Ingredients of a Good Relationship

Published on by CMe



Ingredients of a Good Relationship

Be it a guy or a girl, even if you have been in a relationship for years, you will still not be able to put down the exact ingredients of a good relationship. So, what makes a good relationship? Is it just love? Is it just trust? Or is it just compatibility? It is a mixture of all of these and much more. Here is my recipe for a good relationship which contains the traits of a healthy relationship, and ideal relationship qualities with the Indian Tadka!


The following ingredients will be required to cook up a good relationship.
  • Love - Well, lets face it, a relationship without love, is kind of abysmal.

  • Romance - Romance adds the butterflies in the stomach, even to regular activities.

  • Respect - If two people don't respect each other, co-existence is near impossible.

  • Passion - Having passion in a relationship is like having salt in a recipe. Without it, there will be color, but no taste.

  • Empathy - Empathy is very important in a relationship. Lack of empathy would render the relationship abusive.

  • Understanding - It is important to be able to understand each other. It is through understanding that a connection develops, and respect and love can be discovered.

  • Acceptance - If you are in a relationship with a person, you need to accept him/her for what he/she is. If you have it in the back of your mind that you will eventually change him, then the relationship will not work out.

  • Friendship - Basically, in a relationship, you need to be able to laugh at each other, cry with each other and yell at each other. Who better to do that than a friend?

These are the basic, most important ingredients of a good relationship. Mix them up in the quantities that you see fit, based on your and your partner's nature. But, for you to understand the mixing, you need to understand the ingredients. Let's move on to that aspect of the relationship advice.

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredient: Love
Love is that which holds everything together. It is the basic ingredient. Like, if you were cooking chicken, love would be the chicken of your recipe. Love is the reason why you are making the effort of bringing in the other ingredients. However, if this ingredient gets too much importance, it would be wrong. Like, you cannot have only chicken in your dish, right? You need to add spices, and other ingredients. Just like that, a relationship with only love, will meet its end in a dump! Read more on love and relationship.

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredient: Romance
There is a very good saying for men in relationships, if you want your woman to be your princess forever, be her prince forever. That means, the couple needs to keep the romance and the charm alive. Romance is the break from the mundane everyday duties. The vacation from regularity that you need. So, keep a regular balance of romance, to maintain a good relationship.

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredient: Passion
Sex is very important in a marriage. True statement. However, more than the sex, passion is important. There should be a longing in the couple for each other. It is passion that makes each touch, each kiss, each blink of the eye mean a lot more than that which meets the eye. You see those aging couples walking hand in hand, it is the passion that keeps them there. The passion to stay together despite the odds, that is what makes a good relationship.

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredient: Empathy
Lack of empathy in a relationship would spell doom for it. You need to have a basic know how about the other person. How they think, how they react and how they behave. It is this empathy that makes a couple manage living with each other for a longer time. It is this empathy that helps a couple do those small small things that make the other person happy. Have you heard those women who go "Oh, that is just how he is!" or men say things like "That's my girl"? That is out of empathy!

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredients: Understanding and Acceptance
Understanding and acceptance go hand in hand. In a relationship, it is important to understand the other person. Why they did what they did? It is the understanding that overlooks the jealousy. More so, acceptance is required in a relationship. If you cannot accept the person for what they truly are, then the relationship will be a farce. A good relationship is made by two people who understand each other and accept each other with the flaws.

What Makes a Good Relationship - Ingredient: Friendship
Friendship is that ingredient which adds the magic to the relationship. If two people can be lovers and friends at the same time, they have a complete relationship. Friendship allows the two to laugh together at their silliness, yell at each other for the mistakes and cry with each other for the losses. How complete do you feel in company of a friend? That is the feeling that you will have with a partner, if you both share friendship in your relationship as well! More on managing relationships and healthy relationships.

While the amount and the percentage of all these ingredients may have differed from person to person, each ingredient is important for a good relationship. This is where I sign off! Happy loving!


Successful Relationship Tips

Many of us spend days, even years finding the one person who we think would be right for us, our perfect soul mate. However, as the relationship with the so called "soulmate" progresses, it is strange that the subtle quirks that you liked so much about him/her have become so "toe-curlingly" annoying. The result: broken hearts, pain and not to forget the high rates of divorce. So why are the relationships we have restricted to casual flings rather than something more meaningful and permanent? Well, as much as we may try to find it elsewhere, the key to successful and healthy relationships lie within us. Here are some successful relationship tips that you can use to build a solid foundation and find the depth in your relationships to make it last a lifetime.

Tips for a Successful Relationship

Long Term Commitment: The inclusion of this as the very first point indicates the importance of commitment towards a relationship. An absence of it can lead to frustration, anger and infidelity sooner or later in the relationship. A vision of the future of the relationship is what binds people together.

Like Each Other: People choose partners based on the common interests, passion and thought processes. Although liking each other may sound quite simplistic, it is quite an important factor for a successful relationship. Most people stick on to a bad relationship just because they feel they cannot get anyone better. Thus it is a good idea to probe into your partner’s mind questioning simple things like interests, hobbies, career goals. This will make it easier for you to understand the person and whether you want to spend your life with him or her.

