Happily Never After: Why We Should Get Over Fairytale Romance

Looking for a storybook love? Here’s why we should get over fairytale romance and work toward a relationship where we can be our real selves.

 

We all want a fairytale romance, but Prince or Princess Charming isn't real. Here's how to make romance work, the real way


How many of us have idyllic pictures of romance in our heads: frolicking together in the snow, playing on a sandy beach, living happily ever after? Society, movies, books, and even our social media accounts have set us up with expectations of fairytale romance that are false and potentially damaging.

When we set the bar for perfect relationships at “living happily ever after”—meaning never engaging in any conflict or working toward deeper understanding—who can expect anything but failure? Almost all of us have this Cinderella perspective on our relationships. We think it’s up to our partner to make us happy. Or we believe that our significant other should be our soulmate. If we only find “the one,” we’ll resolve all our problems and live perfect lives.

The truth is, we are the only ones who can make ourselves happy. It is not our partner’s job (nor is it even within their power). Beyond that, no one has a perfect relationship. Part of unlocking your relationship’s full potential and finding happiness alongside your partner is letting go of the myth of the “fairytale romance” (and maybe even embracing our inner ogre).

Embrace the Adventure of Romance

Romanticized and idealized versions of fairytale romance we’ve seen depicted in the media leave us feeling like our relationships are inadequate. We end up in a constant state of disappointment because we’ve walked in with ridiculous expectations since we watched Snow White and Cinderella in our childhoods. This “Disney love” leads to devastation and confusion when our real-life relationships don’t quite match our fantasy ideals.

We have to dump these false ideas, get over fairytale romances and instead embrace the reality of what we have. We also have to realize that no one has a perfect relationship. Those couples who seem to have an ideal connection have likely learned to engage and fight together FOR the relationship.

But of course, it’s hard to let go of the idea of a fairytale romance. It’s not that we can’t have affection, warmth, or love, but it’s that the concept of a fairytale romance is based on a false premise—an idealized version of reality. We can still have plenty of intimate moments and times when we laugh, smile, and get warm fuzzies about our partner. Romance is still great—but it’s the REAL romance we’re looking for, not the fairytale version.


If we explore the real idea of romance by looking up the definition, we get, “Romance is 1. A brief, intense love affair; or 2. A sexual love when another person or the relationship is idealized.” Yikes!! That doesn’t sound like true and lasting love or a life-long connection! The third definition, which speaks to the truth of romance, is 3. Romance is an exciting adventure with the potential for heroic achievement.


Now, doesn’t that sound a little more accurate and much more exciting? Who wouldn’t want to be a brave hero or heroine who conquered their weaknesses, recognized their strengths, and embraced the adventure of relationships?! But with adventure comes risk, and yes, even a little danger and vulnerability.

To have the kind of connection that lasts, we have to be brave—to share our truths and allow ourselves to show who we are. Intimacy comes from authenticity, so we need to “get real.” We have to be unafraid to enable our inner ogre to come out and say all of those things we feel afraid to share, warts and all. Being our true selves is the real challenge in relationships. It’s all about honesty, making our yearnings known, and expressing our feelings openly and without reservation.

Life, just like romance, is an adventure. It’s fraught with conflict and ups and downs, but if we let go of the myth of the fairytale, we get to the real heart of the story. As we explore in our book, The Heart of the Fight, when we get real and honest with our partner, we start to fight together and work FOR the relationship. Challenges bring us closer together.

Love isn’t easy—and it shouldn’t be. Love is beautiful because it nurtures us and forges us into who we can become. We have to work for it, but engaging in a partnership with another person makes the adventure so much better.

Great Relationships Require Great Fights

We’ve all had fights with a significant other. What happens? We get sad, thinking that the relationship is undoubtedly doomed if we’re fighting.

We all know fights and conflict can be a little scary sometimes. We engage and express our feelings, and then we measure our partner’s reaction. If it’s positive, we might keep moving forward, but if it’s not, we might find ourselves withdrawing to avoid more fighting. As humans, we move toward pleasure and away from pain. It doesn’t always “feel good” to fight, of course, so we might find ourselves avoiding confrontation (even if we feel upset).

