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Are you Relationship Ready? The Art of Open Engagement (Part 1)

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Open Engagement is a key to relationship success.

What does Open Engagement mean when applied to relationships? It means being open, receptive and curious about learning who your partner is, and what is important to them.

Years ago a teacher of mine told me, “Dale, you don't know what you don't know.” This was after she observed me acting as though I had it figured out and I knew what I was doing. I found out in time, after she took me under her wing, that I didn't know what I was doing, and I began to see how much I didn't know! How humbling and enlightening.

This was a valuable learning experience for me and continues to be to this day.

When approaching people, especially when dating, with curiosity, being open to different ways of seeing life, asking questions and giving plenty of space to listen and to understand are signs of Open Engagement.

How often have we heard that confidence is extremely attractive and just act confident even if we're not and we will attract the person of our dreams. Yes, confidence is attractive but false confidence lacks authenticity and can be a turn-off.

However, practicing power or equality with another instead of power under or over is moving towards autonomy and intimacy and we find this approach to be very attractive.

We often coach our clients when they are checking out a potential partner to observe how Open and Engaged they are. How attentive and cued in to you are they? How well do they listen? Are they willing and capable to make changes to meet you in what is important to you? These are clues to the degree of Open Engagement. This doesn't mean giving up wants, needs and desires. This is someone who is secure enough to bend, adapt and meet you without sacrificing who they are.

We are curious to hear your thoughts on this topic of Open Engagement. We look forward to your response on Facebook.

Please engage us in our next topic “Are happy relationships about making compromises?”

Cheers, Dale and Kathy

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