What do you Need to Succeed?

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Do you know Mature Love?

immature love vs mature love

Do you ever look back at a relationship and think, “I thought I loved them, but now I don’t think I did.”  This can be because you mistook need for love.  We often “need” the person we pair up for various reasons: they meet some needs, they are familiar to us, they help support us (in various ways).  It is tough to separate that “need” from love.  But when we can be our own, developed, mature, autonomous persons and truly love a person, then we “need” them becuase we love them, not vice versa.

If you would like to know more about this, give me a call at (619) 702-5571 or email me through my website at CoachingThroughChaos.com  Motivation, Achievement and Recovery Coaching- I specialize in helping individuals and couples have healthy relationships with themselves…and with their chosen partners.

Dr. Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., LMFT

Psychotherapy and Coaching in San Diego


Ever consider dating someone like yourself?

Be the type of person you want to meet

So often, people complain about perpetual dating problems.  They discuss all the times they go out “with the wrong guy (or girl)”.  They talk about all the things they thought they saw in that person, or recall “feeling so comfortable” with them.  Yes, there is something to be said about feeling comfortable with someone early in the dating relationship, but more often I have seen the benefit of “being the person you want to meet”.  This means if you want someone “outdoorsy”, “successful”, “emotionally stable” or “family oriented”, you will be living your life in that way as well!  When you participate in your life the way you want a potential mate to, then you will more likely meet someone with those qualities.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Do not focus your intentions on what you no longer want in your relationship.  Focus on what you want!   When all your thoughts and actions are focused on what you want, you will find that you don’t have to think about what you don’t want, because it will no longer feel comfortable.

For instance , let’s say you’re a woman who keeps dating men with “great potential” but at the time you meet them, they are struggling to hold a job.  You reflect back to yourself after dating him for 6 months, how you can’t believe you’ve gotten involved with yet another man who needs you to prop him up emotionally or financially in life.  You feel frustrated – as if these types of men are your destiny.  On the other hand, maybe you’re a guy who keeps dating women with a lot of drama in their lives. You think to yourself,”How did I find myself int his situation again? Every time I call her, there is more drama going on! I totally didn’t want to date drama queens anymore!”  Both of you have probably said to yourselves, “What’s wrong with me that I keep attracting exactly the people I don’t want?!”

If you’ve been struggling in this area, I have a 30 day intention exercise for you:

Just for 30 days focus your intentions on what qualities you want in a partner – then….each morning take a 5 minute meditation on telling yourself that you are living your life with those qualities.  You essentially will be “acting as if’ you are the partner you want.  It will sound something like this:  “I am a confident, active, funny, family-oriented person”.  (you will, of course insert whatever qualities you want). As you adopt your mindset of focusing on what you want, when you run into someone who raises your red flags, it will no longer feel tolerable and you will find it much easier to say, “You know, I’m sure you have some really good qualities, but I just don’t think we’re going to be a great match, good luck to you”.


Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., LMFT

Want more relationship satisfaction? Avoid “The Four Horsemen”!

Dr. John Gottman’s research on relationships has lead to his uncovering of 4 predictable relationship killers – he coined them “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.  They are Criticism, Defensiveness, Stonewalling & Contempt. This animated video was recently released by The Gottman Institute to explain how the Four Horsemen can really spell trouble for your relationship.

If you’d like to know more, I practice Gottman Method Couples Therapy and would be happy to teach you some more effective ways of communicating with your partner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o30Ps-_8is&feature=youtu.begottman watching 4 horseman cartoon

picture credit: The Gottman Institute

Dating After the Wedding for a Happier Marriage

8839468-i-love-you-hdWhen you’ve been married a few years, relationships definitely change. Whether it is work life, bills, goals, kids & tight schedules, a toll gets taken on the relationship. Stress can cause all sorts of problems ranging from communication obstacles, weight struggles, and loss of sense of self. Even positive relationships need work to maintain them and keep a couple focused on the actual relationship verses being focused on their life.

It’s important to “date” your spouse no matter how long you’ve been together. The 7 -year- itch does truly exist, so it’s especially good to be mindful of the self-care of the marriage when it starts getting up in years.

Very often, couples get into routines with each other and if they have kids, they can often lose sight of themselves as a romantic pair altogether. They spend so much time with their ‘parent hat’ on, they can easily forget that they need to put their ‘partner hat’ back on every once in a while. When the partnership gets tended to, the relationship feels balanced. People in general, report higher rates of self-satisfaction when they feel loved and cared for. When people are in regular scheduled routines of behavior, they often lose sight of the benefits affectionate love can have on them. When you get a couple to take a break from their everyday routine to take time to focus solely on themselves as a couple, they report higher rates of emotional satisfaction in their relationship.

Some Date Night Suggestions:.

  • The couple can set up rules of conversation around their date. For instance – Once they leave the house, there will be no discussion of kids, schedules, or problems they might be having. This keeps the focus on connecting with each other.
  • They can do a “Q & A” over dinner – asking each other questions about their lives to stay connected : “what would be your dream vacation?” , “who would you say is your current best friend & why?”, “what was the funniest story you heard lately?”
  • They can schedule a regular “Date Night” or even a night away from home monthly to keep them looking forward to their “alone time”.
  • Pick a new place to go on each date, to keep it interesting.
  • Take turns with your partner planning the date