When we hold our feelings in, we actually drive our relationship further apart. By holding back and avoiding conflict, we might think we’re doing our partner a favor. We’re suppressing our feelings for the betterment of the relationship. But if our relationship is important, then it’s worth fighting for what we really want!


Growth-oriented relationships are going to have conflict. Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, that conflict strengthens us and enables us to develop into our potential more fully. With work, our relationships can help us during that struggle, providing both a womb to grow and a crucible to forge our emerging selves.


So rather than shutting down at the first sign of trouble and heading for the hills (or clamming up and giving the hidden middle finger with passive-aggressive actions), we can express our feelings openly, even if they piss off our partner. Growth-focused relationships require us to keep fighting it out. We have to understand each other and say what we feel, even if it’s tough.

If we find ourselves falling into a pattern where we avoid conflict or where our partner avoids it because it’s just more comfortable, it’s time to step back and assess.

If he’s dissatisfied and she’s dissatisfied, then there’s definitely conflict to be had. Some issues need to be brought out into the open. It’s the time to lay it all out on the table. Test the relationship and really push the limits to see if it can go the distance. When we have reservations in relationships, we should explore them, understand them, and bring them out into the light.

Real Intimacy Comes from Conflict, Not Riding Off into the Sunset

In fairytales, no one ever discusses their concerns or problems. When did Sleeping Beauty bring up her feelings?

Fairytales and romantic movies tell us a story about the very beginning of a “magical” relationship; couples “meet-cute.” They may have a problem (usually an outside force) that they have to overcome, and then, you see the happy couple sail off into the sunset before the real relationship even gets started.

In reality, when you’re first starting to get to know each other, that’s the time for working out all the nitty-gritty conflict. The beginning of relationships can be absolutely critical moments to put your honest self out there, which means letting your partner see you at your worst, not just your best. If you put on a front or put your best foot forward, when will they fall in love with the real you?


Real intimacy is forged through conflict, not avoidance.


When we make relationship decisions, we often do them out of convenience or because we’re at a time in our life where things feel like they’re in a natural pattern. However, whether a lease is up, your friends are getting married, or you’re afraid of being alone, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to jump in fully. Don’t slide into your relationship. Decide to move forward with intention and purpose.

Get the truth out! We should tell our partners what we want and what we need from them. We should be working on ourselves together. Engage in your relationship and examine the pieces. If you have reservations, address them and get everything out in the open if you have concerns.

Will it always go smoothly or look like a movie? No way! But when we get over fairytale romance, we can start working toward a real, fulfilling, strong connection—one where we both get what we want and need from the union.

Committing to expressing our truth is one of the most significant gifts you can give to your relationship. It keeps it real and viable. It keeps you both moving forward, looking to the future, and growing together. Great relationships require great fights. Real intimacy comes from that ongoing honesty and openness.

Ready to explore more about getting the relationship (and the life) you want? Don’t miss our courses on Wright Now. We have many personal growth, relationship, and career courses and training available to stream. Start getting more out of life by unlocking your full potential!

 

 

How to Ask for Things (And Actually Get Them)

Have you ever wanted something badly but been afraid to ask?

 

Celebrate asking for things--and actually getting them! Here's how to ask for what you want, with success


Maybe it was a promotion at work, more affection from your significant other, or support from a friend. Perhaps you felt like the ask was too big, the timing wasn’t right, or you didn’t believe you deserved what you were asking for.

Imagine the power and fulfillment you would have, knowing everything you wanted was within your grasp. Guess what? It is! All you need to do is learn how to ask for things when you want them. Here’s how to ask for things you want and actually experience a “yes.” 

Why We Don’t Ask for Things

Learning how to ask for things is a critical self-care skill. We all have needs, longings, or what we refer to as yearnings—deep desires to be seen, to be loved, to be respected, to be appreciated. We all yearn for things, and those yearnings drive many of our actions. We’re drawn to people, situations, and things that we believe will fulfill our yearnings (even if we don’t realize it).

But what do we need to do to get what we really want?

