Statistics show that many people today delay getting married until they are older. The reasons for this are varied, such as, the need to: finish school, start a career, make more money, or, feel the relationship will last. The high divorce rate has given people enough concern to pause and ask, “How do I get it right?”
Here are nine points worth looking at to see if you are up for the challenge of how to create an enduring relationship. You can review these with your partner. Hopefully, they will inspire conversation that leads to goals for you to work on together and give you hope for your dreams.
1. Is your life successful?
No one can give you a successful life, make you happy, or solve your problems. That has to come from you. If you want your relationship to give you confidence because you feel insecure, or give you companionship because you don’t have any friends, or supply you with money because you don’t make enough, you are going to be sorely disappointed. A successful life includes good friends, a self-supporting career, and personal integrity. When you get these areas together, you are ready to be a great partner for someone.
2. Are you both willing to grow?
Have you chosen a cooperative partner? The number one deal breaker in a relationship comes from one or both people being unwilling. For your love to last, both of you have to be willing to talk about issues, go to a counselor if necessary, and be open to personal growth. If one of you says: “I’m not going to a counselor. YOU’VE got the problems. I don’t have any problems,” you’re standing on shaky ground.
3. Does one of you play the Blame Game?
If one of you is convinced that all the problems in the relationship belong to the other one, you are stuck in the “blame game”. Take a look at your boundaries, expectations that may be unreasonable, patterns of behavior in former relationships, and level of personal success. Somewhere in one of those areas, you may find an answer that will bring you to a greater understanding of yourself.
4. Are you affectionate?
This is not an absolute requirement for many relationships to work, but it certainly makes life a lot sweeter. Affection lights up the day, makes people feel loved, and removes any doubt about how you feel toward your partner.
5. Can you apologize?
When two people genuinely care about each other, hurt feelings and spats don’t last long if the perceived offender apologizes right away. If you defend yourself, explain why you did what you did, and make light of the offense, you will fan the flames of pain. Whatever your partner is upset about, sit down and listen, empathize, and give comfort. Most of all, sincerely apologize, and ask how you can make the situation better. If you can do this, whatever happened will soon be forgotten.
6. Can you forgive?
If your partner has hurt you in some way, if she makes an earnest effort to apologize and change, can you forgive her? Or will this offense become another weapon in your arsenal of past hurts that you bring up when you are having a fight? All couples will have disagreements. But it is how you choose to act out your disagreements that affect your relationship quality.
7. Are you generous?
Can you give gifts (within your budget) for no reason other than you are in love? Do you include your partner’s friends and family in your activities and welcome them into your life? To be a generous person, make your partner’s welfare as important as your own and you will have a lasting relationship.
8. Are you kind?
The word kindness encompasses a lot of other characteristics, like loyalty, devotion, honesty, and trust, because if you can’t provide those qualities in a committed relationship, you are not being kind. Kindness also means turning the volume OFF on a temper, and resorting to other ways to express yourself when your feelings are hot and angry. Kindness is patient, wise, loving, and strong.
9. Are you working on your demons?
Everyone has a gremlin of one kind or another. Whether you eat too much, spend too much, gossip about others, get to work late, or anything else that is unbecoming or detrimental to your physical or mental health, are you working on it? If you don’t handle it, this could become a big issue in your relationship.
If you want to know how to become closer to the one you love; if you want to know how to make your relationship last; and if you are dedicated to getting it right…think about the above.
Life must be lived as play. Plato
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