Having an outstanding relationship can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, whereas being in a toxic relationship can be one of the most stressful things we will ever encounter.
“Love is created and not found.”
I am about to share with you five golden pillars that provide the building blocks to an outstanding relationship that, when practiced every day, will create amazing lasting results.
Read them, learn them, practice them, apply them, and share them with your significant other. Open your mind and focus on these concepts while envisioning the outcome you desire. Remember, just as when working out to build muscle, it takes time to create the results you want. So be patient and be consistent.
Pillar #1 – Let go of hurtful past experiences
Don’t bring negative baggage into your relationship.
All that we know is in direct proportion with our past experiences, especially emotionally charged ones.
For example, if you were in a previous relationship where your partner cheated on you, most likely, you will develop insecurities trusting a future mate.
The reason this happens is that we want to protect ourselves from getting hurt. On that same note, if we were cheated on by a couple of different partners in the past, then our “untrusting” belief system solidifies, and we become untrusting in all relationships.
If we want to enjoy the pleasures of true love, we have to learn to let go of the past, learn from our painful experiences, and allow ourselves to love openly. If we try to protect ourselves from getting hurt, then the chances are that we are not giving the relationship 100% and the relationship will suffer because of it.
The past is the past, and there is nothing we can do about it other than learn from it and make better decisions in the future.
The act of loving has to be unconditional, unselfish, honest, open, and constant. Just as in a game of poker, you have to be willing to go all-in.
Pillar #2 – Most times, the one you are looking for is the one already next to you.
Do you remember a time when you bought a new car? You were so excited and loved the fresh new car smell. You wanted to drive it all the time and would always keep it clean and well maintained. You would park it away from other cars so no one would scratch or dent it. As time went by, you stopped noticing the new car smell and might have even lost the thrill of driving it.
Cars are finicky. If you take excellent care of them, they are most likely to be very reliable. However, if you didn’t take good care of them, the chances are they will become unreliable and unsafe.
The same is true of relationships. In the beginning, most relationships start-out exciting, passionate, spontaneous, meaningful, and fun. Couples can’t do enough for each other. They go out of their way to make each other feel special, wanted, and desired. They want to be with the other person all the time; take care of each other, and communicate all the time.
Eventually, the day comes where complacency kicks in, and communication dwindles. They get busy with other things and stop making each other a priority. The passion within the relationship is lost, making each day as unexciting as the next.
It’s at this very stage where outside influences may damage the relationship, and people begin to look for a “newer model.” We live in a very complex and competitive society nowadays where morals and values are becoming compromised by social status or social pressure. Many people today seek instant gratification, which is a dangerous emotional trigger.
Take a moment to remember back at a time when you were the happiest in a relationship. What did it feel like, what were you willing to do for the other person, how did you act and what actions did you take to ensure the other person felt special?
Successful relationships leave clues. Do more of the same, and do more of what you did in the beginning. If we all do what we did in the beginning, there would never be an end. The act of loving has to be practiced and actively used every day, or it will become suffocated by the daily stresses of life.
It has been my experience that people who jump from relationship to relationship live a life of looking for love vs. creating it and usually end up unfulfilled.
As a test, give your mate everything you have for 90 days. Act as if you just met them, and you are dating again for the first time. Have fun doing so, create time, and eliminate all excuses such as kids, work, or house chores. If you are not willing to recharge your relationship, then who else will?
Pillar #3 – Know the needs of both your partner and your own.
Most people go through life unclear about what they want. In relationships, this issue compounds because people expect their partner to fulfill all their needs and, in most cases, without proper communication. Not even a genie can grant wishes without appropriate communication.
When we get into a relationship expecting our partner to fulfill our needs, we end up in a relationship “black-hole” and find ourselves lost and searching for an alternative “fix.”
Our focus determines our outcome in life. Can you think back at a time when you became attracted to a specific car, and then all of a sudden, you began to see it everywhere? The car was always there, but your focus wasn’t.
When you shifted your focus on that particular vehicle, you then began to notice it more often. This same rule applies to relationships, and when you focus on what you want, you then will get closer to creating it.
There are two steps to this process that are instrumental. Step one is “know your needs” (the qualities you want within your partner) and Step two is “master your partner’s needs” (find out what they want and then give it to them).
Step one – “Know your needs.”
In this step, you must list all of the following three criteria of your ideal partner.
A) “Non-negotiables” or your “must-haves.”
B) “Preferred traits.” These are very important to you, but you can settle for a bit less.
C) “It would be nice” traits. These traits would be helpful within your partner, but either way won’t impact the relationship.
