

Whether it be related to building your soulmate relationship or maintaining it.
It takes work.
At times, lots of work!
Work by both of you, not just one of you.
Don’t get me wrong, there will also be lots of passion, caring, loving, fun and
whatever else floats your soulmate boat.
But there will also be lots of work.
Note to my future soulmate:
Please come prepared to work on your TANGO skills and help me with mine.

Tango skills. Ones that can be used at work, rest and play.
That is the top 5 list that I am going to share with you today!
The Top 5 skills for developing and maintaining a relationship with your soulmate.

I am not an expert in this or any other topic.
I am only an expert in me, myself and I.
I.e. How I see and react to the world (a.k.a. my level of self-awareness and resulting mindset).
I have, however, connected with a few other folks to come up with some ideas for this list.
Other guys (a.k.a. Martians) and other gals (a.k.a. Venusians).
I am hoping others (i.e. you) will feel free to share some thoughts as well.
I will update the Top 5 list accordingly if need be.

Ready to get going?
In my book, I end every chapter with a lesson learned.
And a question to ponder.
I am going to continue the tradition here.
In this case, at the end of each of the 5 Top Skills.
Here we go!

#1 Communicating

“Communication to a relationship is like water to a plant”.
My relationship counselor shared that one with me.
For me, that pretty much sums it up.
And don’t forget, it is a two-way street (a.k.a. process)
And by communication, I am not just referring to talking and listening.
Or, in this day and age, texting and reading.
There are other senses to leverage as well.
Looking (i.e. observing) is one of them.
Hard to do when you are both texting each other.
Remember that, not only do you have two ears and one mouth,
you have eyes as well. Two of them.
Four between the two of you.

Oh! and don’t forget, no multitasking allowed!
When your soulmate is speaking, just listen and observe.
Process and respond when he or she is done.
Oh! and regarding processing,
Don’t forget to take time to process and reflect.
By yourself and together.
If you are not honestly communicating with yourself in the first place.
It is pretty hard to communicate with someone else.
You’ve got to Tango with yourself before you can Tango with someone else.

My Lesson Learned: Replace my multitasking ways with a multi-pronged communication approach (listen, observe, talk, reflect, kiss, cuddle, repeat as needed, one step at a time)

A Question for YOU to Ponder: When your TANGO partner is communicating with you. Are you picking up on all the visual and other cues?

#2 Negotiating

I got this skill idea was from a fellow dude (i.e. Martian) who shared his thoughts with me.
It was right up there on his list.
He was so convincing that I bought a book to help me out with this one.
A best-selling business book called “Getting to Yes”1.
It has supposedly “helped millions” so I am hoping it can help me.
I have yet to read it and start honing my negotiating skills.
But the approach I am leaning towards is one of win-win.
That aligns well with the positive mindset I have been trying to maintain.
The negotiations will require work and some give and take and
some compromises along the way.
But I want to start my negotiations searching for something that works for both of us
and leave the compromising as a last resort.

I remember an exercise I did during my MBA class days.
We were split into 2 groups.
Each group had 8 oranges but required 10 for what they needed to do.
We had 30 minutes in which to negotiate.
Neither team came up with a solution or even a compromise
so neither team got what they needed.
Turned out, one group needed the orange skins and the other, the orange juice.
Could have had a win-win for both yet neither won.
We just got stuck and had trouble seeing the forest from the trees.
Where was our negotiation coach when we needed one?
Oh well, next time we won’t wait as long to reach out to get some help.

My Lesson Learned: Next time I am called upon to negotiate something I am going to spend more time upfront trying to better understand the want and/or need (a.k.a. what outcome are WE looking for). In coaching, we refer to that process as peeling the onion (or in this example, the orange).

A Question for YOU to Ponder: What is your negotiation strategy? (i.e. Win-win? Quickest to compromise wins the prize? Other?) and how is that serving you? You and your TANGO partner.

