“You should never have to fight to keep someone in your life- if it is love, it will stay”.
Relationships are not always easy. It takes more than love for your relationship to work. Although love is the foundation of any happy romantic relationship, love is not ENOUGH. If you lack to engage properly with a partner and cannot show up in a healthy way, you will find your relationship is ten times harder and most likely prone to failure. In order to have a healthy relationship, both parties must be willing to work on it:
§ Communicate effectively
One of the major obstacles couples face, if not the major obstacle, is the ability to communicate properly. I don’t mean talk. I mean communicate. What we often fail to realize is that we talk at each other rather than listening and hearing and trying to understand. Anyone can talk, but not everyone can communicate.
Communicating means you can express your needs in a way that can be understood by your partner, and that you try your hardest to understand them and their needs.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”
§ Practice acceptance and appreciation
When was the last time you thanked your partner for continuing to make the choice—over and over, every day—to be with you? Do you take it for granted they will be there tomorrow, no matter what? No matter the level of commitment, no matter the vows made, it is a continuous choice to stay together. Take a moment and appreciate that. Continue to have gratitude for all the little things your partner does, but also take a moment every chance you get to be grateful for the big stuff.
Respect is something that needs to be shown in ways the one can acknowledge and appreciate. Some of the most common ways of showing respect are to show interest in and provide support for the person’s interests, recognize and utilize their strengths within the relationship, involve the person in daily decisions, and ask questions that demonstrate you value their opinion. Celebrate their successes with them and support them during times of failure. Accept them for who they are, not who you think they could be. Plan on having a judgment- and blame-free conversation sometime soon to discuss how you could better demonstrate your mutual respect.
§ Use your love language
If you are lucky enough to meet someone that has the same love language as you, then great! But, if you do not know your own language and it differs from your partner, how can they know how to make you happy, and vice versa?
Some people feel love by being touched, it can be pats on the back, holding hands, cuddling, and having someone near you.
- Quality Time
You crave for someone to listen to you, uninterrupted. No T.V. No Phone. You enjoy sharing activities together, and the very act of someone’s company and one-on-one interaction makes you happy.
- Acts of Service
You like it when your partner helps around the house because you are super busy or washes your dishes or throws in a load of laundry, then that Acts of Service is your love language.
Everyone needs words of expression to some extent, but if you hear someone say, “I love you because you are so special” or even doing little acts of kindness for your partner that let them know you love them that’s your love language.
§ Keep the playfulness alive
We all love to play, regardless of our age. Have fun together; do something ridiculous together; and just let go. constantly try new activities together. This creates the excitement and the uncertainty that comes from the unknown.
§ Recognize there are ups and downs
Just as you can’t expect to be happy all the time, you shouldn’t expect your relationship to be at a continuous high. When you make a long-term commitment to someone you must be willing to ride the highs, as well as the lows, together.
§ Give your partner space
In relationships, we want closeness, but we also want space. The key is to find that sweet spot at which we feel the warmth that comes from being in a relationship, while at the same time allowing each partner to have enough space so that neither one feels like they’re being pricked by the other’s spines (feelings of lost individuality, feeling crowded, and so on).
In a nutshell, be a team of two that’s striving to achieve a set of goals that you’ve set together and that are important to both of you. By doing this together you’ll be:
- Both moving in the same direction.
- Your wins are their wins.
- You can celebrate life together each time you achieve a milestone.
Strong relationships don’t just happen. In order to have a flourishing relationship with your significant other you must do the work… it’s always a Work in Progress.
“To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that’s everything”.
Wishing you a very Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year 2021.