My mate will be like this:
A) My partner must have these qualities: (the list below is just an example; you must write down the qualities that are most important to you. Remember, these are must-haves, and your partner’s failure to meet these traits would be a deal-breaker).
i.e., I have a mate who
…believes in (a type of religion)
…is loyal, honest and truthful
…is a non-drug user
…is not a smoker
…willing to have kids
B) I prefer to have a partner who: (list your preferred traits that have significant meaning to you, but you are willing to be flexible on).
i.e., I prefer to have a partner who
…helps me clean the house
…is a sports enthusiast
…likes to cook
…is open-minded to trying new foods
C) It would be nice to have a partner who: (here you list the traits that would be nice for your partner to have, but either way won’t affect the relationship)
i.e., It would be nice to have a mate who
…is musically inclined
…likes to skydive
…likes to give massages
Step two – “Master your partner’s needs.”
Have your partner do the same exercise and focus on what’s most important to them. If you genuinely love your partner, make the necessary adjustments within yourself to fulfill their needs.
Once you go through this process, if you are single, then now you know what to look for in a future partner. If you are already in a relationship, pay close attention to each other’s desires and work on aligning them for the overall health of the relationship. For this exercise to work, you have to put egos aside and listen intently to each other’s wishes. It’s also a fantastic idea to get to know what you each want to accomplish, such as material and personal growth goals. Then help each other get there.
Secret #4 – Seek to understand and know the outcome you desire
Can you remember a time when you disagreed with your partner, and you both got upset at each other? You argued and tried to communicate what you wanted to get across but felt as if the conversation went around in circles. You both deviated from the main issue and brought-up other things during the discussion that was unrelated but designed to be hurtful. You ended the conversation with no real resolve, then waited a few days to cool off, made-up, but still felt unfulfilled with the outcome.
Well, you are not alone. Most couples go through this process, and it’s one of the main reasons why tension builds-up and cause even more issues as time passes.
There will always be times within the relationship when partners will disagree, and this is very healthy if done correctly. Couples that don’t disagree at times are a sign that one of the two people is compromising way too much and most likely very unfulfilled. It’s healthy to disagree and express one’s opinion, as long as it’s done the right way. Since emotions are very high during these moments, it’s essential to get clear on the outcome that you want to achieve and the issue at hand that you want to express.
Get clear as to the source of your frustration and the exact outcome you wish to achieve after expressing yourself. Is the goal to make things worse or resolve the main issue? Your goal should be to articulate that which is bothering you in a way that your partner can understand where you are coming from. If needed, write it out ahead of time for them to read or for you to use as an outline.
Communicate your issue ASAP and don’t wait to add more issues on top of it; otherwise, the conversation will be much more strenuous and stressed.
Pick the right time to express how you feel. Pick a time when your partner can give you their full attention without any distractions. Let them know that something is bothering you and that you need to talk to them as soon as you can.
ALWAYS TREAT EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT!!! You must never curse at your partner nor call them hurtful names. Doing so will only have further destructive long-term effects that are nearly impossible to fix.
Remember, your goal is to always build your partner up and not break them down emotionally. It’s easy to be an “ASS” and hurt the other person, but it’s rewarding when in times of stress and adversity, you can remain strong and not lose your composure.
A good technique is to use a keyword or signal to let the other person know they are making you angry or hurting your feeling.
Another technique, if you feel that the conversation is going south, is to take a break to rethink the situation and how you want to express yourself. Pausing to think before speaking is a very healthy practice that will make your communication more productive and have a more positive effect on the relationship.
Know your outcome. What is the result you want to achieve when arguing or communicating? Do you want to correct the issue or make the problem worse? Your communication will improve when you get super clear on the outcome that you wish to achieve. Most of the time, we become emotional about something and make emotional comments or decisions that don’t make any sense and only add negative fuel to the fire.
If this happens to you, ask yourself these following questions: Why are they upset? How can I make this better? What can I learn from this?
Remember, if you want an outstanding relationship, then you always need to take the high road and work at making it work.
Secret #5 – Know your true identity
Have you ever been in a situation whether at work or around other people where you had to pretend to be someone whom you were not? How did you feel? Did you feel empowered or disempowered? Did you feel appreciated or unappreciated? Did you feel confident or insecure? Did you feel like you could be your best or set to fail?
The chances are you have experienced this in the past, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. About 50% of first-time marriages under the age of 45 ends in divorce. The leading cause for this is due to one or both people in the relationship losing their identity.
How and why is this possible? Well, it’s simple. To avoid confrontation, most of the time, one partner in the relationship gives up their internal power and slowly but inevitably forgets who they are and what they stand for.
I have seen relationships that end in total catastrophe because the people in the relationship didn’t manage their identities properly. You must know who you are. You must be comfortable and confident in your skin. You must love both the internal and the external you. You must not allow anyone to change who you are. If you want to change something about yourself, you must make sure this is what you want.
Your identity is your ability to love who you’ve become, the ability to contribute to your own life, your personal growth, feeling secure and confident. Once you get to this emotional place, you will be able to reach new heights in any relationship.