Good relationships don’t just happen. I’ve heard many couples state that, “If I have to work at it, then it’s not the right relationship.” This is not a true statement, for as long as you work hard at looking your best, work hard at loosing weight, work hard at being recognized by your boss, work hard at being a good parent, then why should it be so difficult at making your relationship work?
I’ve realized over time while at couples or dating forum and ladies talk room that there are some choices you can make that will not only improve your relationship, but can turn a failing relationship into a successful one. As you celebrate Valentine today, take these tips with you and improve on your relationship:
1.BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF: It is often said that ‘No one can make you happy, but YOU’. Being happy for yourself is the most important choice you can make to improve your relationship. By so doing, you take absolute responsibility for your own feelings and needs. Invariably, this means that instead of trying to solicit happiness and security from your partner, you learn how to do this through your own thoughts and actions. By so doing, you are learning to treat yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, and acceptance instead of self-judgment. No matter how wonderfully your partner is treating you, for as long as you continue to judge yourself you will always feel unhappy and insecure. Instead of brooding and getting angry at your partner for your feelings of abandonment when he or she is late, preoccupied and not listening to you, not turned on sexually, and so on, you should look inward and discover how you might be abandoning yourself.
When you learn how to take full, 100% responsibility for yourself, then you stop blaming your partner for your insecurity. The most important gift, vital to a good relationship you can give yourself this Valentine season is to learn how to take loving care of yourself, take responsibility and make it happen.
2. KINDNESS, COMPASSION, ACCEPTANCE: Sure you’ve heard of ‘Do unto others what you expect them to do unto you’. Simply said; treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the essence of a truly spiritual life. We all yearn to be treated lovingly – with kindness, compassion, understanding, and acceptance. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, often treating another with kindness brings kindness in return. If your partner is consistently angry, judgmental, uncaring and unkind, then you need to focus on what would be loving to yourself rather than reverting to anger, blame, judgment, withdrawal, resistance, or compliance. Kindness to others does not mean sacrificing yourself. Always remember that taking responsibility for yourself rather than blaming others is the most important thing you can do. Some women claim to have neglected themselves due to child birth or raising children thus leaving their partners to the memory of what they looked like during courtship. This is self injustice as far as I am concerned. You are not helping yourself nor your relationship. If you are consistently kind to yourself and your partner, and your partner is consistently angry, blaming, withdrawn and unavailable, you tried everything possible and no result, then you either have to accept a distant relationship, or you need to leave the relationship. You cannot make your partner change – you can only change yourself.
3. GRATITUDE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINTS: Positive energy flows between two people when there is an “attitude of gratitude.” Constant complaints creates a heavy, negative energy, which is not fun to be around. Practice being grateful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Complaints create stress, while gratitude creates inner peace, so gratitude creates not only emotional and relationship health, but physical health as well.
4. LEARNING INSTEAD OF CONTROLLING: When conflict occurs, you always have two choices regarding how to handle the conflict: you can be open to learning about yourself and your partner and discover the deeper issues of the conflict, or you can try to win, or at least not lose, through some form of controlling behavior. We’ve all learn many overt and subtle ways of trying to control others into behaving the way we want: anger, blame, judgment, niceness, compliance, care taking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, denying, and so on. In most cases, all these ways create even more conflict if not properly communicated. Remembering to learn and listen instead of control is a vital part of improving your relationship.
For example, most people have two major fears that become activated in relationships: the fear of abandonment – of losing the other – and the fear of engulfment – of losing oneself. When these fears get activated, most people immediately protect themselves against these fears with their controlling behavior. But if you chose to learn about your fears instead of attempt to control your partner, your fear would eventually heal. This is how we grow emotionally and spiritually – by learning instead of controlling.
5. CREATE DATE TIMES: When people first fall in love, they make time for each other. Then, right after getting married, they get busy. Relationships need time to thrive. You need to create your own ‘kid time’, pretend to be kids once in a while and let loose of all inhibitions. It is vitally important to set aside specific times to be together – to talk, play, share quiet moments, make love. Intimacy cannot be maintained without making out time together.Today, the pressure of making a living is taking a toll on memorable love life but you have to create it and make it happen.
6. FUN AND PLAY: We all know that “work without play makes Jack a dull boy.” Work without play makes for dull relationships as well. Relationships flourish when people laugh together, play together, and when humor is a part of everyday life. Stop taking everything so seriously and learn to see the funny side of life. Most couples are rather nice, warm, friendly and jovial with outsiders but when it comes to their partners, they are like night and day. Intimacy flourishes when there is lightness of being, not when everything is heavy.
7. SELFLESS SERVICE: How beautiful is it when both of you venture into a project together? Work on a selfless service together, volunteer and enjoy feelings of mutual selflessness. A wonderful way of creating intimacy is to do service projects together. Giving to others fills the heart and creates deep satisfaction in the soul. If you are having problem in your relationship, volunteer at a relationship coaching group, listen to others talk and visualize yourselves in their position. You may come to realize that yours is not worse after all. Engaging in this type of service moves you out of yourself and your own problems and supports a broader, more spiritual view of life.
If you and your partner agree to these tips, you will be amazed at the improvement in your relationship and how happier you would be. Remember, love and life go beyond Valentine day, make your relationship last longer!