How to Be an Adult in Relationships

Taught by David Richo
 - Online Course

Love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present—with unconditional attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing others to be as they are. When our ego gets in the way of our giving and receiving love—in the form of judgment, fear, and control—we can use mindfulness to return to loving presence. This is how a spiritual practice builds our capacity to become more loving and more open to love. It’s also how we can view love itself as our practice.

In this online course, psychotherapist and Shambhala author David Richo presents the five keys to mindful loving and teaches you how to expand your capacity in relationships by embracing these five touchstones.

Course Materials

This group study version of the course contains everything you need to share these teachings with your community, including:

Guides for both facilitators and participants to support you in offering this course in an in-person group setting

Six video talks by David Richo—each about 15 to 20 minutes in length—with transcripts and audio versions available

Homework assignments and reflection questions to help participants integrate the teachings into their daily lives

Guided reading assignments from the books How to Be an Adult in RelationshipsWhen the Past Is PresentHow to Be an Adult in Love, and Daring to Trust by David Richo

Unlimited access to all course materials for facilitators

Any questions about this group study version of the course? E-mail


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the effect that childhood forces can have on adult choices and patterns in relationships
  • Identify the five As and explain the role they each play in mindful, loving relationships
  • Identify characteristics of a suitable candidate for an adult relationship
  • Describe the three major phases of relationships
  • Distinguish healthy conflict from stressful drama
  • Apply practices for successfully navigating conflict and showing love in a relationship
  • Describe fears of abandonment and engulfment in the context of relationships and identify practices for dealing with them
  • Describe strategies for handling the end of a relationship
What You Will Learn in Each Lesson

Lesson 1
Recognizing That the Past Is Present

In the first lesson of the course you will learn how to let go of negative impacts from childhood on your adult life so your relationships can be healthier. You will also learn how to locate and cherish the positive results and the gifts that have come to you from your past.

Lesson 2
Finding a Suitable Partner

In Lesson 2 you will explore how to recognize and attract adult love. You will learn about the characteristics of a suitable candidate for an adult relationship. You will also examine the roles that trust, lovingkindness, and integrity play in adult relationships.

Lesson 3
Embracing the Stages of Relationships

The third lesson of the course looks at the three major phases of relationships: romance, conflict, and commitment. Relationships aren’t meant to stay in the romance phase. This lesson will help you understand how relationships can evolve through these three phases to reach their full potential.

Lesson 4
Dealing with Conflicts

Conflict is one of the three major phases in a relationship. In this lesson you will explore some of the dynamics that can rest at the heart of relationship conflicts. You will learn how to distinguish healthy conflict from stressful drama. You will also learn practices for successfully navigating conflict and showing love in a relationship.

Lesson 5
Navigating Fears of Intimacy and Commitment

Learning to navigate fears within a relationship is a normal—and necessary—part of mindful loving. In this lesson you’ll examine the central fears in a relationship: abandonment and engulfment. You’ll also examine jealousy, infidelity, and disillusionment in the context of navigating fear, and you’ll learn practices for dealing with fears.

Lesson 6
Handling Endings, Deepening Commitment

In this lesson you’ll explore how to handle the end of a relationship. You’ll also learn how to deepen your commitment in an ongoing relationship for the benefit of your relationship and the entire world.

“How we relate to our ego—the sense of ‘I’—determines our suffering and our freedom. David Richo does a brilliant job unpacking the unhealthy versions of ego that confine us. Through psychological and Buddhist wisdom teachings and a range of powerful practices and meditations, we are guided beyond the identity of separate self to the loving awareness that is our deepest essence.” —Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“A wealth of practical advice on how to unhook and disentangle yourself from the myriad unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, self-judgments, and self-concepts that we often refer to as ‘ego.’ If you want a healthier, happier, more compassionate relationship with yourself, this is for you.” —Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living 

“David Richo uses concepts from neuroscience, psychology, and Buddhism to show us how to make a friend of our ego, that oddly obstreperous, often tyrannical—but ultimately useful—chimera.” —Norman Fischer, author of Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language, and Religion and What Is Zen? Plain Talk for a Beginner’s Mind 

About the Instructor

David Richo round

David Richo, PhD, MFT, is a teacher, workshop leader, and psychotherapist in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California. He combines Jungian, transpersonal, and mythic perspectives in his work. He is the author of many books, including You Are Not What You Think: The Egoless Path to Self-Esteem and Generous Love and How to Be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving.

30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.

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