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How to Teach Your Partner about YOU

We tend to not think about it, but we are all teachers. We may not have earned a degree in teaching, or even feel like we have enough knowledge to consider ourselves teachers, but nevertheless, we are.

You may have heard it said before: You are the expert on your life. No one else can ever fully understand, judge, or change your experience to the extent that you yourself can. For this reason, we as individuals have a serious and powerful obligation to share our thoughts, values, and experiences in a way that can help change our relationships, whether we are inside a classroom or not. Whether it is our parent-child relationships, romantic partnerships, sibling relationships, friendships, etc., our abilities to share knowledge and experience in a way that allows for deeper connections and growth in and with these relationships has the potential to make or break the best of them.

In our relationships, we are at times teachers and at other times students (and often both simultaneously). Without understanding and properly carrying out these underlying roles, we put ourselves at unnecessary risk for jeopardizing our connections with others on a daily basis. To explain this, the following will focus in on the importance of our “teacher roles” within romantic relationships.

So what makes a good teacher? There are of course many important skill-sets and qualities tied to such a title, but the FOUR listed below are certainly fundamental.

1. Self-worth/Humility- One of the most crucial aspects of a good teacher is the ability to recognize one’s own flaws, limitations, and “smallness.” A good teacher does not “practice out of scope” and try to lead others to a destination that in reality is just as unknown to him/her. A good teacher does not need to rely on this method to keep up appearances and to uphold a false image of wisdom and instead, is able to admit when wrong. One who is a good teacher knows that learning is never mastered, never done, but is still able to maintain a comfortable sense of his/her overall value and intelligence in spite of this.

Now, think about your romantic relationship and the last argument the two of you had. That one where he or she just couldn’t seem to get a hold on what you were trying to say. And ask yourself:

-Were you trying to sound more knowledgeable than you really were? Just trying to win the battle even if it meant breaking rules and even your own values? Or were you aware of your mistakes and where you went wrong in your efforts?

- Did you make yourself bigger than the moment, or were you able to put yourself back in your place?

- Were you stubborn, or did you alter your approach toward a changed result?

-Did you push your partner away for causing you to fail or show weakness, or did you withstand any perceived “blows” to your ego until your partner learned your points and got closer to you?

-Did you take your partner’s misunderstanding and emotions personally, making it all about you while neglecting his/her needs?