February 4, 2013 by LMLRN.COM
Valentines day is coming up this month and couples all over the world are gearing up to show each other how they feel about each other. February is the month of romance so its relevant to talk about relationships.
I would have liked to say that this list was compiled from countless interviews with happy couples who shared with me what they had learned from years of mistakes and failures until they got to where they are today. And I wrote down what they said so I could share it here.
But that’s not what happened…
I am no expert and like most people, have made millions of mistakes and will continue to make more. The most important thing is being aware of the reasons behind those mistakes and learning continuously.
Like anything worth having, a good relationship isn’t easy. They reflect everything we feel inside and we project our internal emotions onto the other person constantly. Self awareness becomes a necessity to help us understand the impact we are having on the other person and by improving this, our quality of life improves.
By applying these thoughts, I feel confident, peaceful and I have a bigger ability to give in my relationship and I hope it does the same for you.
1. Honesty, honesty, honesty
This isn’t necessarily as black and white as it may seem. Honesty is about being honest with your partner with regards to what you want out of a relationship and how you are feeling at any moment.
The term ‘being yourself’ is often branded around and in a relationship, you have to learn to become 100% authentic. This is the only way you will create the environment you both need.
Honesty in a relationship is obvious. Giving your partner the same courtesy you would expect is very important. Respecting yourself enough to respect your partner is what it’s about.
2. Think about what you can give
Being in a committed relationship should mean that you are always thinking of what you can give your partner.
Making the decision to always be thinking about what you can give instead of what you can take will nourish the relationship and become a source of energy for you both.
The famous quote could have said; ‘ask not what your relationship can do for you, but what you can do for your relationship’.
3. Make yourself vulnerable
Being out of your comfort zone is never easy but this is the only area of growth we have. This can be a time when you express how you feel, give an honest account of your past or when you admit you made a mistake.
You are opening yourself up to criticism. This vulnerability is letting go and being authentic.
Allowing your true emotions to come out, and allowing someone else to do the same is what a true relationship is about.
4. Take the blame first
When a problem or conflict occurs, as is inevitable to happen, look at yourself as the cause of the issue first. It goes without saying that you should act with compassion and understanding but as well as that, ask yourself if this is something that you created and how you could have avoided this situation.
It’s easy to blame the other person, but being in a relationship is about holding yourself accountable and being honest. See yourself as the cause of the problem first and solve it.
This thought process will make you look for any underlying issues and stop you blaming others when you should be looking at yourself first.
5. Be there
Spending time with your partner means being in the moment and present with them. It doesn’t mean texting, answering the phone to talk to your friends, or being distracted with whats you have going on at work.
All of these can wait.
When you are in their presence, appreciate and respect it. Listen deeply. Close off the rest of the world. Look into their eyes. Be together and not just around each other.
6. Respect them above all
Respecting your partner is about doing everything as if they were there with you. Taking care of the way you treat them is one thing, but how you act and carry yourself when they are not there is important.
A good sign of a healthy relationship is a high level of respect for one another no matter where you are or who you’re talking to.
Whether it’s a special occasion or not, a little surprise goes a long way. It can be something small that they’ve been talking about or something they want to do. It doesn’t always have to be something life changing, just something.
Whatever it is you do, bear in mind that you are their partner and you should be the one taking advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given to pay attention to what they like and making it happen for them.
If not you, then who?
8. Have as much fun as possible
You’ve found each other. Now spend as much time as possible enjoying your time together as much as possible. Joke around, don’t take life too seriously and find ways to have fun in any situation.
Enjoy the fact that you have someone with whom you have so much in common with, someone who makes you so happy, and enjoy every minute with them. It’s hard to have any conflict when you have this attitude.
9. Travel together
Travelling is a great experience for anyone. Some trips can be life changing so experiencing that with a partner can create a solid bond. Taking yourself out of your usual comfort zones can also be a good way to see how your partner acts in different surroundings.
It’s also a great time to bond as there will be fewer distractions. You can focus on each other and get to know each other that much more.
10. Express how you feel often
Make sure they know how you feel. Don’t hold anything in and hope that they ‘just know’ how you feel. If something goes the way you didn’t like, don’t just bottle it up. It won’t improve if you don’t say anything about it.
Tell your partner how you feel about them on a regular basis. Nothing should be a given. By being authentic about it and not seeking approval, you will make each and every moment that much more special by expressing how you really feel.
What do you do to create a great relationship?