You want a wonderful relationship, but do you know what you need to do to create it? These 10 tips will give priceless pointers to what works, what doesn’t, and how to create a great relationship right from the get go - or what went wrong from Day 1 to create the relationship you are in today.
1. The things you sweep under the carpet will, one day, destroy the carpet.
It’s very easy, at the start of a relationship, to overlook the things that don’t sit well with you. Maybe you think the two of you will be able to ‘thrash them out’ together, at a later date. Maybe you think that love, like a bath of acid will dissolve those gritty little problems – and those gritty, not-so-little problems, also. That is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is the highway to unhappiness.
2. ‘Chemistry’ usually has a short shelf-life. Chemistry, generally, means that another person’s teeth fit your wounds. Or, if you prefer, ‘chemistry’ describes the powerful attraction and connection you feel for someone who offers you the opportunity to replay a psycho-drama from childhood. Not that you will be aware of that consciously. But over time, you will find yourself clamouring for their love and attention, in the same way that you once clamoured for a parent’s attention or love.
3. First impressions are last impressions. Your conscious mind might be fooled by nice manners, good dress sense, and physical attractiveness. Your intuition is not. What your intuition tells you in a split second, your rational mind will take months - or even years - to fully grasp. If your intuition whispered to you: “Back off! This person is bad news”, expect a number of painful months, or years, while your rational brain gets up to speed.
4. What you believe is what you receive. Most partners will only ever treat you as well as you believe you deserve to be treated. The crucial word here is “believe” - not “hope”, or “desire”. If, at bottom, you don’t really believe you deserve the best, it’s highly unlikely that you will get it.
5. You don’t just get a partner; you get the family baggage thrown in. You fall in love with one individual, but you can expect to get saddled with their unresolved family baggage. If partners like their own parents, that’s a plus. If they don’t, and want little or nothing to do with them, what that means is they have yet to break free of their parents, emotionally. A partner laden with family baggage is likely to end up treating you like their burdensome family.
6. Notice how prospective partners treat people they don’t like – that could be you one day. An accurate measure of how nice your partner is, is not how nice he is to you at the start of the relationship – that’s a forgone conclusion; he’s on his best behaviour, out to make a good impression. Much more important is the way he treats, and talks about, people he doesn’t feel obliged to please. Anger, resentment, and criticism of other people does not bode well. One day you may well be ‘other people’.
7. Love means both partners being able to say they are sorry… in a way that makes the other feel genuinely valued. Genuine love presupposes genuine regret at upsetting a loved one. A partner who can’t, or won’t, apologise for causing distress is disregarding your feelings. His disregard for your feelings will cause you lot of unnecessary pain and frustration, over the life of the relationship.
8. All assumptions are deceptive - except, possibly, this one. Assumptions are no substitute for information. We tend to make assumptions in line with our hopes, or fears. The best way to know find out what is really the case for another person is to ask, in a calm, relaxed manner, right from the start.
9. No relationship will thrive without effective communication, physical affection, mutual care and support, and selflessness. Settling for crumbs of what you want is like being on a long-term starvation diet. The relationship will get thinner and thinner. At best it will have a long, feeble half-life. At worst, it will die of starvation.
10. Appreciation is the most powerful form of positive communication. (Blame and criticism are, doubtless, the most powerful forms of destructive communication. If you have experienced them in an abusive relationship, you will want to steer clear of them in the future.) Human beings thrive on genuine appreciation. We all want to receive it, yet most of us are not very good at giving it. Expressing appreciation for your near and dear ones, daily, is a skill well worth learning – not least, because the more you give, the more you get. I’m guessing you, also, enjoy being appreciated as much as the next person. Why wouldn’t you?