We tend to “polarize” across the 4 pairs of Evolving Love Virtues, which means that if we express ourselves strongly one way, our partners tend to migrate to express themselves more strongly the polar opposite way. Just like positively and negatively charged magnets, the presence of a strong charge on one side of a polarity will attract and amplify a strong charge on the opposite side.
This also means that partners can “swap sides” over time as they change and grow. It is common for you to experience one side of a pair of virtues clearly in one relationship, and then find yourself experiencing the other side in the next relationship.
We encourage you to use this reflection as a snapshot of the present and to use the information you receive to acknowledge the ways of being you are most proud that you might want to keep and to indicate areas that you might want to develop or change in the future.
Ideally, our goal is to raise our collective relational quotient (RQ) so that we are all able to express all 8 of the Evolving Love virtues described in this report and are also able to minimize the 8 shadow patterns many of us commonly get caught up in today.
People in loving relationships can find ways of fighting about the least consequential things. There are fights about how the dishes should get put away, who’s the better driver, and how much you are spending, etc. It’s common knowledge that the source of conflict in love relationships is rarely the “surface issue”. But what are we really fighting about?
After studying thousands of relationship fights, we discovered that, at the deepest level, there are really only eight conflicts in love relationships. We call these conflicts Toxic Cycles because when each partner’s behavior is caught up in one of these cycles, they tend to polarize their partner into a predictable and directly oppositional position, unwittingly inviting their partner to continue the cycle rather than resolve it.
The Toxic Cycles that are at the heart of nearly every conflict in our relationships are:
The cycle of Complaint and Defense
The cycle of the Anxious (chaser) and the Avoidant (leaver)
The cycle of Control and Collapse
The cycle of Addiction and Codependency
In our online courses, workshops, retreats, and 1:1 coaching sessions, we’ve seen these patterns play out again and again, and we’ve learned to recognize and understand how each person in the partnership plays a role in continuing and repeating the cycle.
We discovered that the underlying motivation driving each partner’s behavior in the toxic cycle also contains the key to permanently resolving the conflict. Rather than the pattern being a result of a character flaw or incompatibility, we found that each partner caught in the cycle was standing for an important value, an Evolving Love Virtue, that is actually necessary for an extraordinary love relationship to flourish.
Behind every Complaint is the Evolving Love Virtue of Possibility - Believing In A Better Vision Of The Future.
Behind every Defense is the Evolving Love Virtue of Appreciation - Seeing The Perfection Of The Present Moment.
Behind all Anxious behavior is the Evolving Love Virtue of Devotion - Being Deeply Connected and Committed To Love [Being fully committed and available for connection]
Behind all Avoidant behavior is the Evolving Love Virtue of Freedom - Being Sovereign & Authentically Self Expressed
Behind all Control is the Evolving Love Virtue of Truth - Seeking Candor, Clarity & Integrity In Our Interactions
Behind all Collapse is the Evolving Love Virtue of Harmony - Attuning to The Relationship with Empathy and Compassion
Behind Addiction is the Evolving Love Virtue of Passion - Embodying Desire To Keep the Spark Alive
Behind Codependency is the Evolving Love VIrtue of Partnership - CRelating With Mutual Respect & Collaborating To Create A Win-Win For Everyone
A relationship that has sufficient possibility, appreciation, freedom, devotion, truth, harmony, passion, and partnership will be an Evolving Love relationship that continues to thrive. The way to permanently resolve a Toxic Cycle is to make sure that both virtues are expressed fully for both partners. You can see the 8 virtues here, along with their corresponding shadows arranged in pairs:
If you find yourself on one side or the other of a toxic cycle, then usually the path towards resolution for you will be to invest more in the opposite virtue.
If your partner feels that you are too critical, they may be asking for you to bring more appreciation.
If your partner feels you are too avoidant, they may be asking for you to adopt the virtue of devotion.
If your partner feels you are too controlling, they may be asking for you to value more harmony.
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