Sure, it’s reasonable to expect to be loved unconditionally. But you need to be an active participant in a relationship to enable that. Here are five habits to practise to help you play your part of the equation.
Great relationships need you to be there. You’d be amazed at the stories I hear of couples who live together but for whom that’s where things begin and end. You need to make a dedicated effort to spend time just hanging out with one another. And when you are together, make sure that you really are there. By which I mean, switch off your mobile, come out of Twitter and Facebook, and focus your attention on one another.
Relationships are two way streets. You’re entitled to your experience and point of view, but for it to be appreciated you first need to listen and try to understand the experience and point of view of your partner. That expressly means shutting up when they are talking and trying to put your own opinion to one side now and again to be able to engage with them.
The old saying “love me, hate me, but don’t ignore me” rings true here. One of the most slowly undermining things you can do to a partner is take them and their efforts on your behalf for granted. Spot them doing little things and thank them for it. And tell them you love them often.
If your partner goes out of their way to do something great for you, make sure that you reciprocate their gesture and extend yourself too. In fact, don’t wait for them. Put yourself out on your partners behalf, without expectation of anything in return, and create the conditions that enable you both to enjoy an environment of generosity.
As a smart person, you can sometimes be pretty controlling and want everything to go your way. But once in a while you may have to forget your own desires and allow your partner to have their wishes met.
Try putting these five things into play in your relationship and notice how that changes things.
What would you add to this list? What habits help keep you relationship solid?