Fatal flaws to watch out for in a partner
1. Addictions - alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling,
etc...
(Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster)
2. Anger control issues
3. Victim consciousness - blaming others.
4. Control freak.
5. Hasn't grown up.
6. Emotionally unavailable -  lacks communication
skills.
7. Hasn't recovered from past relationships.
8. Emotional damage from childhood;
    a.
Severity of the damage.
    b. The level of awareness of the damage
and how it affects his / her ability to function
in a relationship      c. Is the potential partner
actively working/worked to repair the
damage?

Your partner's willingness to face his / her
emotional programming and take action to
heal it will greatly diminish the effect any fatal
flaw might have on your relationship.
The Creator gathered all of creation and said, "I want to hide something
from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the knowledge to create
lasting friendships and relationships with each other."  "Give it to me," said
the salmon.  "I will hide it on the bottom of the ocean."  "No," said the
Creator.  "One day they will go to the bottom of the ocean, and they will
find it."  "Give it to me," said the bear.  "I will take it into the mountain."  
"No," said the Creator.  "One day they will dig into the mountain, and they
will find it."  "Give it to me," Said the eagle.  "I will take it to the moon.  
They will never find it."   "No," said the Creator.  "One day they will go to
the moon, and they will find it there."   Then Grandmother Mole rose.  
Everyone became quiet.  They knew that, although she had no physical
eyes, Grandmother Mole lives in the breast of Mother Earth and sees with
special eyes.  "Put it inside them," she said.   "It is done!"  Said the Creator.
                           -- Adapted from
Soul Stories, G. Zukav (2000)

We tend to first look outward to find friendship, happiness, contentment,
and love when actually the starting point is inside.  One needs to first look
inside his or herself.  Looking inside is a lesson of self-discovery where you
look to change yourself instead of investing energy to change others.  The
only person you can ever really make lasting changes in, is yourself!  
When you change the question from, "How can I change others?" to "How
can I change myself?" you chose to enter the school of self-discovery.  
Attending this school can be amusing, funny, serious, or painful.  You
focus on the experience of emotions that are happening INSIDE you and
not so much what is happening OUTSIDE you.   You focus on
    The experience of anger in yourself - NOT what makes you angry
    The experience of jealousy in yourself - NOT what makes you jealous
    The experience of love in yourself - NOT who is going to love me
    The experience of fear in yourself - NOT what frightens you
    The experience of sadness in yourself - NOT what makes you sad
Bible versus for relationships
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Support system.
Matthew 22:36-40; Greatest love.
I Corinthians Chapter 13; 4-7; Love,  
Ephesians 4:31-32; Forgive.  

Activity: Find a quiet place and ask
yourself these questions:
What are my values - what is important to
me?
How would I describe myself to myself?
How do I see myself in the future?
What kind of work do I like?
What kind of leisure do I like?
When do I feel most like a women? / Man?
How have I changed since I entered
puberty?
What kinds of people do I respect?
How am I similar to, and different from my
mother?  My father?
    (Or significant adults in my life?)
What goals do I have for myself as a
person?
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What would I be proud of on my deathbed?
Repeat activity often.  
Keeping this and other reflections in a
journal is another way to increased self-
    discovery and growth.  

More Reflection Questions; Values
in a relationship  
How important are my looks and
popularity?
How do I care for myself and not be selfish?
How can I be honest and still be loved?
How can I achieve and not threaten others?
How can I be sexual and not a sex object?
How can I be responsive but not
responsible for everyone?
    -from
Reviving Ophelia Mary Pipher
(1994)
Prayer activity:
As your bedtime prayer, go over
1.  What went well today.
2.  What did not go so well.
3.  What can you do to make it better
tomorrow
Then give thanks... Amen!
Violence and Abuse in Relationships    
Violence in relationships follows a cyclical
pattern, which looks like:
1. Tension Building stage,
2. Abuse / battering incident, and
3. Honeymoon phase - where promises like "I
will never do that again" are common, but
seldom kept.
    Violent or abusive situations always begin
gradually and become more severe, no matter
what form they take -- physical, emotional,
and/or sexual.  Remember you cannot change
another person.  Keeping it a secret will not
help either.  If you are in a situation that
involves abuse, get help.  Talk to someone you
trust and who can help, like a teacher,
counselor, pastor, or family member.

How can you tell if someone really wants to
change?  One way is if their ACTIONS match
with what they SAY.
Big mistakes when beginning a relationship!
1. We don't ask enough questions.  
2. We ignore warning signs of potential problems.  
3. We make hasty compromises.  
4. We give in to lust blindness    >>>> When is a time to become sexually intimate?
    a. You should be intellectually and emotionally intimate BEFORE you are sexually
         intimate.
    b. You should spend at least twice as much time talking and learning about one
         another as you do necking and fooling around.
    c. You should like the person
    d. You should respect the person and their values.
    e. You should discuss birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.
    f. You should discuss responsibility and childbirth.
The commitment of marriage should include all the above and more.
5. We give in to material seduction (Money, life-style, appearance, power,
         reputation, etc.)
6. We put commitment before compatibility.  
  "The person who
seeks all their
applause from
outside has their
happiness in
another's keeping"
(p.105).  From:
No
Body's Perfect
by
Kinberly Kirberger
(2003). A
Chicken
Soup for the
Teenage Soul
type
book.         
      
Six wrong reasons to be in a relationship
1. Pressure (age, family, friends, peers, self-esteem, etc.)
2. Loneliness and desperation.
3. Sexual hunger
4. To avoid growing up.
5. Guilt
6. To fill up your emotional or spiritual emptiness.
  The ten types of relationships that
won't  work
1. You care more about your partner than
he / she does about you.
2. Your partner cares more about you
than you do about him / her.
3. You are in love with your partners
potential.
4. You are on a rescue* mission? *Do
you find yourself feeling sorry for your
partner more often than you like? or
responsible for helping them get their life
in order? or he / she would fall apart if
you left them? People that go on
emotional rescue missions often mistake
sympathy for love.
5. You look up to your partner as a role
model (power imbalance).
6. You are infatuated with your partner
only for external reasons. (Looks, status,
etc.)
7. You have partial compatibility.
8. You choose a partner in order to be
rebellious.
9. You choose a partner as a reaction to
your previous partner.
10. Your partner in unavailable.   
Love Myth vs. Love Reality
Myth:
True love conquers all.
Reality: Love s not enough to make a relationship.  It needs compatibility
and commitment.
Myth: When it is true love, you will know the moment you meet the
person.
Reality: It takes a moment to experience infatuation, but true love takes
time.
Myth: There is only one true love who is right for you.
Reality: It is possible to experience true love with more than one person
Myth: The PERFECT PARTNER will fulfill your every way.
Reality: The RIGHT PARTNER will fulfill many of your needs, but not all
of them.
Myth: When you experinece powerful sexual chemistry with someone, it
must be love.
Reality: Good sex has nothing to do with true love, but making love does
(and making love has little to do with having sex).
Reference: Are You The One
For Me
?  By Barbra
DeAngelis, Ph.D. (1992)
C.R.Y. Festival
homework and
reflection;
Thoughts from
Relationships
101
Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
By CEC