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Anatomy of a Successful Relationship

 

What does it take to have a successful relationship?

successful relationshipAs I mention in the article Relationship Reality Check, quite often couples drift apart and lose connection with each other before they realize what has happened.

In some cases one of the partners has moved on by themselves, or with someone else, leaving the other devastated.

Not only is this sad and unfortunate because so much is lost, but if the couple had been more aware of what it takes to have a successful relationship, it could have been prevented.

As with most things in life, a successful relationship does not come about by luck, is a fluke, or happens just because you wish it. It is the result of knowing what you want, working at it, and being flexible.

While a healthy, successful relationship can improve your life in virtually every aspect, an unhealthy one can drain and demoralize you when it's not working. Relationships are like an investment. The more you put into them, the more you get back. They take commitment, cooperation, and mutual respect.

Tips for Building a Successful Relationship


➢ Know what you want in a relationship. As with any goal you strive for in life, you must know what you want and why. Do you want a relationship because you fear being lonely? Do you need someone to help pay the bills? Do you just want someone to take your frustrations out on every now and then? If this is the case for any of these situations, you are in it for the wrong reasons.

A successful relationship is not unlike a good partnership. In fact, it is a partnership - a partnership in which both people are fully invested, respect each other as equals and want the same things from it. A successful relationship is one in which friendship, intimacy, and shared goals and values abound. Understandably, if two people do not share similar life goals such as wanting children, living a particular lifestyle, or similar cultural values, discord ensues and the relationship crumbles.

 

➢ Have a solid friendship. Nothing contributes more to successful relationships than being best friends with your partner. After all, with whom else do you share the most; have the most in common, or have chosen to share a life? To have your partner as a great friend, be a great friend. Be a friend who shares trust, honesty, respect and dependability.

 

➢ Be willing to give as well as take. Life has its ups and downs as do relationships. Sometimes one partner may be going through a hard time with a career, health issue, or other challenges. In such situations everyone needs support, encouragement and understanding, especially from a loving partner. If a couple is not willing to be there for each other in difficult times as well as in good times, a relationship cannot strengthen and evolve. Weathering the good and the bad together builds intimacy, character and resilience in a relationship.


➢ Don't take each other for granted. A sure relationship damper is to take one another for granted. As stated earlier, relationships take work and maintenance. This includes paying attention to, and being aware of, each other’s needs, feelings and states of mind. It's very easy to get caught up in the routines of daily chores such as bill paying, grocery shopping and cleaning and in the process neglect your partner. To avoid getting into such a rut, set aside 20-30 minutes each day to talk to your partner about something other than chores, work, or pet peeves. Talk about vacation plans, funny things that may have happened during the day, or interesting items you may have read about.

 

➢ Communicate regularly. Good communication is essential to a successful relationship. When people stop communicating well, they stop interacting and connecting with each other. As mentioned above, communication is not merely talking about paying bills, chores, or work problems. It's about asking each other how the day has gone and listening to the answer.

Be sure also, to take time to discuss any issues that may need resolving between the two of you. One of the worst things that can come between you is built-up resentment or hurt feelings that haven't been expressed. Be willing to admit when you're wrong or when you've been neglectful – or even when you feel neglected. Expressing feelings not only increases intimacy, it allows a couple to know each other better.


➢ Be flexible and open to change. Change is inevitable in life. Relationships are no different. In order for relationships to flourish it is necessary to be able to adapt to the changes. In a successful relationship two people grow together through the good, the bad, and less eventful times.

Here are some successful relationship quick-tips:

✔ Stay connected
✔ Have a genuine friendship
✔ Maintain good communication 
✔ Let go of ego, or the need to be 'right'
✔ Deal with stress, frustration and anger productively; don't take it out on your partner
✔ Share humor
✔ Don't sweat the small stuff
✔ Have self-love, self-respect
✔ Enjoy shared goals and lifestyle
✔ Ensure there is chemistry
✔ Take interest in each other
✔ Make time for each other - build intimacy


5 Surprising Relationship Myths

  1. Successful relationships don't take any work. According to Lisa Blum, a clinical psychologist specializing in couples therapy, "The strongest most enduring relationships take lots of hard work." She believes that our culture, parenting styles and educational systems don't prepare us for the fact that even successful relationships take effort.

  2. Arguing ruins relationships. Quite the contrary! What really ruins relationships is not resolving your issues. Blum declares that, "Fights can be really healthy and an important form of communication and clearing the air." Of course the type of arguments couples have make a big difference. If they are nasty, condescending or unfair, they don't resolve anything and leave the couple angry and resentful. Productive conflicts, on the other hand, help the couple understand each other and lead to reaching agreement.

  3. In order to have a successful relationship you have to change the other person. Unfortunately, you cannot change anyone else, you can only change yourself. In fact, we sometimes play the blame game and believe that someone else needs to change. Rather than fall into that trap, figure out how you can be a better partner and do your best to improve a situation. If you want things to change, you have to change.

  4. If it's true love, passion will never fade. Romanticism and Hollywood movies aside, eventually passion does fade. Daily life, growing responsibilities, and sometimes a dull routine can quickly dampen passion. The good news is that passion doesn't have to disappear. Some planning, forethought and sense of fun can sustain intimacy, adventure and passion. It just takes willingness and imagination.


  5. Jealousy shows true love and caring. Sadly, jealousy is more a demonstration of insecurity and a lack of confidence in oneself and the relationship than a demonstration of love and caring. In such cases the partner must work on his/her own insecurity issues.

    While you can be supportive and encouraging, a jealous partner must deal with the root cause and reasons for their jealousy, especially when it's unfounded.  Conversely, if you are trying to make your partner jealous, this too leads to problems. More often, than not, it can backfire and cause different complications.

Ultimately a successful relationship consists of mutual respect, consideration and sensitivity. Attention and working at it  result in a happy, healthy well-adjusted couple.

See Also:
Relationship Reality Check
Relationship Quotes
The Art of Conversation
Good Communication Skills


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"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages."

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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