Creating The Best Relationship You Can
What can you do to create the best relationship possible? A close, intimate, happy, heartful, soulful, romantic, connected, affectionate and passionate relationship?
I am talking about creating—not simply having—the best relationship possible, because while falling in love just happens, staying in love never happens by itself.
We begin our relationships full of hope and promise, vowing to give our best. Isn’t it sad that so many people who start out with close, exciting, erotic relationships find themselves just a few years later with angry, distant, withdrawn and passionless relationships?
Nobody has a perfect relationship all the time. Even the best, most perfectly matched couples have hard times, misunderstandings and heated arguments.
But the best relationships do not allow themselves to be so overwhelmed by daily concerns, work, moods, irritations, grievances, disappointments or resentments that their dealings with each other become angry, detached, withdrawn and lacking in spirit.
So how do you achieve and maintain the best relationship possible?
Here are the behaviors and traits of happy couples:
- They are affectionate with each other, and both parties are happy with the degree and frequency of affection. Happy couples touch each other a lot. They have learned how to offer caresses, affection and cuddling without ulterior motives.
- They share their feelings with each other. Emotions are solicited, accepted, received well and tended to—and are treated with friendliness, empathy, compassion and kindness. Each partner’s feelings are given a respectful hearing and are treated as important.
- They are both good listeners. Both feel as if their voices are heard and honored by the other. Neither interrupts or cuts the other off when attempting to express him/herself.
- Happy couples function as each other’s emotional support system in times of distress or crisis. They’re friendly to each other’s concerns and struggles.
- Each partner is in control of his/her negative emotions, such as anger, hurt, jealousy, insecurity, fear and anxiety. That means I do not take out the frustration, anger or hurt I have about other things out on you, and you need not fear that you will be the main recipient of my negative energy, hostility, argumentativeness, disrespect or anger.
- Happy couples spend time together and tend to do things with each other. They prefer to be in each other’s company most of the time. They make their intimate relationship a top priority in their lives. They don’t spend their “prime time” too tired or preoccupied with other things.
- Happy couples treat each other well. With kindness, good spirit and benevolence. I treat you like I truly cherish you.
- There is a sense of true partnership between equals. Major decisions (and many of the minor ones) are made jointly. Both feel the division of labor is more or less fair as it relates to roles, chores and housework.
- They have made peace with past hurts with each other, by talking about, working through and resolving past wounds, disappointments or breeches of trust. Apologies have been heartfully extended for previous hurts and grievances, so that forgiveness can be genuinely and cleanly offered back.
- Happy couples have learned how to have fun together on a regular and on-going basis.
- There’s an attitude of unselfishness. Looking out at the world binocular rather than monocular. Your needs, wants, feelings and preferences are treated equally to mine.
- They trust each other. They give their mate the benefit of the doubt with an assumption of good will and good spirit. Anything in the way of either party trusting the other fully gets cleared up immediately.
- They keep sight of the long-term, and therefore don’t threaten each other’s sense of long-term security or stability. Neither threatens the future of the relationship, or uses such threats as bargaining devices.
- They value romance. Wooing, sweet gestures, special meals, help around the house, surprises, flowers, notes and cards, giving a really good massage, dressing in your hottest clothes and going dancing, surprise weekend getaways, breakfast in bed, etc. Going out of your way to please through frequent small gestures of reaching out, and doing so on an ongoing and regular basis.
- Both partners are good relationship “students,” eager to learn the job better of being the best husband or wife possible. Quite frequently, people behave in a marriage the way they think they should, so they quit listening to feedback, requests and pleas their partner inevitably offers. In truth, nobody knows how to be the best mate to you. S/he has to be taught what you want and need. Happy couples never quit trying to learn how to be the best possible intimate partner they can be. They’re actively trying to give their best.
- Happy couples value their emotional engagement and connection to each other above all else—even in times of extreme busyness, stress or personal turmoil. They know that inattention, distance and withdrawal kills intimacy, so they keep their connection strong, close and intimate.
- Happy couples clearly communicate their desires and needs to each other on a regular basis, so that each knows what matters and is important to the other.
- Happy couples open up and reveal their feelings to each other. They share their inner lives, secrets, thoughts, feelings, hopes, wishes, hurts, frustrations, disappointments, yearnings and fears. They keep their hearts open, allowing for love without defensiveness and protections—love that can actually be experienced.
- They’ve learned how to be independent without being distant.
- They express their love verbally every day. Verbalizing love ensures that your feelings don’t just stay inside you.
“For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” —Rainer Maria Rilke