Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard it before. The Beatles sang about it, thousands have written about it, countless young hopefuls have pondered it….
‘All you need is love’.
(Or, so they say).
With today’s divorce rate climbing faster than you can swallow a slice of wedding cake, it seems that we need a lot more than just a bit of love to make our relationships go the long haul.
The cold hard truth is this: having your dream relationship fall out of the sky, into your lap and spending the rest of your life ‘happily ever after’ with zero effort on your part – is about as likely as finding a pork chop at a bar-mitzvah.
HowEVER…recognizing what you have in your hands, appreciating it and working on it TOGETHER to make your relationship everything you ever dreamed of, is actually far more attainable than you can possibly imagine.
And, pretty easy too…
- Give exactly what you want to get: Try not to think about what you are getting; focus on what you are giving. If you want a partner that is more thoughtful, attentive, romantic, whatever, become that way yourself and you’ll be surprised how the other side reacts. It’s amazing; partners tend to mirror each other’s behavior.
- Remember your partner is not a band-aid: It’s easy to assume that your partner was put on this earth to heal every old wound you ever had. Not so; your partner is human and they are more than likely dragging enough of their own baggage to fill JFK airport. Remember that you are the only person that can heal you. You are also the only person responsible for your own happiness. The realization of this is more liberating than you can imagine and opens you up to endless personal growth possibilities that will in turn, no doubt, reflect positively on your relationship.
- Being in a relationship never made anyone blind: Jealousy. A tricky one. Try to remember that mad love does not necessarily make either of you blind. By that I mean, it’s inevitable that he will raise the odd eyebrow at your new sexy next-door neighbor with that itzi-bitzi mini skirt, just as that man in line at the post office the other day, may have made your heart go ‘boom boom’ (or vice versa). We are human. There will always be moments when we may be attracted to others. However, we have the power of CHOICE. We can be attracted, but choose our partner. In the face of jealously, letting your partner know that you constantly and consciously choose them, on a daily basis, can really strengthen your bond.
- Say what you mean, mean what you say: Ladies, say what you mean! That means: no hints, no double messages and no saying the complete opposite and expecting your partner to miraculously become clairvoyant. Contrary to popular belief, guys are not mind readers!
Guys, you too – communication is KEY to a good relationship. Allow yourselves the pleasure of having a conversation that lasts more than halftime of a football game! A wise person once told me to “marry someone you can talk to”. When we are old and grey, talking will count for more than we can imagine today.
- Always assume your partner’s intentions are good: A little tolerance goes a VERY long way. Count to 10 before pulling your hair out, screaming your head off or microwaving your partner’s iPod next time they do something that irritates you. Try to always assume that your partner means well, despite their sometimes incredibly infuriating actions. 9 times out of 10, they probably do not know the effects that their annoying little habits have. Breathe out…then talk it out.
- Remember the virtues of friendship: Seems obvious doesn’t it? But many people have relationships with people that they either don’t actually like, or are not friends with.
Make your partner your best friend. Be reliable like you would be with your best friend. Be there like you would for a best friend. Be supportive, loving, kind and everything else, in good times and bad, just like you would for your best friend. Get this one nailed and everything else should pretty much take care of itself.
So that’s it, six tips for a relationship designed to make sure he or she will always ‘love you, yeah, yeah, yeah‘…
Good luck to us all.