#3 Teaming

Tango and Team both start with the letter T.
Remember! You are a dance team.
This is not a solo dance.
If one of you is feeling a bit down, then the other can help pick up the pace.
If one of you in feeling a little off the beat, the other can help smooth the way.
A little compliment and/or encouragement can also go a long way as well.
Don’t be shy to remind your partner how great they are at Tangoing.
And don’t forget to practice.
Practice makes progress and
eventually creates new habits.
Positive habits if you are practicing positive things.
Practicing together; mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Leave the going it alone to others.
They likely won’t be on the dance floor for very long.

My Lesson Learned: Check in more often with my TEAMmate (a.k.a. soulmate) in order to determine if our TANGO practice routine needs any improvements.

A Question to Ponder: Is your TANGO practicing routine and time spent actually discussing and practicing your dancing skills setting you both up for success on the dance floor of life?

#4 Trusting

Have you heard the expression of having someone’s back?
If you are being twirled by your Tango partner,
you don’t want to be preoccupied by worrying they might drop you.
Trusting in yourself and your partner will allow you to
LOVE your tango dances a whole lot more
and FEAR them a whole lot less.

Oh! and Trust is not a given, it is earned.
It takes time and effort (a.k.a. work) to create and maintain.
Unfortunately, it does not take much work or time to unravel.
It can be lost very quickly if one is not careful.
That is where loving, caring, sharing, forgiving and
supporting (through thick and through thin) come into play.
Sometimes it is too loving and caring.

Sometimes we don’t trust the other enough to share.
It is not always out of malice often we are trying to be nice.
(i.e. avoid confrontations and hurting someone’s feelings)
But, I want to be confident that if I am stepping on my dance partner’s toes,
that she will let me know that I am hurting her.
That way, I can stop doing what I am doing that is hurting her.
I want to be able to trust my Tango partner that she is not holding anything back.
Especially if it relates to my skills and abilities to Tango.

My Lesson learned: Continue to build trust in myself that what I am sharing with my TANGO Partner, no matter how tough to hear, is coming from a place of love and is meant to help both of us as a couple improve our dance moves.

A Question for YOU to Ponder: Are you holding back anything important from your TANGO partner? i.e. Something important in allowing them and you to improve your dance moves and ultimately the pleasure that you get from dancing.

#5 Enjoying
O.k. So there is work involved,
As previously mentioned, at times, a lot.
And we should expect to continue working at it.
Until the end of our dancing days together.
But, don’t forget, with work comes pleasure.
Lots of it!
Isn’t that why we are doing the Tango in the first place?
Isn’t that why we are doing the Tango with this particular person (i.e. our soulmate)?
We are not on this planet for that long.
Our Tango dancing days are eventually going to come to an end.
So, what is stopping you from stopping to smell the roses?
(yes, another one of those senses that you can leverage to connect)
Stop! Often!
Book some quality time together. Often!
Don’t book some quality time together but make some time for it anyway.
Maybe an unplanned romantic get-away.
A getaway to Buenos Aires or Montevideo where the Tango originated.
Or maybe just a walk in the park.

My Lesson learned: Don’t forget to both schedule and make time to enjoy my time with my Tango Partner. We both deserve it. We worked hard and continue to work hard for it😊

A Question for YOU to Ponder: When is your next TANGO dance with your partner (i.e. soulmate) scheduled?

There you have it!
My Top 5.
From MY lens to YOURS.
Now, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to TANGO!

Cheers

Dave

Dave Walker is a Life Coach and Serial Storyteller. He is also a Martian, and newly anointed entrepreneur, one of the single parent variety. Dave recently underwent an unintentional journey of life-altering self-transformation and lived to write about it. You can read all about his story in his book: MONDAYS don’t have to SUCK! How small changes can make a huge difference Available on Amazon. Check out his other stories and register to his newsletter on making change EASYer on oneself at his website: www.davewcoachingandstorytelling.com

Is there an important change or transition that you would like to make in your life?
Let’s discuss how we can work together to make it happen.
Here is the link to schedule an introductory call
I am looking forward to helping you along YOUR journey of change!

END NOTES

  1. Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Roger Fisher and William Ury. Penguin books.
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