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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Relationship Autopsy

(An Examination of Five Likely Reasons Your Last Relationship Died)

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think it’s hard for most people to find relationships. What I find presents most people with the most difficulty is keeping them!

In fact, if you honestly examine the reasons why your last relationship reached demise, I bet it probably fell within one of the following common categories:

1. You or your mate took the relationship for granted.
2. You or your mate didn’t realize the importance of give and take.
3. You or your mate didn’t value loyalty.
4. You or your mate would “talk the talk” but not “walk the walk”.
5. You or your mate had unrealistic expectations of the relationship.


Am I right?

To illustrate some of the above principles, let me give a few examples. As I write this column, two very close friends of mine are on the verge of losing the loves of their lives.

And they are clueless. The reason?

Their live-in mates have confided in me that these guys have really come to take them for granted. They no longer say and do endearing things. They don’t pay attention to the stuff that matters. (And these are not your “run of the mill” chicks!)

My guess is that some smart man will take them off the market shortly after they become free again! And their former fellas’ will be devastated as a result of it. Funny thing is, it’s a situation that’s so easily avoidable.

I see it everyday. In personal and professional affairs, people take valued associations for granted. And not valuing and honoring key relationships can cost you!

Here’s another example. Recently I contacted a client of mine regarding the status of a creative project on which he and I were working. When he emailed me back, he informed me, that much to his dismay, things had been halted! His designer had quit on him, last minute, and he didn’t have a back up lined up. To add insult to injury, his budget would not allow him to pay someone until after the publication went to print.

For a start-up operation, these factors can be detrimental. But because I like him and “value” our association, I instructed him to shoot me his “wish-list” of what he needed to get things on track again. Sure enough, within an hour he responded with his needs. And I feverishly went to networking on his behalf. As someone who has a vast amount of ties in the creative community, I sent an S.O.S. to many of my friends and associates.

And, guess what? The next day he was flooded with more offers than he could handle, and can now meet his target date and budget goals!

Conversely, I also work with clients that don’t value my contributions as they should. As a result, I have either severed those relationships, or am in the process of “pink-slipping” them as soon as a better project comes my way.

Relationship maintenance makes all the difference. Take special care to take care of the people who take special care of you!

This is another deal that dooms more than a few relationships! And more men are typically guilty than women. You know the script. It’s the guys that want you to look like Mariah Carey, but they look like Drew Carey! Or the guys that expect their wives to have their kids, but complain when they gain weight. Or the men who want all the perks of a “committed relationship” without the work. Or women who aren’t equal partners and seek to be “rescued.”

Sound familiar? Here’s the catch. The more realistic your expectations, the greater the likelihood of long-term happiness and relationship success.

So, before you embark upon your next affair, make sure to do your own diagnosis. If you see yourself in any of the examples above, adjust your way of thinking. Learn from mistakes of the past, and cultivate healthy love habits for greater longevity in matters of the heart!

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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