Many of us have given up on asking for things, even though we still want them. For years we’ve been conditioned that we shouldn’t ask. Asking will lead to judgment, rejection, or ridicule. We might worry that people will perceive us as rude, tacky, or aggressive if we ask for something. Maybe we hold back because we fear that we want too much or that people would take advantage of us if they knew how much we long for a particular thing. Perhaps we’re afraid to show vulnerability to others.


All of this doubt around asking stems from beliefs that we’re unworthy or underserving of receiving what we want (and even what we need).


We carry these mistaken beliefs around with us throughout our lives—that while it’s okay for others to get what they want, the rules are different for us and our desires. These beliefs hold us back and prevent us from really going for it.

But knowing how to ask for things is a tool that can get us to realize our vision. We can start to experiment by asking to test (and ultimately break) through those mistaken beliefs. What if the world really does want to give us what we want? What if it’s okay to be vulnerable? What if people won’t take advantage but will actually be happy to help us fulfill our request?

As we explore our beliefs about asking and work through our fears of making requests, we’ll move toward getting what we want. Ultimately, when we learn how to ask for things, it will help us live the life we dream about and help us find fulfillment and satisfaction. To get what we want, we need to learn to ask for help, support, material items, favors, resources, assistance, and more.

People WANT to Help Us, and We Just Need to Learn How to Ask for Things

We’ve all heard “no man is an island.” It’s true. None of us can achieve everything we want in life without the help of others. Most of us are drawn to others, and some of us even feel uncomfortable being alone.

Ever since we were born, we’ve been dependent on other people to help us get what we want out of life. Starting with our parent figures and moving on towards our friends, our lovers, and our partners, we rely on the input, support, and care of others. We need to connect with other human beings. Our engagement with others helps us fully realize our humanity and allows us to find satisfaction and joy.

Of course, some of us believe that we can get by entirely independently of others. We don’t need assistance. Maybe we needed love and support as a child, but now we can survive on our own. When we block out our connections and need for others, we deprive ourselves of the fantastic possibilities of human connection.


The truth is people WANT to be around us. Moreover, people want to help us!


Think of the last time we did something for someone else. Maybe we helped someone at work or offered to buy someone’s coffee in line at Starbucks. How did it feel? Pretty great, right? We probably walked around for a few minutes in a glow, feeling that warm sense of social connection.

People want to help others. It makes us feel good when we can help another person—when we can meet their needs by giving them what they want.

When the tables are turned, it works in reverse as well. People want to give us things. They want to fulfill our requests, and they want to assist us. All we need to do is ask. As part of our synergy and human connection, when we ask for something, those around us will do their best to fulfill the request if it’s within their power.

Take the Challenge: Do You Dare to Ask?

One assignment in our Year of More course is to go out and ask for things. We challenge students to go out and ask for all sorts of things, just to see what they can get. They can make the request big or small, outlandish, or realistic. The objective is to see how many times they can get a “yes.”

When we set our intention to get what we want, we will be priming ourselves for success. We can remind ourselves that people want to give in to our requests. They want to help us. Asking is like a muscle, and we have to learn to stretch and practice to get better and better at it.


So start small to learn how to ask for things. What if we simply asked, “Could you hold the door for me?” or “Would you mind saving me a seat?” Begin with simple requests that most people could hardly say no to.


We can practice it as we travel throughout the day. As we interact with new people, ask them to “pass the salt” from a neighboring table or “ask if they can decipher a hard-to-see menu item.” Experiment with getting requests met and explore how it feels.

We may find it more comfortable initially to ask people we know for things. Asking our significant other for a favor or our friend to do something for us can feel a little more comfortable as we begin. Coworkers can be easy to interact with and good people to practice requests on.

As we learn how to ask for things, we’ll get better at it. It’s helpful to explore what thoughts go through our heads when we ask. What beliefs do we have about asking? Do we think it’s embarrassing? Do we feel nervous or shy? We can explore those emotions and see where they are leading us. It may offer us some more in-depth insight into why we feel uncomfortable asking for things when people clearly want to give us what we want.

