Couples who love each other can communicate a thousand things without ever once talking.Chinese Proverb
The Ingredients of an Ideal Relationship
Our intimate relationships are the most important aspects of many people’s lives. Nurturing, strong, fruitful and fulfilling loving relationships not only provide us with great joy and happiness, they also support our careers, inspire us towards the achievement of our deepest and most cherished goals, and provide a deeper sense of both physical and spiritual well-being.
Relationships are no doubt important, however so many of us don’t quite know or understand what goes into creating an ideal relationship. We may have had some wonderful relationships in the past, yet can’t quite pinpoint why they quickly disintegrated before our eyes. Yes, indeed sometimes we even do silly little things that sabotage and hurt our relationships with other people in irrevocable ways.
These keys to a better loving relationship will show you the things that you can do within yourself and for your relationship that will take it to another level of intimacy, romance and passion. We will also take a look at some relationship mistakes that people make and how they can quickly destroy a promising union of two hearts. Once you understand the keys to a loving relationship you will have the tools to take your relationships to the next level.
Healthy Relationship Traits
When it comes to building the strong foundations for a healthy and loving relationship, we must abide by and encourage the development of key essential and supporting traits that are critical to a relationship’s long-term success.
Work together with your partner on the process of embedding these key traits into the heart of your relationship on a daily basis, and you will be well on your way towards developing a strong and lasting bond that goes well beyond just plain attraction and intimacy. Instead these traits lay down the foundations of unbreakable friendships that stand the test of time.
Here are a few suggestions to get you moving in the right direction:
Essential Relationship Traits
The following is a list of essential relationship traits that we must work on cultivating and bringing forth into a personal and romantic relationships with others. Ingraining these traits deep into the foundational building blocks of our partnerships will help grow powerful and lasting connections that will flourish for a lifetime.
The act of communication is the foundational principle trait that interlocks all others together. It is actually the primary and most important trait that lays the foundations for the other four essential traits that are critical to long, fulfilling and lasting relationships. Communication is a two way median that involves both listening and talking.
The Balance Between Talking and Listening
Of primary importance is listening. When your partner is communicating with you be sure to listen with an open mind, with no interruptions and be very attentive to the words they speak, the tone of voice they use and to your partner’s changing facial expressions throughout their communication. Within these observations you will find clues towards how they are feeling, what perspectives and beliefs they hold, and you will also gain a clear insight into the needs they are attempting to satisfy within this moment.
When it comes time for you to talk, firstly delay your response with a small pause after your partner finishes speaking. When you do this you may find that your partner may add another couple of points to the conversation — providing you with a fuller picture of their communication. Next, identify the underlying needs that your partner indirectly highlighted within their communication with you. Now, summarize what you heard, confirm that you thoroughly understood them and begin speaking with empathy while focusing your communication style on fulfilling your partner’s needs.
If you ever catch yourself talking over your partner, thinking of other things while they are talking, misunderstanding what they are saying, or not having clearly identified the needs they are trying to satisfy within their interactions with you, than communication is clearly a lacking factor within your relationship.
Build honesty within your relationship in ways that encourage open communication. Agree with your partner today that you will be honest with each other at all times — even if the consequences may somewhat hurt the other person. Agree that you will always keep an open mind and work through situations in ways that are supportive of your long-term relationship objectives and goals. Always come from the perspective that “It is better to be honest and upfront now, than for my partner to find out later that I was hiding something from them”.
If you ever catch yourself questioning your partner in anyway, than honesty is a lacking factor within your relationship.
This is a direct outcropping of honesty. When you are honest within a relationship, than trust naturally becomes the flower at full bloom that accepts the warming rays of the sun with all its mite. The openness of honesty builds trust within a relationship and promotes a sense of peace and serenity whether you are together with your partner or separated by distance.
If you are ever away from your partner and catch yourself wondering what they are up to or who they might be with, than trust is a lacking factor within your relationship.
Being dependable means that your partner can rely on you at all times no matter the time or place. Both of you essentially live to support one another in times of need, and will go out of each other’s way to help when you are needed most.
