Major Mechanisms of a Functional Romantic Relationship

1. Stability, Security, Expectations

Commitment is a verb, reflected in one’s —–planned and purposeful actions—– to create…stability, secure attachment, and emotional security. Both people must be committed to making deposits and investments into each other, major withdrawls avoided. Identify and share up front, major principles and ideals that each person values and lives by. Several major values must be common to both people, and each person must commit and have integrity to the common value system. Discuss expectations each person has of the other, and there must be a commitment to meet reasonable expectations each person has of the other. Create an environment of unconditional attention, affection, and praise.

2. Self-Development

Invest in your own self-development. Accept the challenge and opportunity to become more powerful within yourself. Avoid seeking to use your relationship as a distraction from yourself. Choose to never pick your relationship partner based on his/her ability or willingness to be a co-conspirator or facilitator in you maintaining your weaknesses, faults, personal problems, etc.. And always remember, there can be no relationship, without friendship. If there can be no friendship without the relationship………this highlights something within yourself, and is most likely a large part of why the relationship will have difficulty. There should never be a time before, during, or after the relationship when one says….”We can’t be friends”….I can never see you again”..,,,,”I will never speak to you again.”

3. Resolving Conflicts

Commitment to logic, reason, and rationality as the highest priority during conflicts. Commitment to creating solution oriented win-win situations in solving conflicts. Show kindness and love…always….no matter what! Remember that love is a verb. Never repay, evil for evil. Always do what is good for building up yourself, and your relationship partner. Avoid entering the typical contest of seeing which person can hurt the other more, or which person can make the other more jealous. Avoid using “the silent treatment” to communicate. Letters or other written communications are usually best, in that they allow you to speak uninterrupted, and express everything you want to communicate. Speak directly. Avoid using sarcasm and statements intended to hurt or shame. Avoid using “put-downs” to defend your hurt. Speak openly and directly to the person about what you feel….. “especially” if you feel hurt or frustrated. Be strong by giving yourself permission to feel hurt by what the person has said and/or done.


TheETG mechanisms of functional romantic relationships —–