After practicing with comfortable asks, we can push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. What if we ask for items with monetary value or higher levels of risk? As the stakes grow, what happens to our inner dialogue and thoughts about our requests? Why are some asks so much more challenging than others?

Is Getting What You Want Really as Easy as Asking?

One of the most exciting aspects of the “ask for it” assignment is that our students see it really working. As requests get more outrageous and crazier, they still get what they want. Some get competitive to see who can make the biggest ask.


What helps along the way is to remind ourselves that the worst that can happen is someone says no or tells us that they can’t fulfill our request. Most of the time, they will even feel apologetic about it because, ultimately, people want to say yes when they can.


It’s part of our human connection to want to please others. We move towards pleasure and away from pain. We seek out opportunities to feel good, positive, and happy. When we’re able to make someone’s day by affirming their request, we get a little boost too. When we realize others feel the same way about our requests, it can remove much of the anxiety about making the ask.

Work on building up a rapport with others. Not with an insincere intent, but because we understand the importance of our human connection. As we build a rapport, we will discover that people start to understand our intentions and desires, and they want to fulfill them even more. When we engage with others and see them for who they truly are, they will do the same in return. As we strengthen our connection and communication, we will also discover that we have greater influence.

We should let our discovery of how to ask for things shift our view of the world. What if we view the world as an abundant place—where there is plenty of success, fortune, and positivity to go around? What if we stop believing that we’re operating in a place of danger or scarcity but instead believe that those we interact with genuinely want to help us and give us what we need?

When we ask with intention—the belief that we’ll get what we want—we set ourselves up for success. As musician Amanda Palmer explains in her TED talk: The Art of Asking, “when you connect with people, they want to help you.” When we believe that people will give us what we want, all we need to do is ask.

We can challenge ourselves today to go out and make the requests. Play with it—start as an experiment. What if we just ask for something simple? As that feels comfortable, stretch and ask for something a little bigger, then a little bigger, until we’re getting all the things we want. Believe that the universe wants to give us everything we want and need.

To learn more about getting what you want out of life, please explore our courses on Wright Now. We have many excellent webinars and resources to help you learn to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and start living the life of your dreams!

 

Women Don’t Shy Away—Embrace Your Power!

When you think of wielding your personal power, what comes to mind? Do you think power equates to being domineering? Controlling? Manipulative?

Don't be afraid of what people may think of you when you embrace your personal power.

 


 

When you hear “powerful woman,” what comes to mind? Do you think if you embrace your power, people will think you’re domineering? Bitchy? Controlling? Manipulative?

Many people have some negative associations with power, especially when it comes to women. We’ve probably heard that we should downplay our power. We shouldn’t be too assertive. We shouldn’t go for what we really want.

The truth is, there’s a lot of positive reasons why it’s essential to explore, discover, and embrace your power. Here’s what you need to know to tap into your ability to influence others and get what you want.

Why We Think Power is a Bad Thing

We all know power can be abused. We see examples of abuses of power every day on the news, media, and probably in our own lives. In our day-to-day dealings, we may be confronted with those who hold power over us, attempt to control us, or manipulate us with the power.

Personal power and feminine power are topics we discuss heavily in our Year of More curriculum, with male and female students. It seems that many of us have learned to think that it’s dangerous to “embrace your power.” We may shy away from personal development opportunities and exploring our power because of these associations.

When we’ve asked students to free associated with power, the words that come up are often some of those misconceptions listed above. “Power means manipulation, domination, control, abuse.” Many of us think power is BAD somehow. We think of terms like “power-hungry” or “power trip,” and there are negative connotations.

Of course, abusing power can be harmful and even dangerous. But it’s important to realize it’s not the power that’s wrong. Gaining more control over your life is a positive way to achieve your goals is actually EMPOWERING.


Empowerment is something many people wish for but aren’t sure how to find. Even when people have negative associations with the word power, they may still hunger for it and want more control in their life, but they may feel guilty or fear there’s something wrong with the desire to claim your power.


How do we get away from the misconceptions we have about power? Well, If we step back and look at the definition of power, we find that it merely means “the ability to do work or to have influence.” Who doesn’t want more ability and influence in their lives?!