If your partner ever needs you, and you catch yourself making up excuses or complaining about attending to their needs, than dependability is clearly a lacking factor within your relationship.
This all comes down to instinctively respecting your partner’s opinions and differences. Yes, you might disagree with their perspective, and that’s fine. However, you must respect them for who they are, for the opinions that they bring to the table, and also for the differences that make them special and unique. It is indeed okay to disagree in a respectful and accepting manner.
If you ever catch yourself ridiculing your partner about their opinions or perspectives, than respect is clearly a lacking factor within your relationship.
Supporting Relationship Traits
The following is a list of supporting relationship traits that are not essential and critical to a relationship, however cultivating them will most definitely enhance the chemistry and depth of feelings between you and your partner.
Find a Common Purpose and Synergy
Even though many people seem to be attracted to complete opposites. When it comes to key underlying factors and traits, we indeed tend to be attracted to someone who is very similar to us in many ways. Every relationship must have shared goals, beliefs and values that synergize perspectives and actions and move the couple towards a certain direction with clear, concise and precise objectives.
If you are finding that you and your partner seem to share a different set of goals, beliefs or values, than it could be an indication that your relationship is lacking the synergy to sustain itself for the long-term.
Other Key Traits
The remainder 8 supporting traits add extra spice, intimacy, love and joy to a relationship that already has the strong essential foundational characteristics discussed above. The traits include:
Each of these traits provide your relationship with the qualities it needs to keep things exciting, unpredictable, joyous, and responsive to changes within the environment and within each partner’s personality style.
Your goal is to seek out to cultivate each and everyone of these supportive traits, and your relationship will be propelled into the stratosphere.
Your Personal Relationship Mindset
We have already discussed the essential and supportive traits that go into building a fulfilling and fruitful relationship. Related to this are the traits that go into building your personal mindset that is critical with supporting these foundational relationship traits.
Without the correct mindset, we simply fail to cultivate the necessary wisdom to build and grow a relationship to a deeper level of awareness and understanding. However, by simply being aware of the necessary traits that build a powerful relationship-focused mindset, you will clearly be on a path towards a deeper and more satisfying relationship no matter what other obstacles may currently be standing in your way.
Here are a few suggestions that will provide you with some foundational principles that will instill a relationship-focused mindset:
This is all about finding ways to compromise. Accept the fact that you simply cannot and will not agree with your partner 100% of the time. As a result you could either be the good Samaritan and let your partner have it their way, or you could learn to compromise in a way that will benefit and support both of your perspectives and opinions. Understand that by being a little creative and thinking somewhat outside the box, you could very well both get what you want in ways that you may never have expected.
Be Flexible in Your Approach
As your relationship matures and moves through its progressive stages, you may find that you will also need to change and adapt accordingly.
Many relationships falter as they progress past the initial attraction stage because partners fail to understand that they need to be flexible in their approach and change accordingly as their relationship evolves to another level. To encourage the act of flexibility, learn to ask yourself solution focused questions.
Support Your Partner
Whenever you judge, criticize or condemn your partner, at that very moment you are creating conflict and bitterness towards you and your relationship with this person. When you wholeheartedly support your partner, it shows in your actions, your demeanor, and in your approach. Support your partner’s goals, dreams, beliefs, values, and anything else that they hold close to their heart.
When support is lacking many other things will begin to breakdown within a relationship. Begin by showing them that you care, talk to them about their concerns and challenges, and be there for them in their time of greatest need.
Cultivate an Optimistic Outlook
It is easy for us to get disgruntled and depressed when things are simply not going our way. If problems or challenges are testing your relationship, than see them as a blessing in disguise. Actually see them as experiences you can learn from to build even stronger bonds between you and your partner. Your own perspective will either make or break a relationship.
By keeping a positive outlook no matter what the circumstances, you may also provide your partner with the strength they need to keep on keeping on through these tough and difficult times. It all begins with you and expands from there.
