More and more, we find ourselves stumped with relationship challenges that all of our parents advice couldn’t have prepared us for. Couples move in together…some tie the knot and some don’t…some sustain long distance relationships via virtual interface,etc. We are indeed living in very interesting times.
Now, with that said, there are some key factors that remain unchangeable when it comes to creating and sustaining a relationship on a solid foundation. I’m going to share some first hand nuggets of wisdom that I’ve acquired during my love life.
Truth Number 1.) Self Love is the first Love
– Loving yourself is the most important part about learning to love another. Becoming accustomed to loving yourself is as simple as going for a morning run before you start your day, or eating healthy foods that energize you, going to an event you enjoy by yourself or even spending some down time to do yoga, meditate or pray. Self love is a state of mind, learning to observe your thoughts day to day may help patterns in thought that lead you to joy or pain. Learn to cultivate self acceptance and appreciation and you’ll be able to offer the same to your partner.
Truth Number 2.) Communication is Key
– You have probably heard this one before, yet time and time again it’s been proven that communication is what makes or breaks a relationship. The more transparent one is with their partner the more trust you will build in your relationship. Communication is what gets us through when we times get tough. Sometimes what may inhibit us to share our truth is cold hard fear such as the fear of rejection, and the fear of losing the other person. When two people can acknowledge and set aside their fears, agreeing to create a safe space for each other to be vulnerable, a relationship has the potential to thrive.
Truth Number 3.) Your partner is a reflection of you
– What does that mean? Does it mean that your partner looks like you? In this case, to reflect means that hurt generally leads to more hurt, and two people work together to encourage one another leads to even further encouragement, thereby helping each individual return to their feeling good in their center. Relationships don’t create happiness, they reflect effort. Essentially, your partner becomes your mirror because they are a perfect reflection of your thoughts and beliefs no matter how much you try to hide them. Whatever joy or darkness it is that you hold inside is what is shown to you through them. By accepting and working with this wonderful tool, we can become more aware of our darkness every day.
Truth Number 4.) You will be attracted to other people and it’s OK
– It is often misunderstood that once you are in a relationship you shouldn’t be attracted to anybody else – wrong! At our core, we are all sexual beings, and being attracted to other sexual beings is completely natural even while being in a relationship. When you encounter someone who makes your head turn…what do you do? What you’re experiencing is totally normal, and accepting this feeling into your awareness is the first step towards transmuting this energy into helpful information instead of destructive “stuffing” of emotions. Some of us may feel shame or guilt when this feeling of attraction arises, not wanting to be misunderstood or to lead others on. It’s important to understand within ourselves how strong our commitment is, because if that commitment can be swayed by a cute butt we have bigger questions to ask! If your partner is no longer arousing you, it can be tempting to make it their fault, but as mentioned above in point number 3, the reality is that any sense of boredom of restlessness starts within yourself. When you acknowledge and share your feelings with your partner, being honest and compassionate about your needs and feelings, the more likely you two may be able to come up with creative solutions to address the issue. In fact, this level of honesty and a breakthrough conversation can create much greater emotional intimacy, a huge-turn on!
Truth Number 5.) Set Relationship Goals
– Knowing what you want and where you want to go is essential to both your personal future and your relationship’s evolution. If you understand why it is that you want to be in a relationship in the first place you will have an easier time deciphering where you want to go together. What sort of lifestyle do you want to lead? How does that fit in with your relationship? Setting goals together can vary in so many ways: from traveling, to growing a business, to having a child, to living together in a foreign land. Whatever it may be, make sure to regularly get clear on your vision and your partner’s vision for the relationship. Co-creating the life you want alongside your partner is the best way to ensure a future you both feel good about.
Creating a loving relationship is in part an inside job as well as a a team effort. Accepting your part is only possible if you recognize the very reasons why you’re in a relationship. Conflict is not only natural, but is the reason long-term relationships can exist. The constant challenges are a gift we overcome in order to transform into the best versions of ourselves!