Our intimate love relationship plays a big role in our well-being and sets the tone for the rest of our life. The same way the warning light on the dashboard of a car is designed to indicate that we are low on fuel, unhappiness and ultimately depression are powerful signals trying to reach our awareness. It’s ironic that we would never consider using duct tape to cover the dashboard warning light, yet many of us contentedly self-medicate with alcohol, food, sex, drugs or many other forms of distraction to conceal our emotional warning signs.

Nothing promises us greater happiness than our love relationships. The quality and the overall fulfillment of our lives are defined by our capacity and ability to love. We all expect our adult love relationships to be the greatest source of joy and happiness. Then why do they so often become the quickest route to misery?

Our intimate love relationship is the primary source and foundation of contentment in our lives and work very much like our shoes: when it causes us pain, it’s a warning sign that it’s not the right fit for us. No relationship is ever a waste of our time. If it doesn’t bring us what we want, it teaches us what we don’t want.

Our adult love relationship is the central part of our life, and often the most challenging part. Love is a required skill—not just a feeling—that we must master in order to live happily. There is no way we can learn any skills without making mistakes. Love is no different.

The quality of love in our lives is directly dependent on our earnest self-accountability, desire and willingness to self-correct, self-redeem, and self-heal. We must work hard to change things we cannot accept, or to accept the things we cannot change.  The fortune of our emotional warning signs lies hidden in the recognition of which bridges to cross and which ones to burn.

Payman Fazly is a co-founder of Parent Footprint, an innovative platform that simulates the experience of sitting down with a therapist to enable parents to become aware of why their emotional reactivity is based on how they were parented and to allow that awareness to become a catalyst for change.

This blog is an excerpt from Payman’s recent book: Project Love: What Legacy Do You Want To Leave?

Visit: www.paymanfazly.com to learn more about Payman and his book.