Focus Only on Solutions
Focusing on solutions is closely linked to cultivating an optimistic outlook. However, the major difference is that when you are focusing on solutions, you specifically target potential scenarios that will strengthen and build on the current problems and challenges that may be holding your relationship back from evolving to the next level.
The easiest way to begin cultivating this kind of mindset is to ask effective solution focused questions that will expand your way of thinking in new directions. If you would like to experience first hand how this process works, than please have a look at the miWisdom blog which presents daily life wisdom’s and learning’s and concludes with a set of questions that expand one’s awareness and understanding about each situation. If in the future you are ever dealing with a similar problem or challenge in your life, than the miWisdom set of questions will set you on the right track towards a solution focused mindset.
Accept Yourself Wholeheartedly
Self-acceptance is an absolutely critical factor when it comes to the ongoing success of your relationship. Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner had very low self-esteem, and as a result this ended up sabotaging your relationship? Yes indeed, I am sure this has happened to a great deal of us, in fact you may have been the one with the low self-esteem, and as a result your partner might have walked away.
As a human species, we are naturally attracted to confident and decisive partners who feel good about their own body and mind. Your first step is to accept this statement as FACT.
Secondly, begin today by truly and wholeheartedly loving yourself from head to toe, inside and out, body, brain, soul and spirit. You are a unique and wonderful person who deserves the very best life has to offer. Begin today by spending more time with yourself and appreciating your uniqueness and beauty. Once you have fully grasped and understood this, only then will you be ready to love another person wholeheartedly without hesitation.
Accept All Imperfections
This naturally leads on from the previous point. First, you must accept yourself and all your imperfections openly and fully. You are not perfect and never will be (in the human form). Accept this as FACT and understand that your partner will never be perfect either. Like you, they also have imperfections and little things that they do that may not be to your liking. It’s just the way they are. Don’t try to change them, as that rarely ever works in the long-term. Instead learn to cultivate the mindset of acceptance and accept them for who they are wholeheartedly.
It often helps to look beyond your partner’s external appearance and see the beautiful soul that lies hidden out of sight within the depths of their eyes. Go ahead, take a good long look and see the beauty that lies hidden within these depths. Actually pull your partner aside and spend 10 to 15 minutes looking into each other’s eyes without talking, fidgeting or moving. This is literally an eye-opening experience. Once you lock-in on that beauty that lies within, you will never look at your partner the same way again.
How to Show Your Partner “I Love You”
We all understand how important love is to the success of a growing relationship. When we are in love, it just makes sense to tell our partner how much we love them over and over again. However, did you know that you can make your partner feel the deep love you have for them in many more ways then by simply telling them “I Love You“. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:
Do Loving Things
Triggering within your partner the exhilarating feelings of love will vary depending on their Love Strategy. Your partner’s Love Strategy is a set of unconscious rules they have ingrained into their psyche that determines how they feel in accordance to other people’s behaviors, words, gestures and actions.
Let’s begin by taking a look at a few ways you can show your partner that you love them without the “I love you” words attached.
Remember the Special Occasions
There are certain moments throughout the year that have special importance for both your partner and for the continued growth and maturity of your relationship. Remember them at all costs and celebrate them in unique, creative and romantic ways. The more memorable and romantic the experience the more indisputable proof there will be of your love and affection for your partner. All it really takes is remembering the big three annual occasions: Your partner’s birthday, your relationship’s anniversary day and valentines day.
Take the Unexpected Romantic Approach
Send your love via email, in a letter or through text messaging. You don’t have to say “I love you“, (although that wouldn’t hurt), just remind your partner that you are thinking about them, that you appreciate them, that you can’t wait to see them, and that your world is empty without them. Or, send something funny that makes them laugh and think of you. The more creative you are in your approach the more effective your message will be. Moreover, surprise your partner with sudden kisses and hugs. Again, be creative. Spice up your relationship with unpredictability, and remember, that kisses and hugs don’t always have to be the same.
