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  • Andrea Robinson

What and How in Relationships



We have interests, passions and purpose. Our partners or significant others have interests, passions and purpose. Where those passions (or core-values) overlap is where things get co-created. In positive relationships, we can generate the whys, such as joy and fulfillment and other desired results from shared visions and mutually beneficial projects.

When we compromise our life’s purpose, however, or give too much to someone else’s agenda, we can suffer in our souls. Things get imbalanced. More than energy leaks, we can feel drained and depleted if we disconnect from ourselves or give away too much of our valuable time or vital life force.

An important practice is to ask ourselves what or how questions, and then ... when? Through self-inquiry, we’re better at communicating, or duel-inquiry, and this is essential in all relationships. This is where creative solutions can grow.


Here are a few:

What shared passions, projects or goals have been developed in this relationship?

How can I partner with and please my significant other without draining myself?

How can I best clarify and communicate my needs to my partner in such a way that they will truly listen and respond with support?

How can I more deeply own my own responsibilities, own my dilemmas, and have my partner own theirs?

How can we outline what is my partner’s responsibility, what is mine, what we equally share and how to set up support systems?

How are we allowing ambitions and concepts to distract us from what is NOW in front of us?

What are some actions or activities that could strengthen or improve our relationship?



How am I showing up (or not showing up) for my commitments? Who am I being when I do show up?



When is a good time to talk or make requests of each other?



These are just a few ideas. I've coached couples in discovering, defining and ultimately designing structures and projects based on shared values and common goals. Though relationships are complex by nature, having some tools and methods to help simplify or streamline communication can bring both clarity and progress.