"Tell me something bad," my client whined.

"I love reading your newsletters and reading about your fabulous life and seeing how happy you are with your husband. But sometimes I really don't want to hear about it! Especially when I'm having so much difficulty. So tell me something that's not working in your life!"

Wow. As the Dating Director, I want to keep a positive attitude about love and life. And it's easier and more fun to write about good things. Especially when life is full of good things.

It's true. I've been blessed. I have good friends, good health, good surroundings and the love of a good man. Who could ask for anything more? :)

You could say I'm one of the lucky ones.

And believe me I am lucky when it comes to family and friends.

But getting into a romantic relationship...that's where Luck had nothing to do with it.

I worked hard. I dated a lot of men. I had to learn what to do, what to say and how to be as a woman. I had to learn how to express myself in a way that made me feel better about who I am in a relationship. And I had to learn how to negotiate and communicate in a rational way so I could be heard and understood by a man.

It wasn't easy. It's taken years. And I'm still learning.

But it's working. I have an eight year relationship to show for it. (Neither Lorenzo nor I had been in a relationship that lasted past a year and a half before.)

So it's definitely been worth it.

But make no mistake. Getting into a relationship is where the real work begins! You think you know what you want and then you somehow get it. And then you panic and think...what do I do with it now?

Relationships are Major Skill Builders and Major Tests. About who you are. About who he is. About who you are together. About choices you make. About commitment. And about fear.

So today I'm sharing with you three realities from my relationship (and I don't think I'm alone. :))

1. Expect Conflict

Because you're gonna have it. In fact, you can mark your calendar because usually the bomb goes off about every two months. Every sixty days it's like a BIG pimple pops. Things build up and it just blows.

I don't know ANYONE in a relationship (a good one anyway) that doesn't deal with some kind of conflict or major obstacle of some sort. NO ONE.

Everybody's got their stuff.

It could be an ex. Or children. Or a meddling in-law. Or a health issue. Or finances. Or________(fill in the blank).

Conflict is part of Relationship.

It's how you DEAL with conflict that determines if you'll stay with your partner or not.

Now the good news: Conflict Builds Intimacy.

So don't fight with anyone you don't want to build with.

And remember...making up can be fun!

2. The Perfect Mate (or Situation) Doesn't Exist

Like buying a new house and then discovering it has leaks and mold, your dream man isn't perfect. And, lest I say, neither are you.

There are days when you will look at your husband (and he will look at you :)) and you both will think, "Why in the "$#)@* did I marry this jerk?" (Oh, yes. You will, too.)

My husband, Lorenzo, has these annoying little habits...like dumping sugar on the counter when he makes coffee and leaving it there. Or not sealing the zip lock bag together properly so food spoils. Or Arrrrgggghhh! Leaving all that nasty shaving cream mess in the bathroom sink.

You might be thinking, "Cherry, those things are so petty. That's not important in a relationship. You can learn to live with that."

And you're right.

I do.

But every now and then (at least every two months), those petty annoyances just add up and I blow!

That's when I scold him and tell him what to do.

And that's when he calls me BIG MAN.

'Cause I'm acting like BIG MAMA.

As skilled as I am in the art of femininity, there are times when IT'S REALLY HARD FOR ME TO BE THE GIRL! (Especially when I think I'm smarter, I can do it better and at least 10 times faster! :))

3. Beware of Yourself

Personally, I believe the reason we're in relationship is to heal parts of ourselves. My husband teaches me more about myself than I (really) want to know!

It's easy when everything's fine to keep a big smile.

But then the lights go out. (They do.) And trouble hits. (It does.) And you're tested. (You are.) And you see parts of yourself that you've never known. (Or want to know).

That's when a relationship is not so pretty. Or nice.

That's when it's dark. And scary. Because behind the scenes are where you see the dark side of yourself.

He exposes your greatest fears. He plays on your insecurities. He knows you behind your mask.

There's no place to go and hide. Your partner sees everything.

And It's hard. It's hard to watch yourself and who you can become when you're angry at someone you love.

It just feels bad. It sucks.

And there's more at stake being in a marriage. (More paperwork and furniture.)

So all I know to do is to strap myself in and go through it. Get through it the best I can.

And grow. And learn. And share.

And so far, it's been worth it.

Many times we "blow" a relationship because we don't know how to ask for what we want.

For more articles by the Dating Director go to:”Love Life & Looking Good" Article Blog

Author's Bio: 

Cherry Norris is a renowned celebrity dating coach, workshop director and popular speaker. Based in Los Angeles, California, Cherry is an official dating coach for Cupid's Coach matchmaking service and the relationship expert on Catherine Oxenberg's TV pilot, Practical Princess. Cherry has lead workshops around the US and on cruises to Mexico and Alaska. She has been featured in The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Divine Caroline, and Women's World.

Cherry's passion is helping people build healthy, intimate romantic relationships. Under her direction, you will learn the skills and techniques for dating that will have you starring in the role of a lifetime opposite the co-star you've been waiting for!

For FREE Dating Directions newsletter and event calendar, GO HERE:
Dating Directions Newsletter