We’ve already discussed the importance of communication, and listening attentively was no doubt a big aspect of that discussion. Through the act of listening you are showing your partner that you are interested in them and that you consider what they have to say as being of utmost importance. Isn’t it amazing how such a simple act can say so much about the feelings you have for the other person?
No one is perfect. People will make mistakes. You will make mistakes, and so will your partner. There are a few things that show your partner that you love them more than the simple act of forgiveness. Forgive them for their indiscretions, for their misjudgments, and for their imperfect actions. Doing this will show them how much you care, love and appreciate them despite mistakes that may or may not have been made.
A simple genuine smile stemming from the heart without a spoken word can do more to sooth the soul than a million “I love you’s” filled with little genuine intent or emotion.
Show Your Gratitude
Say “thank you” in creative, unique and genuine ways for the little things that your partner does for you. A warmhearted “thank you” can make a heart melt and will say so much more than the words it represents.
Compliment Your Partner in the Company of Others
Giving your partner compliments when you are alone is wonderful for building appreciation and romantic affection. However, giving your partner compliments in the company of other people shows them how genuinely you respect and care for them openly within a social environment. Do this in creative and unique ways that makes other people appreciate the wonderful things you see within your partner on a daily basis.
As a rule-of-thumb, not only should you compliment your partner in a creative manner, you should also only compliment them on things that others simply would not at first notice. If for instance others see your partner as being handsome or beautiful, compliment them indirectly about how great of a husband, wife, father, mother or provider they are — this will show them beyond a shadow of a doubt how much you respect, care and value them.
Hold your partner’s hand while watching TV, walking through the park or just waiting in line at the grocery store. The simple act of touching will go a long way in displaying your unwavering love and affection.
When was the last time you took the time to play your partner’s favorite song and asked them to dance intimately under the candlelight? The music that we appreciate and love has been scientifically proven to stimulate deep reservoirs of emotion from within our psyche, which can bring about powerful feelings of love and affection.
Tickle and Wrestle Each Other
Simple cheeky touching and wrestling will stimulate powerful love infested emotions within your partner’s body. This act alone shows your partner your deep love and affection.
Simple Say Nothing At All
I’m sure that at this stage you are fully comprehending and understanding that words don’t have to be spoken to show your partner that you love them. However, just in case you need a little more convincing, here are the lyrics of a well known song sang by Ronan Keating entitled “When You Say Nothing at All” from the movie Notting Hill. The lyrics of the song are very powerful and can help put into perspective what is required in order to build strong, long lasting and fruitful intimate relationships.
When You Say Nothing At All
It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
Try as I may, I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing
The smile on your face, lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me whenever I fall
You say it best, when you say nothing at all
All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you drown out the crowd
Try as they may, they can never define
What’s been said between your heart and mine
Say “I Love You” in a Variety of Ways
Don’t just say “I love you“, instead say it differently, creatively and in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples to get you started:
You complete me…
You are precious…
You are my life…
I value you…
I adore you…
You inspire me…
I live for our love…
You are my strength…
I dream of you…
I appreciate you…
Me and you always…
These are just some examples that you can use to tell your partner that you love them. For more of these creative “I love you” variations visit the Romance Stuck Blog.
Romantic Things to Do
Building strong fulfilling and fruitful relationships requires constant diligence, work and effort. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyable and fun. Spice up your relationship with a variety of unique activities and dating ideas that will keep your partner interested and leave them wanting more.
Here are just a few suggestions to get you started on the right path:
Plan ongoing weekly romantic dates with your partner to keep the sizzle in your relationship going. This could be as simple as a spa/bath night, watching the sunset or sunrise, or simply surprising them on their lunch-break at work with a picnic in the park. No matter what it is, plan to make it special, memorable and especially romantic. Also plan your dates in advance and surprise your partner with creativity and variety each and every time.
Remember that dates don’t always have to be romantic. A balance of fun and romance is always essential for a healthy and long lasting relationship. Plan fun dates such as bowling, mini golf, bike riding, ice skating, playing board games, arcade games, Sony PlayStation or even X-Box games at home.
