Issued on behalf of Body Talk
I am not a relationship expert, but I have been very happily married for close to 30 years. Below are the insights I have taken away from our 30 years together.
The following tips help to sustain a relationship even when things look like they are going to fall apart:
- Like your partner as a person: physically, emotionally and mentally. Respect them for who they are.
- Choose someone with similar morals and dreams.
- Choose someone who embodies the values that you hold most dear. For me it’s reliability.
- Discuss your expectations of the relationship. Un-voiced expectations are the death knell of many relationships.
- Come into the relationship as equal partners.
We are all on a journey through this life.The people who enter our lives: parents, teachers, siblings, boyfriends, lovers, husbands and friends all enter because we need something from them and they need something from us. Maybe it’s to learn something or experience certain emotions or connections. Sometimes these relationships will last for a short time and sometimes for many years.
If we can support each other through the changes and reincarnations of our character then we can forge strong relationships of mutual respect. If however we try and change people to suit us or they try and change us to suit their agenda, then we are asking for a disintegration of that relationship. Why? Because that person cannot give to us what was necessary to give in the first place, the very reason they entered our lives.
Below I share what I think love is:
Respect: Do you respect your loved one as a person? Do you believe that they respect you? Do their actions convey respect?
Trust: Does this person have your best interests at heart? Can you trust them? Can they trust you, or do you say derogatory or nasty things behind their back?
Communication: Can you be yourself in the relationship? Can they be themselves? Or do they seem insecure, unsure and anxious?
Listening without interrupting: Can you listen until they are finished talking? Can you summarise what you heard? Can you empathise with them? Empathy dissipates anger or hurt and makes it easier for others to hear what you have to say.
Address problems and misunderstandings immediately: Don’t find someone who completes you. Come into the relationship as a complete person and find someone who compliments you. Find someone who adds value to your life and whose life you add value to.
Make time for each other: Not watching TV! Go for a walk or out to dinner without the dogs, kids or your closest friends.
Have separate interests: It’s okay for your partner to have time on their own doing something that makes them happy. Have fun!
Let go of resentment: There will always be someone in the relationship who is more outgoing, more demonstrative, more compassionate, more organised. Admire their gift, be grateful for it and let them teach you.
There will be ups and downs. We are here on this earth having an emotional experience. Sadness, anger, worry and fear are all part of this experience, but if we face them and share them, and if our partner compassionately hears our concerns, then our days of laughter, joy and understanding will be so much more.
@ CapeTownBodyTalk we use a system called LifePrint which helps you reconnect with ‘self and find out what your gifts and challenges are, how you navigate life so that you can live your best life.