Are you in a strong, loving relationship that you think will last the test of time?
This week’s blog is all about love and resilient relationships and I wanted to share with you the article I wrote for I Am Woman Magazine last year which included the 5 most important qualities that I believe you must have if you want to build a loving and real relationship that will grow with you through time.
Life is hectic for most of us. Whether you are a mum, a carer, an entrepreneur, a wife or a career woman, I know that so many of you often find yourselves running on empty when it comes to taking care of yourself and nurturing your relationships. It seems sometimes that it doesn’t matter how much love you have to give, it just isn’t enough and I don’t know a woman alive who doesn’t worry to some degree about the people they love.
Let’s face it, relationships take time and effort to sustain and the more important the relationship is, the more time and effort you are going to want – and need – to invest.
What I want to share with you today are the foundational qualities that I believe are vital to creating and building a strong, loving and fulfilling relationship. I want to help you build something that sustains and nourishes you, and inspires and excites you. Something that meets your needs from a relationship and allows you to be the best possible version of you.
To be able to have that type of relationship there are some basic qualities or characteristics that you must bring to the relationship, and when those qualities are present and valued above all else, the sky is the limit when it comes to the depth of love and joy you can experience.
Those qualities include
When my partner and I first started seeing each other, we had both (unbeknownst to each other) made a firm decision that we were going to be ourselves from the beginning and if this relationship was going to work out, it was going to do so based on the absolute truth of who we are and what we feel.
This is the ideal way to begin any relationship, as difficult as it might sound, because it sets the foundation for the rest of the relationship. You don’t have to tell your partner everything straight up. Exploring each other and revealing your inner most self over time, and as trust is built, is how a relationship works.
What you must do, however, is be authentic in any moment. Be honest with yourself about what matters to you and don’t compromise on those things because the minute you do, you create a crack in your relationship that might give way under a bit of pressure.
Just be honest and open and stick to being and doing what feels right to you. And if you are already in a relationship and it isn’t built on authenticity you can start to turn that around right now by being more honest about what matters to you and how you feel.
You are worth loving and when you love yourself enough to be authentic, anyone who truly loves you will follow.
Commitment creates a safe space within a relationship where you can open up and be more vulnerable, and being a little vulnerable in a relationship is where the excitement and inspiration is.
You might not be willing to commit to a lifetime of togetherness yet, but you and your partner will have a much better relationship if you think about what you are willing to commit to and then stick to that commitment. That is how trust is built and trust is the safe space between you and your partner where you can truly be yourself and know that you are loved and accepted.
Courage is an important quality for a few very good reasons. Courage allows you to explore commitment, be vulnerable, ask for what you need and say no to anything that takes you out of authenticity. Courage allows you to enter in to a relationship knowing that you might be rejected at any time and it allows you to speak and act honestly in that face of potential rejection.
Being courageous means staying the course regardless of the fear and doubt you might be experiencing and I can honestly tell you that if you don’t find your courage, if you choose to quit and walk away when you get scared, you will never know what it is to have an exciting, inspiring, and fulfilling relationship with another person.
It is very difficult to love someone you don’t respect. Being respectful is important because it ensures that regardless of what is happening between you, you maintain your self-respect and the respect of your partner and once you have resolved your issues, you can go on stronger and happier than before. Being respectful lifts both you and your partner up to a place where you are both valued above all else. Things can get messy in relationships. We know this. But as long as you are respectful toward your partner you have a much better chance of resolving your differences without adding fuel to the fire.
Being respectful actually has nothing to do with another person’s worthiness to receive respect and everything to do with who you are. You have to behave respectfully if you want to be respected and valued in any relationship.
Name-calling, being deliberately misleading, being inauthentic (regardless of any good intentions) and playing games with other people’s feelings are all disrespectful and if these are present in any of your relationships then you can not be enjoying quality, loving and emotionally fulfilling relationships.
Start behaving respectfully toward your partner regardless of how they act and see how it changes your communication for the better.
It is important to assume the best about your partner and their intentions. Let’s face it, if you are in a relationship and you really don’t believe that they have your best interests at heart then you are not in a good relationship. Optimism tells us that we can trust that our partner is trying really hard to be a good partner for us even when it feels like he doesn’t care, or when he seems to be ignoring our requests on purpose or isn’t valuing the things that we hold dear.
Being optimistic will change the way you approach differences of opinions and help you to explore an issue rather than going straight for your partner’s jugular.
As a couple’s counsellor, I see so many men whose number one priority is to please their partner and the way in which they measure their worth as a partner lies in their ability to do so. Try asking your partner to help you solve your dilemma rather than attacking him for creating it. Ask him what he needs in order to be able to help you get your needs met. Explain how important something is to you and tell him you know he wants you to be happy. Expect the best from him and you will have a much better chance of seeing it and experiencing it for yourself. It’s good for both of you to be better versions of yourself.
Whether you are already in a relationship or looking for one, I encourage you to make the commitment to embrace these 5 qualities from this day forth, in sickness and in health. If you do, I guarantee that you will feel so much more valuable and lovable as a woman simply because you are valuing and loving yourself more and I also guarantee that you will enjoy much more love and excitement in your relationships starting today. You deserve it.
Until next time…
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