Of course I am kidding about “Secrets”. There are no secrets!
After reading over 200 relationship books, participating in countless workshops and trainings, dating for several years (after being married twice for a total of 21 years, with four daughters), and writing Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, I am certain that there are no “Secrets” about love and relationships; only readily available information that we need to embody and put into action in order to co-create healthy, sustainable love relationships.
Non-Secret #1: Realize the many economical, ecological, social, physical/sexual, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual benefits of being in a healthy sustainable love relationship.
More and more Americans move from unhealthy co-dependent and dependent relationships into healthier independence.
- 50% of the American adult population is now single (see new book Going Solo).
- 28% of American adults live alone (the remaining singles live with parents, house mates, friends, etc.)
- Only 3-7% of couples experience happy long-term relationships (Gay and Katie Hendricks etc.)
- 47% of 1st time marriages (65% for 2nd, and 70+% for 3rd time) end in divorce.
- Women initiate over 2/3 of all divorces.
- Millions of Americans date online.
- Romance novels outsell any other book category ($1.358 billion).
- Women make up 91 percent of romance book buyers (same as relationship self-help books).
- There are more middle-aged men than women who would like to be in a relationship (see AARP survey).
To most independent and interdependent singles, any form of a long-term committed monogamous relationship and marriage looks like regression. But there is an emergent evolutionary relationship potential beyond independence and interdependence (singlehood, FWB, open relationships, serial monogamy, polyamory, polyagony etc.), which is called Inter-Being or Integral Relationship.
Non-Secret #2: Become aware of your Primary Sexual Fantasy and explore to what extend it is hindering you in co-creating a healthy sustainable love relationship.
It has become increasingly hard for modern and postmodern women to find financially successful AND spiritually/emotionally evolved men to “marry up to”. And many men have developed unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding younger, sexy women. This has lead to a distribution curve around the Primary Sexual Fantasy as shown below, with men competing for women they can’t afford, and women competing for men of which there are fewer and fewer.
We can’t transcend our primary fantasy, just as we can’t transcend our primary hunger for fat, sweet and salty foods, but we can become aware of it, be more realistic, make different choices, and focus on the inner and outer qualities of a partner that really matter. Neither the male nor the female primary sexual fantasy is sustainable, so we need to come to our senses sooner than later, otherwise it will become pretty ugly!
Non-Secret #3: Remove psychological obstacles (wounding, false identities, shadows, old attachments, spiritual bypassing etc.) to love and healthy relationships.
The nature of the unconscious is that we can’t “see” it, so many underestimate the role that it plays in our relationship life. For women I suggest the Calling In “The One” book and process by Katherine Woodward Thomas (especially if framed in an Integral context) and for men Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Augustus Masters to get more clarity. For evolving couples I suggest Undefended Love by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons, and Love and Awakening by John Welwood (who coined the term “spiritual bypassing” in the 80’s).
Non-Secret #4: Become Integrally informed about relationships
This will allow you to identify your own and your partners “Kosmic Address” in the matrix below, along with future growth potentials. If you are at similar levels of consciousness, spiritual, sexual and anima/animus complex development, and share values, passions, lifestyle choices, and a vision for your relationship, then you can agree to heal, learn and grow together to make a contribution that is larger than either individual. This will keep your relationship alive, rewarding and passionate. Otherwise you can decide to end your relationship with understanding, love and compassion to allow you and your partner to find a more compatible mate, instead of keeping you both hostage in a relationship that does not evolve and serves no one.