Anything that stirs up intense excitement within your partner will naturally unleash an avalanche of love hormones that will bring about ever deeper feelings of affection for you. This is exactly why amusement parks are incredibly effective, just make sure that you don’t overdo it by going on too many of those exhilarating rides at one time. One too many rides could indeed have the opposite effect, especially on a full stomach. 😉
If you simply don’t like the idea of planning a date, you can still spice up your relationship through daily activities or all-day outings. Go hiking with your partner within a National Park, or plan a road trip to unexpected places — simply go with your gut and see where the roads take you. Alternatively, you may find great pleasure in exercising together at the gym or park, and even simple arduous tasks and activities such as doing the laundry or washing the car together can quickly become an intensely emotional and intoxicating experience for both of you.
Use your imagination and your chemistry will do the rest. Visit Romance Tracker for more great dating ideas and activities.
Relationship Mistakes to Avoid
It is of course of utmost importance to focus in on and target areas that will grow, build and take your relationship to the next level. However, at the same time we must be aware of the mistakes that many couples make that sabotage and destroy their relationships in irreparable ways.
Here are some things you should keep in mind and be wary of if you seek to build a long, lasting and fruitful relationship:
Avoid Picking on Partner’s Faults
No one likes to be judged or picked on, especially by the person they love, so quit picking on your partner’s faults. You are not perfect yourself, so don’t expect your partner to be perfect either. Accept them for who they are, love them because of their imperfection and cherish them for the intrinsic beauty that lies hidden behind the external appearance.
Many relationships fail simply because the couple becomes too complacent and comfortable within the relationship. As human beings, we crave excitement and variety within our lives. Initially at the beginning stages of a relationship we experience many new feelings and also partake in activities that instigate mystery, uncertainty and unpredictability.
Once you are with someone for a while it’s easy to simply overlook the factors that initially created that spark and attraction in your relationship. If you notice that you are becoming lazy and that your relationship is becoming too predictable, realize that sooner or later one of you will have to do something to spice things up or the relationship will very likely fall apart both emotionally and physically.
Avoid Seeking Instant Gratification
It’s very easy to become addicted to having your partner around fulfilling all your deepest needs and desires. Don’t forget that even though you are within a relationship, you are still an individual entity with one beating heart and one thinking brain. Addiction to your partner may very well lead to neediness, which could make your partner feel claustrophobic within your presence. Instead practice being happy with yourself when your partner isn’t around. Moreover, practice satisfying your emotional, physical, spiritual and material cravings in constructive ways without needing your partner to be there all the time.
Finally understand that every relationship needs intimacy and closeness just as much as it requires a little separation and space. Therefore, be very careful not to become addicted.
Avoid Carrying Old Baggage
By old baggage I don’t mean old suitcases that you have been storing in your closet for years. 😉 Instead, I mean people, emotions and thoughts that keep you in the past and prevent you from moving forward with your current relationship within the present moment. Stay true to yourself by letting go of the past and focusing wholeheartedly on your partner today.
Avoid Having Unrealistic Expectations
Get over the fact that your partner will solve your emotional problems or self-esteem issues. Your partner is human, they will help you any way they can, however you must not rely on them to assist you with every problem that confronts you on a daily basis. This is simply just too emotionally draining and will eat-away at your partner’s emotional resources. You must understand that they are also dealing with their own personal problems at home, work, and anywhere else they transition through life. Yes, support each other, and be there when your partner needs you most, however do not hold onto unrealistic expectations that this relationship will bring you perfect happiness on every level of your life.
Relationships are not magic pills that you can pop at any time, they are instead support lifelines that can help make your transition through life much easier more exhilerating and fun.
Avoid Forcing Your Partner to Change
This again touches upon the idea of perfection. You are not perfect, so don’t expect your partner to be perfect either. Think back to your initial attraction and how you felt about your partner at the time. Did you nitpick at every little thing you didn’t like about them, or did you simply love them for who they were as a complete and perfect package with warts and all? Your union came together because you naturally complimented each others strengths and weaknesses. Keep this union alive by continuing to be strong where they are weak or competent where they may be inadequate. Ask yourself,
Does the world really need another clone of me?
