As a professional matchmaker and personal coach I find myself repeating a lot of the same advice over and over again. It’s remarkable how the more we change, the more things stay the same. The process for finding, forming and maintaining a long lasting relationship is the same for anyone looking for love regardless of your age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. If you keep these simple steps in mind your relationships will likely last, no matter what.
Be positive. Doubt, uncertainty, skepticism, and fear are toxic to any relationship. Good faith, faithfulness, belief and trust are critical to success in whatever we apply ourselves to. Our relationships are no exception. When there is good reason to think or feel negative you may have to seriously reconsider whether or not you are in a relationship with the right person. But in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”
Speak your mind. Communication is the crucible of any relationship. If you don’t discuss what’s on your mind it will inevitably reveal itself in your actions, inactions or general behavior. Information properly conveyed creates context and knowledge that may otherwise be impossible to ascertain. Assumption is the mother of misinformation so unless you discuss what you’re thinking and feeling you are only more likely to disconnect and confound one another. Don’t decipher what they may be thinking. Ask them.
Amplify your values. As the depth of your relationship grows and your investment in one another increases you must firmly establish the principles for which you standby. Communication, respect and trust are the foundational attributes of any relationship and in order for you to increase the magnitude of yours you must increase these levels over time. To cross over the threshold of love you must completely communicate, respect and trust each other.
Fight fair. Conflicts arise in any relationship. They are inevitable. But fighting fairly is a choice. By going below the belt you compromise your credence and the validity of your argument is lost. Regardless of how the other person chooses to engage, you can always choose to fight fair or not. If you expect your relationship to stand the test of time you must learn your limits and stay within bounds.
Compromise. Those who give are most likely to receive. No matter what it is you’re looking for in your relationship, you ought to give to get. The best partners are the best negotiators so if there is something you desire from someone else you might want to know what they desire of you. Use that knowledge to get what you want. That’s the art of compromise. Those who master this have the longest lasting relationships of anyone I know.
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