When there is RESPECT and a mutual admiration going between couples it just makes sense to be with each other. Once respect is gone so is the love of being together. Respect means respect. You don't cross your partner's boundaries. Being bossy, controlling and a know-it-all is the best way to dampen the love. Yelling and screaming and being testy will lessen the partnerships harmony. The best way to know what respect means is to look it up and read about the meaning of the word. Also knowing the antonyms of the word respect is really very helpful.
The next thing is EXCITEMENT. There is nothing worse than having "coupled" syndrome, meaning a dull and dumb meaningless life has set in to destroy the sparks and energy that keep the fire of love burning, the torch high and moving fast. Watching tv night after night, going to the same restaurant time after time, ordering the same menu item, getting into a groove, thinking your are groovy, having the same reminiscent conversations over and over, having sex in the same position
week after week, never adding new activities into your schedule gets OLD. Being spontaneous, thinking of ways to surprise your partner, in a good way, livening things up with new activities and stories about your life, your thoughts, going on vacation to far out places together, and having something interesting to talk about make for a better, more eventful relationship. We've all seen the couples sitting in restaurants eating their food, with blank stares and absolutely not a word between them. Yikes, don't go there. Keep motivated to think of new ideas for engaging with your partner in fun and exciting ways.
Next for a relationship to have the ultimate in intimacy is obviously SEX. A sexless relationship is one without passion, pleasure and could lead not only to mental and medical health challenges, but emotional and mental torture. Sex also can be many different things besides intercourse. Sex could be sensual touching, masturbation, petting etc.... It's not all about a wild pony ride, but the aspect of physical intimacy is as important to a relationship as water to a plant. Anyone who says they can live without sex is lying. We are sexual beings and even babies masturbate.Get over your barriers and frigidity and start enjoying the free pleasures of sex together. Check out the couple who, after a sexless marriage had sex 365 days in a row at http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/365-nights-of-sex-can-it-strengthen-a-marriage. My mom always had a funny saying about staying sexually fit..."if you don't use it you lose it".
The next step to having a great relationship is PATIENCE. When
Chaucer wrote in Canterbury Tales 1386, "patience is a virtue" he knew what he was talking about. Look, a relationship is a bit like a roller coaster, since humans have what are called, moods. Think of moods like you would think of the weather. Sometimes we are sunny and sometimes we are soggy. I have a friend when asked "how are you?", answers "fair to partly cloudy". Being upset with your partner, thinking you will call it quits, and wanting to run away as far as possible does creep into every individual's mind at times. Knowing that people fluctuate with their
emotions and thoughts and giving your partner a break, taking a deep breath and seeing how the next day or week pans out, usually will rectify and reunite you in a new fashion. Being patient enough to see how a relationship grows, sprouts and blooms is all part of the relationship. Having the insight to know change is
scary but a great path to take while having the calm and fortitude to face it makes for a relationship with insight and vision.
EDUCATION in life and love is important. Being emotionally intelligent and well read on the subject of love, relationships, self improvement and staying abreast of the newest ideas on those subjects is just smart. You may think you know how relationships work, but usually you are behaving as a carbon copy of your parents. Learning new communication skills, love-making techniques, and understanding that you don't know everything leads to a much happier you. Only happy people will make others happy. Stretching yourself to new areas of thinking and being open minded and mindful of the nuances of the relationship keep it fresh.
COMMUNICATION is the key to success for any long lasting relationship. Communicate, communicate, communicate and you will actually know what is going on between you and your partner. Otherwise your relationship may be based on false pretenses, magical thinking (grandiose thoughts that are purely fantasy, not reality) and loneliness. I have met individuals, when I did couple's counseling, that actually didn't even know their partner's birthday, spontaneously, where they were born or what their partner’s childhood was like, and these are people that were married a very long time. It was sad sitting with two uncomfortable strangers. They had never taken the time to
actually have deep and fulfilling conversations. Usually that occurs with people that have deep intimacy challenges and perhaps suffer from intense introversion. There is nothing worse than having a relationship between two deeply anxious introverts, unless it is two deeply disturbed narcissistic extroverts. Communication always starts with sharing feelings such as hurt, unloved, irritated, uncomfortable, sad, mad, glad, misunderstood etc..... and then you want to validate your partner. See my article on keeping clutter free to learn more about communicating with your
partner at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/1/post/2012/07/is-someones-clutter-getting-in-between-you-and-your-world-marla-stone.html
Finally last but not least is TRUST in you, your partner and the
relationship itself to have the ultimate in partnerships. I would say the most valuable thing in a relationship is having a trusting relationship with yourself. If you are not following your own truth, your ideal path, living your ideal lifestyle, adhering to your own values, but rather lying to yourself, being unclear about who you are, what you want in life, and not knowing what you actually value in life, then you are not ready to be truthful, faithful, ideal or valuable to a partner or partnership. Let's face it, if you value a monogamous relationship and you are cheating on your partner, look out for a big kick in the butt and at the very least a dreadful, abhorent existence. You will only make it your partner's problem for a short period of time before they will suspect that you are not being who you say you are. Also if you are unhappy in your career, choice of life goals and or your appearance, and
your partner has to hear you whine about your unhappy self, day in and day out, trust will break down into disgust instead. If you are not in touch, in tune with self and can't trust your thoughts, words and actions, then how is your partner
supposed to feel trusting of themselves to be with you.
I really dislike when someone says "trust me". I don't think you EVER give your trust away, but rather you either feel trusting with others or you don't. If you don't feel a trusting feeling
with your partner first find out if you even trust yourself. If you do realize you have great faith and trust in self and you still feel distrustful of your partner then get some clarity about why you are feeling that way. It is okay to poke and prod about in conversations with your partner to get CLARITY on your
thoughts and feelings. Don't be afraid to communicate your feelings of distrust with your partner, for fear of losing the relationship, since you are already in fact losing the relationship if you don't feel trust with the partner.
Finally, if you believe your relationship, is in jeopardy don't hesitate to go to a life coach, marriage coach and or for couple's counseling. Don't be the person that says "I don't need to go". Your correct, you don't "need" to go, you "want" to go, if you are interested in getting back to the path of love.
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer, Lifestyle / Dating Coach, Decor and Feng Shui
Specialist, Public Speaker
www.perfectlypaired.com and www.i-deal-lifestyle.com
call (949) 709-7000 for a free 30 minute phone consultation to finding an ideal partner.