It takes more than Love - 5 Steps to Having a Successful Relationship
"It's easy to fall in love. The hard part is finding someone to catch you." ~Unknown
STEP 1. “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” ~Swedish Proverb
Joy and Pain are two of the most powerful and profound emotional experiences that we humans can experience – so it only makes sense that if you want to strengthen a relationship, you fill it up with your most passionate emotions. So make sure that you are sharing those emotions with your partner. The good and the bad, the love and the hate, the joy and the pain. Up, down, inside and out. Who you are is beautiful, your emotions are unique and genuine and to be able to share those experiences with you is the gift you can ever give to someone you love.
STEP 2. “We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways – the ways we react and behave when we love someone.” ~John Gray
Did you know that we instinctively love others in the ways we wish others would love us? I found this to be a profound thought. It made sense for me and helped me to understand my relationship better. It made sense in times of turmoil why my partner wasn’t loving me in the ways that I needed to be loved – you see, he was loving me in the way that he needed to be loved. When I recognized that, the change for me was so very subtle, but for him it was so profound that it cause him to look at me as if he had never really seen me before. And like magic, I didn’t have to tell him how to love me. Because I was able to give him the love he had been asking for through his ways of loving me, he was able to appreciate and understand me in a way that inspired him to love me in the ways that I needed.
Think about how this would effect your relationship. How have you been loving your partner? Do you love them in the ways that excite you? Do they seem to be working to strengthen your bond with them? If so, then by all means, great job, you don’t need this step. If… However, your relationship seems to be “missing something”, give this step a try. Pay attention to how your lover loves you, in private, in public, in communication, in action, in emotion. Take note of everything, and then find a way to mirror back to them the actions and emotions they are sending to you. Touch them the way they touch you. Kiss them the way they kiss you. Talk to them the way they talk to you.
STEP 3. " To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship. " ~Domenico Cieri Estrada
Change your perspective – Instead of thinking of a relationship as a “two way street”, think of it as a rubber band. It’s circular shape goes on infinitely, it’s supple material can stretch amazing distances and when you use it right, it can secure even the most challenging objects. And like rubber bands, relationships have to be kept taut, otherwise they’re just all floppy and useless. Practice this: When you find that it feels like your partner is becoming distant from you, back up and distance yourself (then notice how they come closer). When you’re feeling so stretched out you feel like you might break, come in closer or let it fly.
STEP 4. “When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.” ~Deepak Chopra
If you find that you have reached a point in your relationship where it seems like you are up against a challenge that seems to originate in your partner or in the relationship itself, before you get gung ho about solving the problem, go and take a look in the mirror. Ask yourself – “What needs of mine are not being fulfilled in this relationship?”, then ask: “Why are those not being fulfilled?”
Ask yourself that second question again, but this time, reply with: “Because I have not chosen to fulfill those needs myself.”
This is important, because all to often we find faults and concerns within our partners and our relationships, but we refuse to accept that those faults only stand out because they are faults of our own that we don’t want to see, and those concerns about our relationship or partners are there because we subconsciously fear we might cause the downfall of our own relationships. Knowing this is powerful, so write it down somewhere you’ll see it when you find yourself feeling neglected or you’re feeling like the relationship isn’t working or your partner is or isn’t doing something you feel you need them to do.
In this life, we can only control ourselves. How we feel, what we want, what we get, who we are with, who we aren’t with, how we touch something or avoid it. It’s a great responsibility to be in control of so many things, and it’s more than enough for every person in their lifetimes and then some. You cannot, however, control anything another person does. Sometimes you can hope to have an impact on their life in an influential way, but you can never control what they think, do, say, want, dream or become.
So if you find yourself in a position where it seems like there is something wrong with your relationship or your partner, step back, look in the mirror and figure out how you can fulfill those missing needs for yourself. I guarantee you that once you figure it out, you will never seem more appealing to your partner then that very moment that you fulfill yourself and make them obsolete to you for that need. Even if they don’t consciously know why, their subconscious will alert them to the fact that you no longer need them for something and if they want to remain relevant in your life, they must find another way to give themselves to you.
“It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone that we can have a real relationship with them.” ~Anthony Storr
STEP 5. “The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.” ~Barbara De Angelis
As I said in the title of this article, it takes MORE than love. What I mean by that, is that although love is a powerful emotional state, it is not enough by itself, to create and nourish a healthy and successful intimate relationship. Love is the spark, love is the glue and love is the flame on the torch, but love cannot start a fire without some hands to add fuel while the sparks are flying, it cannot be a bonding-agent without at least two objects to bond together and it cannot be carried around without someone to carry it.
If you truly desire a strong, healthy and successful relationship, you need to strive for more than love in your relationship. Strive to connect to yourself and your partner in every way possible. With words and actions. With home stays and long vacations. With simple comforts and grand adventures. With shared activities and separate hobbies. With friends and family. No connection is too weak, as long as you share it with them as a gift and not because you expect them to share it in return.
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” ~Anthony Robbins