Scarlett and Aaron were going to have an amazing life together.

She knew it in her bones. She’d never had a relationship this good. And she knew—even if Aaron didn’t—that he’d never had it this good, either.

The problem was that he was pretending.

Pretending he wasn’t head-over-heels in love with her—even though she could see it in his eyes.

Pretending he could live his life without her.

Pretending he didn’t know what tomorrow was going to bring.

They spent all their free time together. They texted each other all day long. Their couple photos were all over social media. So why couldn’t he admit what was already obvious to the world?

When Scarlett talked to her girlfriends, they told her to be wary. Don’t jump to conclusions, they said. You’re just setting yourself up for a fall.

But it wasn’t in Scarlett’s nature to think she was going to fail. She wouldn’t have given so much of herself to this guy if she didn’t believe it was going to last forever!

What would you do, if you were Scarlett?

Would you rein in that enthusiasm and be more realistic about your relationship?

Or would you ignore the naysayers and enjoy the ride?

It’s not something I’ve ever found statistics for, but I’d say half of the women I know are incurable optimists in love. The rest remain cautious—even when things are going well.

Which category do you fall into?

For some people, the category they fit into is a product of their age. It’s easier to be optimistic when you’re young and full of ideas about how relationships should be.

For others, optimism isn’t an option. They’ve been burned too badly before. So they never give themselves over to the beauty of love even when it’s real.

That’s why I recommend the middle ground whenever this question comes up.

A way to stay positive about your relationship while keeping your feet grounded firmly in reality.

It’s important to be optimistic about your relationship. What we get out of relationships is what we put into them. If you’re half-hearted or ambivalent about being with him, he’ll pick up on that and hold back a part of himself.

That doesn’t mean you should wear blinders. Even if you’re convinced you’re going to live happily ever after with this man, you don’t know what the future holds. It may not work out.

So I recommend a specific strategy. It’s what I recommend to my clients and something readers of His Secret Obsession will already know.

Channel your hopes and dreams into a relationship vision.

How can you use this relationship as a tool to enhance each other’s lives?

Let me show you.

First, you find out what each of you REALLY wants.

What makes him happiest? What makes you happiest?

What kind of life do you dream of? What goals are you working towards? What’s on your bucket list?

Don’t rush this stage. Talking about your dreams and desires makes you feel great. You become even closer as you share things you may have never told anyone else.

Next, take responsibility for helping one another live those dreams.

How could you help him move in the direction of his goals? How could he help you?

What could you do to enhance and improve each other’s lives?

Most women try to do this instinctively. They want to help their man be happier and healthier. But the way they go about it doesn’t always work.

They don’t ask their guy what his vision for his life is. They think they know better than him what he wants and needs. As a result, he resists. He feels pushed in a direction he doesn’t want to go.

What makes this strategy different is that you’re doing it together. You’re agreeing on shared goals as a couple.

He’s also being challenged to think how he could help you achieve your goals. Whether or not he’s willing to do that tells you a lot about his commitment to you.

This process would have helped Scarlett and Aaron improve their relationship.

Scarlett’s optimism was admirable, except that it didn’t translate into taking action. She believed that, because their relationship was great now, it would still be great in 10 years’ time without any help.

Aaron was more cautious. He knew it was great now, but would it still be great in a year?

If Scarlett and Aaron had created a relationship vision together, they would know the answer to that question.

Aaron would be able to see how his relationship with Scarlett could move him closer to the life he wanted.

Scarlett would be able to see the practical steps she could take to keep their relationship strong.

When you have a compelling relationship vision, it can pull you through the hard times and help you keep the faith.

Are you in a relationship? What’s your vision?

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