If you look at power for what it really is, it’s quite remarkable to have influence, to do work, and to have an effect on others. It’s constructive, and we’re all hungry for it. Power is positive, and the more influence a good work in our lives, the better.

When we talk about embracing your power, it’s the power that’s part of our identity. It’s an integral piece of who we are. My personal power is my capacity to have an influence, to affect others, and to work. Everyone has personal power. It’s part of us. We have an enormous circle of influence and a surprising ability to touch and affect many lives for good.

Can Power Be a Feminine Quality?

In addition to the negative connotations about power, people often have a stereotypical masculine association with power. We think of power as a loud voice, physical strength, and domination. This doesn’t mean we necessarily look at power as male or female, but as masculine and feminine. Masculine power is assertive and projected.

Feminine power, on the other hand, is soft and receptive. Feminine power might be sensual, but it consists of much more—the power to embrace, include, receive, attract, and synergize — the aptitude for relationships, vulnerability, holistic thinking, multitasking, collaboration, emotional expression, and communication.

As you can see, all humans, no matter their gender, have an array of these feminine powers within us. Learning to embrace these powers is a gift that will help us become better leaders, partners, friends, and influencers within our circle.


So, what keeps women powerful and feminine? Have we progressed to where we can still be womanly in our power and influence, or do we have to sacrifice our femininity to gain strength?


Feminine power is attractive. It draws and attracts things to you—when you are compelling, that’s power as well. There is also the external pushing power. There’s a power of doing, and there’s a power of being. In our Year of More work, we often explore the potential of these poles. What draws us to certain types of power?

We live in a society that often overvalues the masculine and undervalues the feminine. Again, that doesn’t mean men versus women. All of us—men and women both, equate masculinity with power and feminine qualities with weakness.

As we work with our students, we discuss where these ideas come from. We look at all the different ways we can embrace and claim our power, like the power of silence. There’s great power in listening, seeing, paying attention, and simply being. It can have a tremendous effect on others. It’s not about controlling the conversation or directing it—it’s about holding space and being present.

Similarly, the power of compliments has a significant effect on people. You can often influence others with positive results simply by learning how to acknowledge and accentuate the positive in your interactions. Not by faking compliments, but by taking time to notice the beautiful things that our fellow humans show us.

We discuss the power of asking for things with our students as well. How can they use both poles of power to attract the things they want and pursue what they want? How can they set positive intentions to get what they want and then make it happen? By learning how to wield the power of persuasion, people are amazed at what they can bring into their lives.

Personal Power in Leadership

Women often come to our leadership classes because they want to develop their power. They think of power as a masculine quality. They may not be aware of the positive aspect of feminine power or have a demeaning attitude toward the concept. They often realize that there is feminine power they already possess and can enhance.

How often do you display sensitivity in your relationships, caring, and deep emotions, and feel like it’s a disadvantage? We may view our sensitive side as being weak or a detriment to our future.

Women to get to where they want to be in their careers and life, often become more masculine to gain parity in our world. While the views are shifting now, there is still room to learn more. Women don’t need to let go of their feminine side to become more powerful. Those feminine qualities can make us even more powerful in many ways.


Look at feminine qualities in leadership, like accommodating, facilitating, and listen. Rather than trying to cut off those parts of ourselves, what if we embraced them and learned to work with them to our advantage. Those qualities can make us stronger leaders and can enhance the productivity of the teams we lead. We can help bring out the best in those around us.


Women can cultivate the skills they naturally have. We are starting to see a substantial shift in business and society toward embracing both our feminine and masculine power. While men and women are of equal importance and value, we are not the same.

Over the last 30 or so years, brain research demonstrates undeniably that men and women are quite different—physically, neurologically, and emotionally. As I study the research, I’ve realized the powerful complement in our innate differences. For instance, men have tunnel, binocular vision, while women have wide-ranging peripheral vision. Men’s brains are configured to be more logical, and women are wired to be intuitive. The feminine inclination to be nurturing and inclusive is complemented by the masculine proclivity to be protective and territorial, and the list goes on.

