Teenage Relationships

A while ago I was inter­viewed by a jour­nal­ist from South Africa by e-mail about teenage rela­tion­ships. I thought you may like it … and hope to get you inspired to com­ment or ask ques­tions. So, here it is:

Lita Fifield-Weaver wrote:
Hello again
Thank you for let­ting me ask you some ques­tions, sorry I can’t ring as I live in New Zealand.

1. What com­mon thread do you see in fail­ing relationships?

All happy fam­i­lies are alike, but an unhappy fam­ily is unhappy after its own fash­ion.“
Leo Tol­stoy (1828 — 1910)
Lack of the basic Four Prin­ci­ples that must be present in every healthy and suc­cess­ful rela­tion­ship: integrity, sense of respon­si­bil­ity, com­mit­ment and love. (To find out more about these I enclose my book The Game­less Rela­tion­ship) There are as many rea­sons as there are peo­ple as to why they are not able to keep the afore men­tioned prin­ci­ples in their lives. Rea­sons vary from imma­tu­rity to alco­holism, per­sonal beliefs acquired while grow­ing up to present life con­di­tions, get­ting together for the wrong rea­sons and abu­sive rela­tion­ships. Feel free to make up your own.
2. Is there a down­side to help­ing peo­ple with relationships?

No, if you rig­or­ously sup­port them in devel­op­ing the Four Prin­ci­ples. It hap­pens often enough, though that peo­ple real­ize that both of them would be bet­ter off if they split up. That does not mean that they have to be strangers or ene­mies. Peo­ple who do not under­stand the Four Prin­ci­ples as well as the pro­found dif­fer­ences between mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine nature should not barge into other people’s relationships.

3. What meth­ods do you use to help cou­ples or indi­vid­u­als with their relationships?

I don’t think that I am using any par­tic­u­lar method. I am a per­sonal coach. So, after hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with peo­ple I usu­ally very quickly get to the bot­tom of the prob­lem and some­times have to use cer­tain meth­ods to remove the bar­ri­ers to their aware­ness to what is really going on and what kind of games they play. I find that a lack of self esteem and ingrained beliefs are most com­mon cause of problems.

4. You have a daugh­ter, does she, or did she come to you for help with her relationships?

Yes, and I am proud of it. When­ever she asks for help I have to put my “coach­ing hat” on, stop being a father (which is not easy) and become a coach. So far I have suc­ceeded, and so has she.

5. Have you used your own skills to improve your relationship?

Lately, yes, but, I wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now .

6. Are there cer­tain  per­son­al­ity types which are more suited to estab­lish­ing  a long-term rela­tion­ship in life?

I don’t believe so, con­trary, I am sure, to so many astrologers, and typologists.

7. What are the advan­tages of a long term rela­tion­ship early on in life?

I don’t see any. Men are ready when they are ready and women are ready (for very dif­fer­ent rea­sons) when they are. It is impor­tant that per­son is mature and will­ing. For some peo­ple it hap­pens at 16 and for some never.

8. Is it more com­mon that in some cul­tures peo­ple get mar­ried when they are older rather than younger?

It looks like that peo­ple in the West get in long term rela­tion­ships later in life. Fam­ily bonds and fam­ily sup­port in the West are much weaker, so peo­ple have to rely more on their own per­sonal strength to sus­tain a healthy rela­tion­ship, and that comes only with a cer­tain level of maturity.

9. What do you believe is your biggest suc­cess in life? Why?

I stopped smok­ing in 1983 after 20 years of smok­ing 3 packs a day. To beat addic­tion of any kind is the biggest suc­cess that one can have, in my opinion.

10. Is there any advice your regret giv­ing some­one? Why?

I do not regret any because, luck­ily, peo­ple never lis­tened to my bad advice. I am much bet­ter at it nowadays.

11. You want your clients to be at their best at al times,

Every­body is ALWAYS at their best. That is the law of real­ity. Peo­ple would always do bet­ter if they could. So they are always per­fect exactly the way they are and exactly the way they are not, NOW. (Please see The Game­less Rela­tion­ship chap­ter on Love)

12. But how do you man­i­fest your best?

You always do. The ques­tion is who you are going to be NEXT?

13. Have you dealt with arranged marriages/relationships in your trav­el­ling to Kuwait, Yugoslavia  and the United States, what bar­ri­ers did you have to over come in these circumstances?

In many cases, espe­cially in tribal and closed soci­eties arranged mar­riages work well. If they don’t, the peo­ple who had arranged the mar­riages did not see the pos­si­ble pit­falls. In a fast chang­ing world as it is today it is very dif­fi­cult to pre­dict the cir­cum­stances which may influ­ence peo­ple to change.

