Note that first you must be authentic and have a deep desire to get to know yourself better. You can get into relationships without being authentic but they won't last or won't be easy. Relationships take work, the kind of work that you enjoy because it gives you more joy than headaches. Here are 5 keys to keeping a relationship happy.
A deep commitment is an essential component of a long term, mutually fulfilling romantic relationship. The art of love is largely the art of persistence. Renewing your commitment to your love is an important aspect of keeping your precious relationship fresh and alive. While I highly recommend random acts of kindness, the giving of love notes and flowers, and spontaneous, fun outings that involve shared activities enjoyed by both partners, nothing can replace the positive daily interactions that demonstrate your deep commitment. Actions speak far louder than words.
We all know that keeping the lines of communication open is essential to the success of any committed relationship. Really listening to your partner when they are frustrated and you are tired and just want to be left in peace is another matter. However, if you can dig deep and garner the forces to really connect with and listen to your partner in times like this, the long-term benefit to your precious relationship is huge. Respect is the minimum expression of love, strive to always give your full attention when they are speaking. Allowing your mind to wander can be miss-construed as disrespect. Strive to always be fully present with your partner. This builds a deep enduring connection. Always strive to be honest, transparent, and clear. Question to understand rather than challenge. In times of stress, it’s usually best to focus on substance and support rather than on ‘the details’. If you know that you didn’t ‘get it’, ask questions to be sure that you do. Be patient, stay curious. Always acknowledge your partner’s efforts –it’s the striving that matters. Be big enough to admit that you were wrong.
"Never go to bed angry" is what people say but sometimes it is best to give your loved one space for them to figure out how to approach the situation when they are calm. However, do choose your battles carefully –some things simply are not worth getting all worked up over, think about them before saying anything or think about how best to say what's bothering you. When feelings are expressed, accept and honor them for what they are, always remember when it comes to feelings there is no right or wrong. Always make sure that you connect. When appropriate, offer physical affection but learn to read his/her body language.
Knowing what times of the day are stressful for your partner and doing what you can to make their life a little easier is one way to cooperate with your partner. Being aware of when your partner needs help and what things they prefer to do by themselves is another aspect of cooperation that is often overlooked. Slow down and pay attention. If in doubt about if or how to support your partner, ask, don’t assume that you just know how they would like you to help. Doing things together is often far more rewarding than doing things alone. It’s not always about what’s most efficient but what brings the most joy. The more you can do together, the more time you spend together. If there are children living at home get them away from their iPad, video game, or screen,and enlist their assistance as much as possible in whatever needs to get done. Children need to be involved in meaningful work. If they object, find a way to enlist their support any way! Love makes the effort to help children to learn how to be in the world. Household chores present a great opportunity to build family solidarity. Couples and especially families, can fall into the routine of simply doing their own thing because its easier that trying to muster the forces to do things together. Spending time together reduces the risk that family members will develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. Collaboration can also mean that partners can conspire to create alone time for each other. Couples who have mastered the arts of cooperation and collaboration just seem to be more sensitive to their partner’s needs for alone time. Learning when and how to leave your partner in freedom to have alone time is very important to sustainable long-term committed relationships.
For couples and families, establishing the tradition of a weekly gratitude / acknowledgment sharing time is a great way to stay present with the blessings of being part of a family. It seems like just another thing to do. However, in our age of individuality, independence, and self-advancement, what appears to be a rather artificial ritual can pay huge dividends, especially when children are involved. Be content with what you have and life will open up like a flower!
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With Love, Dania