Getting It Right With The One You Love

Tonja Weimer

With a Masters in Human Development, Tonja is an columnist, coach, speaker and author. Her latest book 'Thriving After Divorce', offers insight on how to become a better person and getting through after a break up.

Are you in love?  Are you considering marriage to this person?  Do you hesitate because you want to make sure that you get it right?
Endless love

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.

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  • Wice says
    What a pity this sort of stuff isn't part of the curriculum at school. How can people from troubled families possibly know this stuff when it comes to making such an important decision as getting married. I'm all for pre-nuptial training and advice sessions being an acceptable practice before you can get a license to wed. I only there was a way to implement it!
    • Anna says
      sounds kinda like a good idea to teach in schools... but i dunno that all parents would agree... therse so much contrivery over this type or learning...
    • Rosie says
      I definitely hadn't ticked all these boxes when I got married. Maybe I was lucky?
    • Dee-Dee says
      I think communication is the main factor, these points are great but if you can't communicate with the one you love then how are you suppose to maintain a healthy relationship....
      • Anna says
        so so so agree with you there... it is soo important... and can be an issue for soo many people!!
        • Dee-Dee says
          Yeah I don't think you can achieve many of the points stated above if you and your partner are not communicating well.....
          • Anna says
            yer lol... its funny these days with young people... they communicate so much through txt and such... in some ways its good because they can say things they are too shy to actually say - so increases communication!! but at the same time i guess it hinders learning how to communicate person to person...
          • Wice says
            I studied a couple of post-grad papers in interpersonal communication. At the beginning of each year, we were all asked why we had chosen this option. I had thought most people would be studying them for business (HR) but everyone seemed to have personal reasons - whether it was communicating with a spouse, a parent or a child.

            I saw a bit of "Everybody Loves Raymond" on TV last night. it was all about active listening. However cheesy this show may be, it really showed how this can work to achieve good communication in families - or work for that matter. Pity so many shows are based around smart aleck comebacks.
          • Rosie says
            I kinda disagree about teaching it in schools. I have friends who are teachers who work their butts off teaching literacy & numeracy as well as other stuff that parents can't be bothered teaching their kids (like teeth brushing & what not), and I'm sure they'd be annoyed at having another thing to add to their busy schedules.
            • Anna says
              lol thats prob also true... and i do rmemeber learning how to brush my teeth at school!!
            • Rosie says
              yeah, me too. I think I'd been getting slack about it at that stage, so it was good to relearn the whole thing & get a good kick up the pants about it.
            • Starlite5 says
              Hear! hear! Communication in all it's forms plays a big part if not the biggest part of a relationship and I remember back in primary schools when once a week different denominations would come in and not only talk about your religion and faith but how to learn to speak to each other kindly and about respect....those who's parents did not want them attending any religious affliations went into another room with the teachers and just spoke about these things in generally.....then the PC brigade got on board and it was if kids are not being taught at home and we can't do it in schools....another crack for our most vunerable kids to fall through!
            • Rosie says
              Yeah, that's too true unfortunately. The last stop for them is community involvement which is mostly unseen & unheard because it means that you & I have to look out for those neighbours, friends kids, workmates kids who can use your help and then helping them.
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