LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing number of individuals and couples at a variety of points along the relationship spectrum—from "single-and-looking" through "married-for-decades"—are choosing to partner with Relationship Coaches to help formulate a strategy for a successful, healthy romantic relationship. Defined by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their potential, professional coaching is a client-driven process that can yield lasting dividends for clients driven to improve themselves and their relationships.
"We do our society a disservice with reality-show notions of romance and the idea of the knight in shining armor," reflects Deborah Roth, a New York-based Relationship, Career and Life Coach; the owner of Spirited Living; and an ICF Professional Certified Coach. "I tell my couples that the biggest factor for success in a long-term relationship is the willingness of both partners to do the work."
- Have a game plan. Roth recommends that relationship-minded singles approach their search for a romantic partner with the same techniques they'd use to achieve a career goal. "You can believe in fate, but sometimes you need to be strategic about it," she explains. "After all, you wouldn't dream of looking for a job without a resume. Why would you look for the partner you want to spend the rest of your life with without some kind of plan?" Roth says she encourages her single clients to set a target date by which they want to be in a serious relationship; develop a list of guidelines for what they're looking for in a partner, with deal-breakers, negotiable items, and "would-be-nice-to-haves" delineated clearly; and take an active role in every step of the dating process in order to "be the chooser" when it comes to dating decision-making.
- Don't shy away from conflict. Roth says she blanches when friends tell her that they never fight with their spouse, partner or significant other. "I'm really skeptical of couples who say they never fight," she explains. "In my experience—both with my couples and in my own marriage of 32 years—there are times when you don't want to be anywhere near your husband or wife—times when he or she is making you crazy. … Having conflict in a committed relationship or marriage is not the problem: In a conflict-free marriage, there are issues that aren't being dealt with. There's a level of passion and intimacy that can't happen if you're afraid to rock the boat and go deeper."
- Choose your words—and gestures—carefully. When conflict arises in a relationship, Roth says demonstrating mutual respect is a must. "You've got to be responsible in your language toward one another." Word choice is only part of the equation: Roth says she frequently calls her clients' attention to their choice of body language when listening or speaking to their partner. "Eye-rolling communicates just as loudly as a nasty comment," she cautions.
To find an ICF-credentialed Relationship Coach to help you meet your goals, visit the ICF's free, searchable Coach Referral Service at Coachfederation.org/crs.
The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with more than 20,000 members and 10,000 credentialed coaches in more than 100 countries worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring or training. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. For more information, please visit our website at www.coachfederation.org.
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SOURCE International Coach Federation