What Makes a Great Relationship?
A great relationship is one where you and your partner are best friends, lovers, and can share your hopes, goals, and dreams. You can tell them anything, and you will know it is safe. You respect one another’s boundaries and feelings, even when you have disagreements. You’ve built trust, made memories, and love one another’s company. You want the best for each other. It feels wonderful to spend time with someone you connect so deeply with. In fact, you probably have a warm, fuzzy feeling thinking about them right now!
What Makes a Bad Relationship?
A bad relationship is one that adds little or nothing to your life. There is the occasional good time, but mainly your relationship is on autopilot, you and/or your partner have become complacent, you no longer fulfill each others needs, or have just naturally drifted apart. If you find yourself with Mr or Ms Mediocre, stop kidding yourself. You aren’t in love; you stay with one another out of comfort and fear that you won’t be able to do any better.
Infinitely worse, what if you are in a relationship that hinders you from being yourself, feels like a lead weight around your neck, and stops you from achieving your goals? Do you feel like your life is consumed with placating and reassuring your partner? Do you feel too drained of energy to do anything other than merely survive? Do you feel like a bird beating its wings against a cage that is too small? If you find yourself in a bad relationship with an energy vampire, get the hell out of the relationship, pronto.
Human beings are social creatures. We have a natural tendency to create and preserve our relationships; even those that are at best unfulfilling and at worst have a disastrous effect on our health and wellbeing. Be prepared for the sorrow that ending a relationship creates, but realise that the pain of terminating a bad relationship is only short term. What you have to gain far outweighs the temporary distress.
Tips for Improving Your Relationship
I want you to consider your own relationship while you read the next few paragraphs. If you can relate all of the tips back to your own relationship, fantastic! If you can’t, perhaps you’d like to re-consider your reasons for being in a relationship in the first place. Be in a relationship for the right reasons. Don’t do it because you’re insecure or scared of being alone. You don’t need another ‘half’ to be complete. You are a complete person by yourself.
Tip 1: Respect One Another, Even When You Disagree
Listen to your partner’s concerns, and voice your own concerns respectfully. A disagreement is not a competition. It is not about being ‘one up’ on the other person. Partners who genuinely love and care for one another have no need to yell or name-call in a disagreement. Such childish tactics are disrespectful, cloud the real issue, and only serve to create distress and resentment in the relationship.
Tip 2: Don’t Play Games With Your Partner
Treat him or her how you yourself would like to be treated. If you want your partner to be faithful to you, be faithful to them. If you want your partner to trust you, put your trust in them. If you want your partner to listen to and support you when the chips are down, make sure you do the same for them. On the other hand, if you cheat on your partner or try to manipulate them into getting what you want, don’t be surprised when your karma is to attract people who will play you in return.
Tip 3: Trust Your Partner & Be Trustworthy Yourself
If you’re paranoid about your partner cheating on you or doing something you wouldn’t approve of, it says a lot more about your own insecurity, moral scarcity, and confusion about how you would react in a similar situation than it does about them. How can you expect your partner to trust you if you don’t trust them? Incidentally, if you feel you can’t trust your partner, what are you still doing in the relationship? For the record, sticking it out with someone you don’t trust is not a relationship. It is a comfort blanket you use because you fear that you can’t get anything better. You can.
Tip 4: Be honest with one another
If you feel you have to hide something from your partner, ask yourself what it is you are afraid of. Are you afraid they would judge you if they knew the truth? Would they leave you? If they can’t accept you for who you are, judging you and leaving is probably the best gift they could give you. They’ve just saved you wasting your time falling in love with a moron. If you aren’t being yourself, they don’t love you anyway. They love the person you are pretending to be.
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