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I-Statements In Romantic Relationships and THE ARC by Tory Henwood Hoen

Cover of the book Cover Story used to teach I statements in Romantic Relationships

Rafael is a 42-year-old lawyer desperately looking for his one true love. He’s tried all the traditional dating methods and been badly burned. It’s exhausting, and Rafael is ready for the real thing. So, when he hears about the Arc, a highly secretive, scientifically based and shockingly expensive matchmaking service, he goes all in.

The reward for his leap of faith and jaw-dropping financial investment? Rafael is matched with Ursula, and they fall deeply in love. But, as anyone who has ever been in love knows, love alone is not enough. Both Ursula and Rafael have baggage.

Let’s focus on just one piece of Rafael’s baggage: trust issues, which he came by quite honestly when a previous long-term girlfriend publicly and repeatedly cheated on him. Residual insecurity is horning into Rafael and Ursula’s relationship, as evidenced by his jealousy, suspicion, self-doubt, and ongoing false allegations.

Communication is key to building trust. With that in mind, here’s a refresher on a tried-and-true communication champion that I’m betting a therapy gold star (NOT a real thing) you’ve heard of before.

The I statement applies in all relationships. Here we use the I Statement in romantic relationships:

I feel _(feeling)____when _(situation)__ because __(reasoning)__ therefore _(consequences)__. In the future_(plan or request)__.

Here’s an example that Rafael could use:

I feel jealous when you spend time with your billionaire employer because it makes me think back to when my ex-girlfriend cheated on me and therefore makes the past and present relationships feel blurred together. In the future, I will remember that you are different and that you deserve trust.

Or maybe…

I feel confused when you get texts from men I don’t know because, in previous relationships, that sort of thing signaled affairs; therefore, I spiral into jealousy and say things I don’t mean. In the future, I’d like to talk more openly about the people we are spending time with and actively work on trusting you more deeply.

If Rafael had brought the I statement into his relationship with Ursula, they could have worked through their problems more effectively. Maybe they even could have reached their happily ever after without the assistance of the world’s most unique matchmaker.


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