Good relationships don’t just happen, they require work from both ends.
Take Responsibility for Yourself- This is the most important choice you can make to improve your relationship. This means that you learn how to take responsibility for your own feelings and needs. This means that instead of trying to get your partner to make you feel happy and secure, you learn how to do this for yourself through your own thoughts and actions. This means learning to treat yourself with kindness, caring, compassion, and acceptance instead of self-judgment.
2. Kindness, Compassion, Acceptance- Treat others the way you want to be treated. We all yearn to be treated lovingly with kindness. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, often treating others with kindness brings kindness in return.
3. Learning Instead of Controlling- When conflict occurs, it is easy to become defensive. The desire to “win” an argument appears. But when one partner loses, both lose. It is important to communicate your feelings in a neutral manner (not with high emotions) and listen to understand, not rebuttal.
4. Create Date Times- When people first fall in love, they make time for each other. As you grow more comfortable with each other, life seems to get in the way. It is easy to forget to set aside time for each other. But a relationship cannot last if you do not spend time together.
5. Gratitude Instead of Complaints- Positive energy flows between two people when there is an attitude of gratitude. Constant complaints create a heavy, negative energy, which is not fun to be around. And if you do have a complaint, which is normal, make sure to lead with a compliment rather than dive right into the negatives.
6. Fun and Play- We all know that work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Work without play makes for dull relationships as well. Relationships flourish when people laugh together, play together, and when humor is a part of everyday life. Stop taking everything so seriously and learn to see the funny side of life. Intimacy flourishes when there is lightness of being, not when everything is heavy.
7. Service- A wonderful way of creating intimacy is to do service projects together. Giving to others fills the heart and creates deep satisfaction in the soul. Doing service moves you out of yourself and your own problems and supports a broader, more spiritual view of life. Or do an act of service for your partner. Massage their feet, cook them dinner, paint that wall for them.
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