Slowly but surely, we are realizing the benefits of these differences. Feminine qualities like relationship receptivity, communication, collaboration, synthesizing, nurturing, feeling deeply, and—yes, even tears—are an essential blessing, not a curse. 

The truly exciting aspects of feminine power are emerging, from women’s liberation to human liberation, beyond women’s empowerment to a society that fully harnesses masculine and feminine power in full partnership for sustainable, creative, harmonious life on spaceship earth.

For more on embracing your personal power explore our courses at Wright Now. We’re proud to offer an array of webinars and opportunities to learn more about yourself and work towards your true potential.

 


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

How to Be More Intimate: The Steps to a Stronger Connection

Do you ever feel disconnected from your significant other? Does it seem like the two of you are often distant? Are you wondering how to be more intimate?

The way to better and deeper intimacy is to build a stronger connection with your partner.

 


If we want to start being more intimate, we need to start being more honest. So the real question is: Do you lie to your significant other?

Most of us see this question and say, “No! Of course not,” but how many of us genuinely display our authentic selves in our interactions? We might not think of it as lying, but intimacy comes from honesty. Here’s how to be more intimate by getting real.

Honesty Starts from Day One

For most of us, honesty and authenticity don’t start on day one. We go on a first date and what happens? Do we immediately open up about our childhood, religious beliefs, or expectations in a relationship? Do we tell our new friends about the intimate details of our lives and our innermost feelings?


To most of us, the thought of displaying this level of emotional “nakedness” on a first date sounds ridiculous. Some of us would even laugh or be shocked at the prospect of so much oversharing. But what are the real drawbacks of being unabashedly honest and authentic on our dates?


Even months into a relationship, we may still hold back on our true feelings. We dress a certain way, act a certain way, even let go of certain feelings because we want to please our significant other. Most of us still lie or, at least, avoid the full truth until we’re well into a relationship.

But what about those in long-term relationships or marriages? Do they share everything with their spouse? Are there “secrets” they keep hidden? Do we always tell our husband where the dent in the car really came from? Do we hide our Amazon orders, or downplay our frustrations with certain behaviors?

There are also intimate details we might be afraid to share. We all have secrets, desires, and yearnings that we hold back because they may make us feel vulnerable. Do we tell our spouse what we really yearn for? Do we tell them when we need more affection? When we long for them to hold our hand, hug us, or kiss us because it’s what we need?

We also may have feelings we don’t bring up because we don’t want to engage in conflict. We don’t want to fight. When our spouse pisses us off, do we call them out? When we trip over sandals on the stairs, wash their pile of dishes in the sink, or review credit card charges, do we express our irritation or silently stew?

These little moments of holding back build-up, and they can slowly erode our sense of intimacy or prevent us from being more intimate with our significant other. If we’re not expressing our authentic, true feelings from day one (yes, even on the first date), we’re not fully experiencing real intimacy. But don’t worry—it’s never too late to get started!

What’s Intimacy Anyway?

Real intimacy comes from being vulnerable, naked, open with another person. It’s an entirely authentic state. It’s so comfortable you can burp or fart in front of your significant other and laugh it off. It’s allowing the messiness of our lives to spill over and to share with another. Intimacy doesn’t just mean sex or physical intimacy, but closeness at all times. It’s becoming acquainted with the deepest recesses of each other’s personality.

Sounds scary, right?

For most of us, we’ve spent years of our lives building safe emotional walls and personas. We’ve created a personality we believe will lure people in and attract them to us. We’ve carefully cultivated who we are to create someone charming, pleasing, and appealing to others. We create what psychologist D.W. Winnicott deemed the “False Self”—a protective and defensive persona we create from childhood.

Winnicott posited there were two sides to our personality—our False Self, the persona we create for others, and our True Self, the deep yearnings of our heart.


Our True Self is full of aliveness. When we’re displaying our True Self, we’re authentic. We’re genuine, and our heart is in tune with our actions. When we exist as our True Self, we’ve let go of who we’re “trying” to be, and we’re instead simply being.