14. What are you opin­ions on teenage relationships?

It is only nat­ural that teenagers will form rela­tion­ships. It is a parental duty to edu­cate their teenagers. This is mostly done by the exam­ple of their rela­tion­ship with each other and their fam­ily mem­bers, strangers, and most impor­tantly by hav­ing a great rela­tion­ship with their chil­dren from day one. If they leave it until the time the chil­dren become teenagers, it is more often than not too late. The prob­lem is that the knowl­edge that the par­ents have about rela­tion­ships is what they’ve learned from THEIR par­ents which may not be very help­ful two gen­er­a­tions later.

15. Do you believe that teen rela­tion­ships are a dis­trac­tion? Why/why not?

Dis­trac­tion from what? School, maybe, life, no.

16. What is a healthy relationship?

We usu­ally know when we see one: peo­ple are happy, free, fully self expressed, ful­filled, love is present, etc. In other words they have the Four Prin­ci­ples as a part of their life, although they may even not know it if you ask them about it.

17. Look­ing back now, would you change any­thing about your life?

No, life is per­fect exactly as it is and it is per­fect exactly as it is not.

The Rela­tion­ship Saver

The Game­less Relationship

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Comments (6)

Forever Married

June 14th, 2009 at 3:29 PM    


[…] Have you dealt with arranged marriages/relationships in your trav­el­ling to Kuwait, Yugoslavia and the United States, what bar­ri­ers did you have to over come in these cir­cum­stances? In many cases, espe­cially in tribal and closed … […]…


June 14th, 2009 at 7:46 PM    

Arranged mar­riages and mul­ti­ple wife fam­i­lies seem to work just fine in closed soci­eties. They have their own rela­tion­ship prob­lems which are very sim­i­lar to our prob­lems in west­ern soci­eties, not the prob­lems we think that they should have accord­ing to our cul­tural stan­dards. A cul­ture is the con­text inside which peo­ple live and if there are no sig­nif­i­cant influ­ences from out­side the life is just as bal­anced as any­where in the U.S., great Brit­tan or else­where in the west. Bar­ri­ers usu­ally exist in my own under­stand­ing, accep­tance and respect for their cul­ture. Once you under­stand it’s eas­ier to accept and there­fore respect their ways. All this pre­sum­ing, of course, that there is no patho­log­i­cal behav­ior involved.


August 7th, 2009 at 3:28 AM    

My prob­lem to over­come is pas­sive manipulation…ie not speak­ing up and hav­ing a hard time with say­ing no and con­se­quently build­ing up resent­ments. Also, I tend to keep things that bother me to myself. I realise that trust is some­thing that will come over time…I think I don’t express myself because I have a trust issue…I’m going to answer my own ques­tion now…I just have to express my true feel­ings about something…but it takes me days to get to my true feel­ings. If I say some­thing straight away it is usu­ally reac­tive and if I wait for my feel­ings then I’ve lost the oppor­tu­nity for expres­sion and to bring some­thing up from the past is detri­men­tal. So I don’t say any­thing, it never seems like ‘the right time’. Do you see my dilema?


August 7th, 2009 at 7:34 AM    

There is a dif­fer­ence between com­mu­ni­cat­ing your feel­ings and act­ing your feel­ings out. Act­ing them out may get you in trou­ble. It may turn into “dump­ing” your feel­ings at some­one, and it may be rather irre­spon­si­ble because your feel­ings are YOURS. On the other hand, just com­mu­ni­cat­ing what you feel with­out express­ing or ‘emot­ing’ your feel­ings could be much more effec­tive. It is the dif­fer­ence between telling some­one that you are angry with­out hav­ing to hit them on the head, or telling them that you love them with­out hav­ing to be all over them.


August 8th, 2009 at 8:20 AM    

Thanks. I think I get that. I think I’m just going to prac­tice, prac­tice, prac­tice this…communicating my feel­ings, speak­ing up and not try­ing to please oth­ers at my expense. It’s actu­ally not self­ish, it’s bet­ter for all. It’s impor­tant to keep integrity for your­self too? Keep the promises you made to your­self as well as to others…


August 8th, 2009 at 8:58 PM    

Again, that darn integrity! Noth­ing works with­out it. Why do we find it the most dif­fi­cult to keep promises to our­selves? Think about it: the more you respect the per­son the more likely you will keep your promise to him/her. Any time we do not keep promise to our­selves we con­firm our ‘not good enough’ atti­tude, that that we are not worth it. On the other hand the more we keep promises given to our­selves the more self respect we gain, we feel bet­ter about our­selves. When we feel good about our­selves oth­ers will respect us too. It is as sim­ple as that, yet we sab­o­tage our­selves all the time and com­plain that oth­ers do not respect us and love us.

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