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By Timothy J. Ryan, Ph.D. D.Div., PSc.D. (Sat February 07, 2015)

Four Steps to Having the Relationship of Your Dreams


The first step to having the relationship of your dreams is to understand where your are in your life and make note of where you want to be.  With increasing financial stress, and extreme economic uncertainty, most are thinking of survival not enrichment.  Individuals, couples and families are experiencing increasing financial stress and facing severe emotional, relationship and spiritual challenges.  

To make matters worse, when we are in stress, we are not our best selves and certainly don't always act in our best interest.  During acute stress we become overly controlling and tyrannical or submissive and indecisive.  We become more reactive and do the opposite of things we would normally do to nurture, support and strengthen loving relationships.  

The most common response to stress is to shut down and procrastinate.  However, if we procrastinate, we?re choosing to avoid facing those very things that ultimately need to be addressed to achieve our greater happiness and success. When driving our car we don't ignore the gas gage or temperature readings. By paying attention and dealing with things early we avoid problems that become bigger problems later on.   The Zen have a saying "recognizing the closed mind is the open mind." Unless we recognize that we lack skills and need help we never take the action to get help. 


John Gottman in his Couples Research of the Masters and the Disasters found that the average couple took 6 or 7 years to take action after the first sign of trouble.  It's with It?s common to put off facing things that are painful for us.   We tell ourselves that we will do something about it when the kids get older or when I get out of debt, when I?m stronger  or perhaps when the kids are grown etc. Relationships often unconsciously reinforce one another to settle for getting by rather than learning how to take the relationship to the next level. The other part of delaying our dreams  is that when we continually procrastinate, we become more and more helpless, we get resigned to our fate maybe forever and we are reinforcing the very habits that keep us from having any chance of gaining the relationship of our dreams.

The Gotman research foundation after twenty years of research has identified the qualities that make a difference in being masters or disasters in relationships.  The Disasters has the poorest habits of communication blaming, defensiveness, critical, condencending and inability to connect with nurturing or vulnerability in sharing., This finding suggest that couples who wait risk establishing chronically negative thought and behavior patterns which increase health risks and keep the relationship from growing and resolving issues.?

The Ideal Time To Live Our Dreams Is NOW.

Taking action  to create the relationship of our dreams takes courage. Nothing changes if nothing changes.  The other problem with putting off facing what doesn't work for us is that we get intrench in bad habits and create increasing stress and trauma to their relationship.  Now is the time to learn how to give and receive the love you want.  As we get older we get more entrenched  in our ways and habits.  

When we avoid issues and choose not to take action, we are in reality choosing to delay our dreams ? maybe for a few years or maybe forever and we are reinforcing the habits that keep us stuck in the first place. Don?t let another day go by reinforcing helplessness and negative habits. 

The time to resolve conflict and build intimacy is now,  before it's too late.  By taking action you begin to break out of your conditional ways of stagnation and trading dreams for nightmares. There is also an old Chinese proverb that says: ?If I don?t change the direction I am headed,  I will end up where I?m going?? When we delay, we miss out on life.  

The other part of delaying our dreams through procrastination is that we become more and more resigned to our fate for a few years or forever.  By not taking positive action, we are then reinforcing the very habits that keep us from having any chance of gaining the relationship of our dreams.



The ideal time to begin living our dreams is now.   Unfortunately for most of us, we're not born with greater vision to know what we need and/or how to take the necessary steps to get where we want to be.  It is estimated that 97% of the population want better relationships, but only 3% actually have the skills to enjoy meaningful connection.  With increasing stress, uncertainty and limited skills, relationships are always the first to suffer and the last to recover. 

Once you know where you are is not where you want to be, your ready for step three.  Step three is to seek out and gain the support from a coach or therapist who can help you see yourself and your relationship from a boarder perspective. It's also helpful to have someone with skills to to help you overcome your blocks. In order to have the relationship of our dreams, we need to be able to get out of our way. Einstein was quoted as saying "we can not solve the problem with the thinking which created the problem" This requires the willingness to get support to see and think differently.  

Find someone with greater perspective, who has experience and expertise to get train you in the skills and vision you want.   In order to step into the life we were meant to have we need the skills of self and other understanding.  When a relationship fails the unresolved wounds from a previous relationship can carry forward into the next bad relationship decreasing our chances for success.  

A recent poll in Orange County discovered that over 50% of singles have given up the idea of dating because of repeated disappointment and the conclusion that  ?It?s too painful.?  Couples in relationship who don't have the skills and don't get the skills to effectively communicate are doomed to repeat their mistakes. 



Once you've decided to take action and found someone to support you, It?s important to learn how to communicate authentically and gain confidence in practicing the skills you need to create a passionate relationship.    Nothing changes if nothing changes.  To  truly live  our dreams, we must free ourselves from outdated habits and remove the blocks to be connected to our passion.