This naked authenticity allows us to be truly intimate with other people, not only our spouse but our friends, our family, and those around us. We know when someone loves us, they genuinely love our authentic self. They love who we really are, not merely who we pretend to be.

Being True in Relationships

Unfortunately, most of us build up ideas of how a relationship should look. We’ve created a vision of a fairytale romance. One where we “get” someone to “fall” for us (sounds pretty inauthentic, right?), and then we seduce them into a connection.

Even the concept of seduction is rooted in deception. Seduction is defined as deliberately enticing someone to engage in a relationship or to be led astray. We feel we’re tricking someone into liking us or connecting with us–this is a display of our False Self.

Instead, by being open and honest—truly honest—we build trust. When you meet a genuine person, chances are you’re drawn to them. You don’t necessarily agree with everything they do or say, but because they’re “real,” you feel an ease and rapport that may lead to a fast connection.

When we see a celebrity, politician, or person of note display emotions, what do we say? “He was so authentic,” or “I felt like I really connected with her because she was so open.” We feel like we know them on a personal, human level. We relate to them. Indeed, our vulnerabilities make us stronger, yet we avoid them out of fear of being weak.


Emotions add to our honesty and increase our intimacy. We’re emotional beings. There are no bad emotions—fear, anger, hurt, sadness, joy—they’re all part of what makes us human. When we hide and tamp down these emotions, we deny ourselves that authentic human connection.


In our book The Heart of the Fight, we bust many common relationship myths, embracing new truths of relationships, including the ideas that:

  • Conflict resolution doesn’t lead to great relationships.
  • Working on ourselves is crucial to a satisfying relationship.
  • The purpose of a relationship isn’t to make us happy; it’s to support our journey to becoming our best selves.

Are you wondering how to be more intimate? The price is being real. If a profound partnership sounds appealing, we must learn to express our most profound truths, even if it’s not what the other person wants to hear. If you want a great relationship as friends and lovers, then be prepared for great fights.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to fight—or don’t fight enough, or at all! We often hear advice on conflict resolution rather than conflict completion. Contrary to conventional wisdom, conflict can be a couple’s secret weapon for coming closer, not a sign of their coming apart. The key is when couples know why they fight, how to fight, and what to fight for.

These battles can be used to develop us and help us reach high levels of intimacy and trust based on an ever-deepening love. This requires full engagement, including conflict, confrontation, and verbal combat. It also requires following certain rules of engagement that you’ll learn about throughout the book.


Most people bicker and battle without knowing the rules of engagement that will help them understand what’s going on inside themselves. They just want the fight to be over, or to win the fight, or to make it go away. Most relationship books and much marital and relationship advice are designed to limit conflict, full of misguided attempts to restore the lovey-dovey honeymoon phase. They attempt to avoid fights and, at best to develop teamwork rather than to embrace the opportunity for learning and growth in the fights.
The Heart of the Fight

Conflict comes from a place of honesty and truth. You see, if we believe something and hold it dear as our truth, then it’s worth fighting for. If we want true intimacy and an honest relationship, we must accept we won’t always agree. That’s okay! Growth doesn’t come without resistance. Growth is born of struggle and conflict. If you want to grow in your relationship, it won’t always feel comfortable.

The secret behind greater intimacy is to stop pleasing others and to stop hiding our feelings. When we’re annoyed by a comment, say so! When we want something, ask! Don’t be afraid to lay it all out on the table.

How much heartache and how many problems could be resolved if couples put it all out there? Imagine a first date where each person was completely honest about their expectations. What if we told our date precisely what we wanted, what we valued, and what we needed in a relationship? What if we were just…honest?

As we interact with others, whether it’s a friend, partner, spouse, or coworkers, commit to embracing honesty. Express how we really feel. Don’t worry about what people think or if people won’t like us. Simply be our real, honest, authentic selves. If we want to know how to be more intimate, honesty will get us there.

For more ways to become your best self, please join us for an upcoming workshop or event. On Wright Now, we’re offering an array of courses to help you in your career, relationship, and life. Get MORE of what you want out of life today!


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.