The journey to finding true love can often be a roller coaster. There can be so many ups and downs due to often uncontrollable factors, such as; relationship and intimacy fears, differing core values, communication style, confidence, long-term vision, interests, sexual compatibility, and a whole other gamut of factors.
No matter who you are, we all have personal challenges, which can taint your journey to intimate love and your understanding of love altogether. This means that when you finally find the one that you believe you want to spend the rest of your life with, you have to consider your approach to love, so that you can put your best foot forward in making it last the distance.
Is There a Blueprint for Perfect Relationships?
Unfortunately, there is no one foolproof step-by-step guide on how to experience the perfect relationship. In fact… there probably isn’t such a thing as a “perfect” relationship.
Well, you must first understand that no two relationships are alike. What works for one couple may not necessarily be the solution for another. It will take time, patience, and understanding from both you and your partner to determine what works best for you.
That being said, there are specific things you and your partner can work at on a daily basis that will certainly improve the chances of maintaining a loving, deeply fulfilling and healthy relationship.
Let’s take a closer look at some relationship tips that have helped others stand the test of time:
1. Love Yourself First
Going into a relationship without having a sense of self-love can be detrimental for the relationship over time. If you don’t first know how to love yourself for who you are, how can you expect anyone else to love you? How can you then truly love them?
If you don’t have a foundation on which to draw love from, finding true love becomes that much harder.
To love yourself is to:
• Know your innate 100% worth
• Accept you for who you are despite your flaws
• Cultivate your inner source of love so that you aren’t desperate for the love of another
• Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally
2. Know What Makes You Happy
Many of my clients are unaware that it is not their partner’s sole responsibility to make them happy. Placing that type of responsibility on your boyfriend is a disaster waiting to happen.
When you expect him to be the source of your happiness you’re often left feeling disappointed. This kind of expectation also puts unnecessary pressure on your partner that is often a burden too heavy to carry, which can see the relationship crumble.
Take the time to figure out what makes you happiest in life. What things do you enjoy doing? What people do you enjoy being around? What brings you peace? When you’re able to tend to your own needs, the happiness that your boyfriend or spouse does bring to the table will be an extension of your own inner joy and contentment.
3. Drop the Emotional Baggage
Before entering any type of relationship it is important that you’ve properly healed from the previous breakup. While it is important to learn lessons from your past experiences and attempts at true love, holding on to what went wrong can spill into every relationship you encounter thereafter. You’ll need to really take a self-assessment to discern whether you’ve moved on or holding on to the past.
Sure, you can work on your challenges while in a relationship, we never stop learning and we will always have opportunities to expand on how we love, though often the really big stuff is best dealt with prior to entering a relationship, particularly if you want it to last.
Signs you’re still holding onto emotional baggage from the past:
• You’ve never addressed your emotions – you often feel controlled by your emotions
• You’re on a desperate quest to find love – you believe that your life won’t be right and complete until you have a partner
• You have trust issues – you are hypersensitive around trust
• You believe all men are dogs – you have an overall belief that men are not good people
• You’re willing to change yourself just to be with someone – you try to be someone you’re not to be liked
• You focus on what you don’t want, versus what you do want – where energy goes energy flows
• You’re determined to change your boyfriend to meet your needs – you don’t find it easy to accept your partner for who he is
• You’re willing to tough it out with an obviously unhealthy match – even though you’re miserable, you will stay with a man for fear of being alone, etc.
4. Don’t Set Unrealistic Expectations
Having standard expectations are fine in a healthy relationship. You should expect and require to be treated with respect and to feel safe and secure with the guy you’re with. You should not however, expect him to always do and say everything just right, never ever glance at another woman, always be on time, or never hang out with his friends. This is humanly impossible and will leave you feeling unsatisfied with your partner and the love they do show you.
5. Be Ready to Roll Up Your Sleeves
When you see other couples in public or online and they’re happy as two peas in a pod, it can give off an unrealistic understanding of relationships. They are not all roses and rainbows and will require consistent work on both parts. There will be peaks and valleys, highs and lows, but as long as you have the attitude that you’re willing to work together to create a loving connection, you’ll make it through.
This means, I believe that a relationship can be relatively easy when you’re both on the same page with healthy and constructive ways to deal with the hiccups that will be sure to arise.