 Step Four is to be open to overcome your limitations and learn the principles and skills to get to where you want to be.Intimacy can be measured by how safe we are to be vulnerable and connected to our aliveness. For many aliveness and vulnerability were anything but safe to express in our growing up experiences. We all have to learn protective habits which have become default reactions to save us as children but keep us stuck as adults.    If we don?t get support to overcome our  past and present fears and limiting beliefs, we will only repeat the same mistakes and end up in the same situation again and again.  

I see many couples who in the past were willing to fight with each other for long hours but who can barely handle talking about real feelings and needs in a vulnerable manner. One of the main skills to having the relationship of our dreams is to learn how to be authentically vulnerable and connect to and express feelings and needs.  Most of us have been miseducated to substitute thoughts / judgments for feelings ie. I feel that.. I feel you should... etc. and confuse needs such as love, understanding support and partnership with strategies / conditions i.e.. I need you to ... (do x).

We also, unfortunately have learned to replace vulnerable requests with arrogant demands which only guarantee our needs will never get met.   With support  skill training to compassionately listen and vulnerably share what's alive in us. We open the doors to a deeper intimacy and greater compassionate connection. Learning how to compassionately and safely share is the beginning of creating the relationship of our dreams.  

By practicing advanced relationship skills, such as those taught in Nonviolent Communication, Imago Relationship Therapy, Mars Venus and the Gottman Institute, we can learn new ways to understand our relationships.  We can learn to develop trust and safety to realize new depths of being with freedom and awareness to give naturally without limits.

We become genuine healing presences and lovers of authentic aliveness and natural giving.  We engage in nurturing and supporting each other by continually increasing our compassionate presence and our ability to connect to feelings and needs and make requests rather than demands.  By learning to heal our conditioned reactions from the past, we forego seeing our partners as enemies and focus on each other's strengths rather than weaknesses.  

We become as Gottman says, Masters rather than Disasters and see our relationship transform right in front of us.  We continually gain in our ability to give and receive love based on genuine compassion and authentic expression.  We learn to  live our dreams where once we could only barely imagine them in our daydreams. We learn the true meaning of  Rumi, who said it perfectly when he wrote " Out beyond thoughts of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field, I'll meet you there. And we shall live and share our dreams if we dare." 

Dr. Timothy Ryan had a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Divinity.  He is Board Certified Diplomat, Relationship Expert and Professional Counselor at the American Psychotherapy Association. He is also a Board Certified Holistic Practitioner, Professional Energist and Licensed  Integrative Holistic Pastoral Psychotherapist.  He is the Director for AIWP Miracles Ministry, a 501 (c) (3) non profit relationship healing organization dedicated to energizing and supporting the well-being of others. We invite individuals, couples, families, and anyone who is receptive to learning and growth, to come in for a counseling session or join us in our six or 12 week coaching sessions to learn state of the art advanced communication skills.

At AIWP, We will teach you how to give and get feedback to learn to be successful. You will receive support and coaching to learn principles and skills to transform all aspects of your life and relationship patterns.  Healing in one area usually translates into healing in other areas of your life~At AIWP, We Support Couples and IndividualsTo Discover that Conflict Can OpenThe Doors To Greater Intimacy.
Call today to Find Perfect Peace and Security by Integrating Your Mind, Body and Spirit with Holistic Integrative Pastoral Psychotherapy (HIPP).  949-250-1423  WWW.DRTimothyRyan.com

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Dr. Timothy Ryan  Marriage Friendly Therapists

Dr. Timothy Ryan is a licensed Newport Beach, CA marriage counselor and experienced couples therapist. Learn more about this Newport Beach couples counselor.

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             TIMOTHY J. RYAN, PH.D, D.DIV.

Dr Ryan has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Divinity. He has taught as numerous colleges, hospitals and churches. He is Board Certified Relationship Expert and Professional Counselor as well as a Holistic Health and Wellness Counselor and Mind/Body/Spirit Healing and Integration Specialist.  He is also a Certified EFT Master Practitioner and Trainer. Dr. Timothy Ryan is a candate for Diplomate and Fellow at the American Institute of Stress. 


Dr Timothy J Ryan, Ph.D. D.Div. also holds Diplomate status at the American Psychotherapy Association, The American Association for Integrative Medicine and The Pastoral Medical Association as well as others.  He is a Board Certified META Health and META Healing Practitioner, Hypnosis Instructor, Relationship Expert, and N.L.P. Trainer.  He is a Certified Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner and EFT Master Practitioner.

 He has been the Director, Counselor and Workshop Facilitator for AIWP Miracles Ministry since 1994.   He is also certified in many leading state of the art transformational techniques.including Hypnotherapy, Health and Wellness and Meridian Therapies Training.  He Practices as a Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist and  is a Board Certified Holistic Integrative META Healing Practitioner.SEE MORE ABOUT DR TIMOTHY J. RYAN AT FOLLOWING SITES BELOW:



             TIMOTHY J. RYAN, PH.D, D.DIV.

Tags: Relationships, Communication, Counseling, Couples