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Who hasn’t had a dream of experiencing great relationships?
I’d bet the answer is no-one.
But great relationships aren’t manufactured out of thin air. And it’s not about how much you love in the beginning, it’s how much you expand the love until the end.
And I know this because I’m blessed to be in the happiest relationship of anyone I know or have ever known. And it took a long time and I experienced a lot of heartache before I got here.
But here I am…and it’s going on for 21 years now and I can truly say that every day, it just gets better and better. And it isn’t an accident, nor is it left to chance.
It’s been a deliberate choice since the very beginning. A choice that we both made, together.
We are living proof that the happiest, healthiest relationships are one of the great blessings and joys of life.
And they can be the soft place to fall when everything else around you might be falling apart.
You deserve to be with somebody who has arms to give you a hug when you’re hurting, and a heart which listens and understands when you aren’t even speaking. so I thought I’d share 9 things that work for us that you can start doing together to create your happiest, healthiest relationships.
Note, I was going to overload you with 21, but decided 9 was probably more than enough before you got bored!
But be warned. Even with these 9 things that work for us, you can’t expect anyone else to fill the emptiness inside or remove the pain of the past, that’s your job.
Mind you, once you accept responsibility for what’s gone on before and be brave enough to open your heart again, those happiest, healthiest relationships will certainly bring you such rewards that you’ll be more than glad you did.
And also remember we all do relationships differently, so if only a few, or none of these work for you that’s okay. You could use them as a template and build your own.
With all that said…here we go:
Do little things every day for one another
Do a little thing that you partner usually does. The dishes. Loading the dishwasher. Making the bed. Making early morning coffee or tea. Taking out the trash.
And add other little things that cost you nothing.
A shoulder rub, maybe with an essential oil to alleviate stress. A welcome home with a hug. A kiss when you come home.
A hug…just because you can. A word of appreciation. Or make up your own little things and then do them.
All these are valued ways to show caring and nurturing for your partner.
Listen without judgment for a quick way to experience the happiest healthiest relationship
It’s far too easy to judge before you’ve got time to process what you’re seeing or hearing. Don’t be so quick to make snap judgments.
Respect and value what your significant other has to say. Remember no matter how it seems to you, it matters to them.
There are times to speak out and times to keep quiet and just listen. It might take a little practice to know the difference, but with each opportunity comes more wisdom and the chance to create a safe place for open-hearted and loving communications.
If this was all you could do better together it would lead you towards having one of the happiest, healthiest relationships on the planet.
Respond, don’t react
We all get things wrong and make mistakes and you have an opportunity to get cranky and upset, which would be a reaction. Or you can give yourself a minute and find a response instead.
I once booked a hotel in New Orleans in what looked like a wonderful, luxurious, central place, according to the internet. It wasn’t strictly true.
The hotel was mediocre to say the least, not the luxury hotel I thought I was booking. And a long walk from the center of anything!
I was pretty disappointed but we never became that couple with the grim faces, the ones you sometimes see in stores or at airports who are clearly upset with each other.
Hubby made me laugh and reminded me it wasn’t the end of the world and it didn’t much matter where we were, if we decided to have fun, we would. So we did!
We all grow at different rates. At our own pace. Don’t resist. The happiest, healthiest relationships must move in the direction of growth or become stunted and die.
Believe in your ‘We.‘ The two of you make much more than three. And each time one of you grows you expand and grow the ‘We’…if you allow that.
It’s only fear that gets in the way. Finding the strength to not only accept but to fully support the growth of your partner gives relationships the power and energy to keep moving forward.
Incredible, beautiful things happen when you pay attention and participate fully in your relationships. We all have busy hectic schedules these days, but if you want to continue to breathe life into your relationship take the time to just BE with your partner.
People can be sitting right next to one another yet be a million miles apart. This can’t be you if you want to experience happy healthy relationships.
It doesn’t work that way.
Think of your relationships as plants. However beautiful they are they need to be watered regularly. Your relationships need the nourishment of attention.
Ignore this at your peril if you want your relationships to flourish. Remember to ‘feed’ them with your attention.
Attention is a gift you give one another…a form of affection that’s a true measure of deep, honest relationships.
Don’t complain or blame – explain
Complaining never makes anyone feel better. Not the complainer or the one complained to. And experience tells us it tends to make matters worse.
You never lose by loving. Explain in a loving way how you feel about a situation or event.
Share what is going on in your heart or thoughts. Tell your partner how you feel when something is done or said that hurts you. Give your significant other the information they need to help you get your needs met.
Sharing your feelings in an open and honest and non-judgmental way is vital to happy, healthy relationships.
And allow the same courtesy to your partner.
You don’t need to be defensive when someone is simply telling you how they feel and it allows you to come to an agreement as to what will work for both of you in that situation.
It really is a win/win.
Include more of the best things
More “I love you’s” are an incredibly powerful fuel for happy, healthy relationships.
More hand holding, even when just sitting watching t.v together.
More words of appreciation.
More little kindnesses.
More acknowledging the little things.
More kisses at the beginning and end of the day.
These are often the sweetest little things and you’re seriously never going to overdo them.
Create an evening ritual
Reuniting at the end of the day is a great way to release stress so it can’t have a negative impact on your relationship.
Even if it’s only to talk about your day and how it went.
Little things mean a lot.
We set up an evening ritual close to 21 years ago and have never missed a night. Hand on heart…never.
No matter what was going on in our world, no matter if one of us had messed up, each evening we would repeat to one another the things we were grateful for about them or about our relationship.
This has proven to be a magical way for us to expand and continue to grow our relationship. The positive energy given and received is enough to bring magic into any life.
It’s reached a point where it’s easy to say, “Yesterday I thought I couldn’t love you any more and yet here we are today, and I do.”
Forget the “What’s in it for me” mentality
Don’t give because you want to get something back. Don’t keep score. Do something special for someone you love because it feels good for both of you. And it makes your world a happier place.
No one has ever become poor by giving and as Washington T. Booker says “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
I used to be a volunteer in a support group for widows…since I had been widowed at an early age and it was felt I could be useful. I don’t know how useful or supportive I was, being so much younger than everyone there, I just did my best.
But the one constant at every meeting was hearing someone say they wished they had been kinder, complained less, and been more giving.
So don’t give because you feel you owe it. Don’t give because it’s your turn. Give because you’re blessed to have a loved one to give something to.
Last word on the happiest, healthiest relationships
The best relationships allow you, inspire you, support you to be your best and highest self. So love each other unconditionally, it really can be that simple.
But please never think you’re doing anything wrong whatever your relationships are today. We’re all living, loving and learning and sometimes we’re simply in the process of upping our skill set.
Encourage one another.