6. Accept and Adapt to Change
Neither you nor your boyfriend will remain exactly how you were the day you met. Everyone changes one way or another. As you grow as a couple and as individuals it is imperative for you to accept and adapt to these changes. Wishing your boyfriend back to the “guy you met all those years ago” is unfair to him as a human being. Learn to appreciate his growth and changes as they happen and he will do the same as you evolve.
BUT, if he changes into someone vastly different to who he was, and in a way that is impacting the relationship in an unhealthy way, that goes against your core values, then perhaps accept these things (because you can’t change him), and decided whether they are deal-breakers or not.
7. Communicate Effectively
It might sound crazy, but in my professional experience, women are often not as good at communicating as they think they are. Most women don’t have trouble talking, but this does not mean that they’re expressing themselves clearly, nor actively listening to their partner’s response. A one-way conversation is not a conversation, but don’t get me wrong, this is not just something women do, men can do this too.
Conversely, some women don’t speak up at all, they’d rather pretend that they’re okay, when they’re not, which is just as ineffective as those who over-express their feelings. Either way, mastering the art of effective communication is a must for any healthy relationship.
One of the biggest tips I can give women is to dictate less and ask questions more… then wait for his response. It’s amazing what a man will share with you when given the space to do so. Be comfortable with his “thinking silence” as he prepares his response for you. Don’t prompt him, don’t but in, listen to him. He will love.
Also, when you do share your feelings try to be clear about what you’re feeling, if you tend to express yourself from a place of rage or anger, in a way that’s damaging to the relationship, then find new ways to deal with your thoughts and feelings before you express them.
8. Understand that He’s Human
Similar to setting high expectations is to remember that your partner is only human. They cannot be perfect at all times and will not appeal to your ideals and interests around the clock. If he’s attempting to do right by you – allow him to. When he falls short, be understanding and not condescending as this can cause a rift in the relationship.
9. Make Time for Each Other
No matter how hectic your schedules may be you must always make time for each other. Whether its date night once a month or a few lunch dates thrown in throughout the week, you need to have that one on one time with each other. Too much time apart or placing too much importance on other areas of your life can create distance, which can lead to a host of things including looking elsewhere to meet your emotional needs.
10. Give Each Other Space
Time apart can be just as important as spending time together. You must realize that the relationship is not your entire life. In a healthy relationship you both need time to explore things that interest you. Time to just be who you are without having to worry about your partner, their interests, and their feelings. When you smother each other, you lose your identities and slowly begin to resent one another. So take some time to yourself and respect him when he asks for the same. In my program, Unlock His Heart, I talk about how to give him enough space so that he never feels like he needs!
11. Focus On the Stuff You Dig
I believe that people can get so wound up in pointing out the wrong in a relationship that they forget to focus on what feels good and is working. What do you dig about the man you’re with? Instead of always beating him over the head with a list of things he didn’t complete or fell short on, try showing gratitude for the things he’s doing right for you. Not only will this make him feel great about the relationship, but it can encourage him to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Men will rarely ask for validation or compliments, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to hear them. We all like to feel appreciated and valued.
12. Watch Who You Allow In
Friends and family can be supportive of your relationship, but they can also ruin it in a heartbeat. Be mindful of who you allow into your relationship. By this I mean be careful of who you confide in when issues arise and also, be careful of who you go to for advice. Not everyone is for your relationship and getting the wrong advice or venting to the wrong person could prove detrimental to your relationship.
13. Flirt Often
It is important to the relationship that your partner knows you’re into him, just as it is important for you to know he’s into you. The best way to keep the relationship alive and to show each other how “desired” you are to each other, is to flirt and often! Whether you send a sexy pic or a suggestive text message, it can be a great way to spike connection and intimacy on all levels. It could be as simple as a text message that says, “Hey sexy, I’m thinking about you”.
14. Support Each Other’s Dreams
Last but certainly not least is to support each other’s dreams. Though you are in a relationship as a couple, you’re still individuals with goals, dreams, and ambitions. If you really want your relationship to last, it is important to show your partner that you support them. Be of assistance, offer kind words, or even be their cheerleader in the background. It can mean the world to them.
You don’t have to love football or spear fishing, though you can still be encouraging. Some couples have many common interests, some only have a few, either way support each other!
Finding true love is one of the most beautiful experiences in life and even though there are plenty of things that are required for a relationship to succeed, the above 14 points are sure to have you on the path to maintaining a long-term and heart-connected relationship.
Below the blog in the comments section, please share your comments and even your very own tips. I’d love to read them!