Appreciate your partner for who they are and continue to work on maintaining that strength/weakness balance that is evident within all successful relationships.
Avoid Arguing to Win
Before you argue with your partner ask yourself
Even if I prove that my perspective is right, is it worth making my partner feel terrible about the fact that they are wrong?
Let’s all just grow up and stop acting like little children. What is right and what is wrong is irrelevant, as long as what is most important is still intact when everything is said and done. Is your opinion more important than your relationship?
Avoid Creating Negative Anchors
This is a natural outcropping of the above point. Whenever we are experiencing a powerful and intense emotional state, everything within our present environment naturally gets attached to that emotional state of being. This means that if you come home from work feeling angry and you transfer that anger onto your partner, than these emotions of anger will begin to slowly but surely anchor themselves to your partner’s presence.
For instance, the next week you might come home from work feeling on top of the world, however the moment you see your partner you begin to feel uncomfortable and angry, and you just can’t explain why? This is evidence that shows you that you have a negative anchor attached to your partner’s presence, and it is probably the biggest and most powerful destructive force on relationships in the 21st Century. To avoid this, simply separate yourself from your partner in times when you are experiencing heated emotions, and choose to be near your partner when you are feeling excitement and exhilaration.
This strategy will not only extinguish the probability of creating negative anchors, but will also create the possibility of experiencing positive relationship building anchors.
By working through all of these key steps you will have the necessary strategies to grow and build upon your relationships in magical ways. The secret is to be consistent and persistent. Nothing is ever perfect, and nothing has ever been accomplished without a little sacrifice, work and effort. Make the process fun, exciting and enjoyable and your relationships will no doubt experience the fruits of your labor. And finally remember that your relationships are a work in progress, and will expand in wonderful ways with a little TLC.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any further thoughts, ideas, reflections or suggestions about this topic, than please feel free to comment below.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions. Your purchase will also go a long way towards supporting the further development of these maps.
If you enjoy using these maps, then why not become a IQ Matrix lifetime member where you will gain access to an ever growing number of hundreds of self-growth mind maps that can help you excel in every area of life. It would be fantastic to have you join our community of existing lifetime members.
Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 10 Inspirational Quotes on Relationships @ Positivity Blog
- How to Build Intimacy in any Relationship @ Think Simple Now
- 10 Ways We Hurt Our Romantic Relationships @ Lifehack
- How to Resolve Conflicts in Your Relationships @ Pick the Brain
- Building Healthy Relationships @ Pick the Brain
- 50 Ways to Be Romantic on the Cheap @ Zen Habits
- Cheat Codes to Have a Happy Marriage @ Avani Mehta
- How Personal Growth Can Uncover a Toxic Relationship @ Life Optimizer
- How to Manage a Long Distance Relationship @ Life Optimizer
- 5 Qualities of Successful Relationships @ Slow Down Fast
- A Marital Spark: 6 Principles for More Passion & Energy in Marriage @ Zen Habits
- Salt of a Happy Marriage: When too Much of a Good Thing Makes Marriage Go Bad @ Avani Mehta
- 5 Tips for an Amazing Happy Relationship @ Ask Dan and Jennifer
- How to Improve Your Relationships: 7 Awesome Tips from the Last 1900 Years @ Positivity Blog
- Listen Up: How Honest Communication Can Save Your Marriage @ Zen Habits
- The Correct Way to Argue in a Relationship @ Lesson In Life
- 7 Ways to Inject Romance into Your Relationship @ Dumb Little Man
- 10 Keys to a Successful Romantic Relationship @ Lifehack
- 7 Common Reasons Relationships Fail @ Pick the Brain
- 7 Free Ways to be Romantic @ Dumb Little Man
- 50 Ways to Say “I Love You” for Almost Free @ Destroy Debt
- 10 Ways to Say “I Love You” Without Speaking a Word @ Dumb Little Map