Communication: Without proper communication a relationship can never thrive. Hidden resentments need to be vented out or else they can poison any relationship. This of course involves talking as well as listening. While most people are good at venting out their emotions and feelings, only a handful of people actually LISTEN. Hear out what your partner has to say, understand his or her decisions and then put forth your viewpoint. Encouraging your partner to listen and listening when he or she has something to say makes the other person feel appreciated and special. Read more on communication styles in relationships.

Spend Time Together: As our schedules become hectic and children take a significant portion of our time and attention, spending quality time together can slip down our list of priorities. However, it is important to find time for one another. Remember the time when you fell in love. The urgency and need to meet the other person may not be sustainable in the long run but spending time on a daily basis is just as important one year down the line as it was when you first fell head over heels in love with him or her.

Arguments: Arguments are a part of life and any relationship will have its set of misunderstandings. Remember that you are two different individuals with separate thought processes and relationship issues are bound to crop up sometime. So arguing is just a part of human nature and is a way of flexing individual personalities. However, it is a good idea to understand your limits in an argument. Physical and verbal abuse is a crime and should not be resorted to in any circumstance.

Affection: Simple things like holding hands, a hug and even a smile can light up our lives. Keep the chemistry alive by taking her out on long romantic drives or cooking him a romantic dinner.

Acceptance: Change is inevitable in our lives and over a period of time everyone and almost everything changes. While some may be easier to accept, others may be difficult for a couple to adjust to. However, remember that in every successful relationship adapting to changes and accepting them is a part of our lives. More on relationship advice.

While most of these successful relationship tips might sound quite familiar, in our everyday rat race we forget to implement them. The result is a relationship breakup and a host of other issues. So spend time together, laugh, cry and love each other and in no time you too will be in a successful loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

To be in a relationship means to be able to relate to someone you love. Being in a relationship is the most beautiful state to be in. Many of you readers might be in a relationship already or might be looking forward to getting into one. Just as it takes two to tango, it also takes two to build healthy relationships. A successful relationship takes a long determined effort by both the partners. There are many characteristics of a healthy relationship. Let's make a start to build healthy relationships as we go through characteristics of healthy relationship. A nice idea would be to read the traits of a good relationship with your partner.

Congratulations for making it to this page! The next step towards building healthy relationships would be reading this article with your spouse or partner as mentioned earlier. If that's not possible, then you have an interesting topic to talk about with your love on the dinner table tonight. For more on stages of healthy relationships, read on.

Sharing is Caring
Sharing is not restricted to sharing of tangible items with your loved one. Busy lives leave little room for sharing our personal space with the person we love. This makes them feel dejected and often neglected. Share with your partner the events of the day, what was the highlight and the low point. Ask them what did they do and how their day was. Try beginning with different questions such as 'What did you eat today for lunch?' or 'What were you working on today?'. Beginning with different questions can help your spouse open up differently and help him/her share things that are generally left out.

Earn Respect
'You can't be respected, unless you learn to respect' is the true basis of a healthy relationship. Constantly making fun of your partner by jokes, abusing him or her, subjecting him to public humiliation and among friends, can leave indelible scars on the relationship. Respect your partner's discomforts and try to strike a balance. Appreciate your partner's career choices and if you disagree, try to talk it out instead of acting unreasonably protective. For more on making a relationship last, go on reading.

Honesty is the Best Policy
Signs of a healthy relationship will tell you that honesty is the best policy. Being honest implies to both, the man and his lady. Once again, busy lives have been the reason for 'emotional infidelity', but the same can be resolved by understanding each other and devising ways of better communication. Communication differs from talking, as the former includes comprehension and its implementation than just hearing. Honesty will prevail only if you understand and appreciate the person you are with. Thus, an important relationship advice is to be honest and open in your approach.

Promise a Commitment
Relationship issues develop due to lack of commitment and the feeling of helplessness. 'Commitment' is an unwelcome word for many. However, it is because we are worried about losing freedom, that we devalue commitment. We fail to see that committing to the person we love is actually freeing ourselves from the fear of losing freedom. In this way, we can be more free than what we are. Commitment means being there for the person you love, knowing him, understanding his points of view, accepting him just as he is and loving him unconditionally like every moment is your last! Characteristics of a good relationship, will time and again show that you are committed and belong to him like water belongs to the sea. But the important part of 'commitment' is, that it needs to come mutually, which strengthens the relationship.

Healthy relationships are honeymoons that never end. Building healthy relationships is setting a foot on the journey that would lead, and surely lead you to happiness. The destination may be far off, but the journey will teach you lessons of love, learning and understanding. Before you get into a relationship, learn to relate to the person you want to be with. This will give you a head start to begin the most romantic honeymoon ever!

Traits of a Healthy Relationship
"The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships." - Anthony Robbins

Successful relationships are not something that is built in a day. There are many factors that go into the making of a healthy relationship. Being intimate with a person does not always mean you shall connect in a better manner. Healthy relationships are all based on how well you connect even from within. A healthy relationship is one where both can be their individual self and also learn to accept each other with all the qualities and flaws. When you are in such a relationship, both partners give each other complete freedom and also support each other in every aspect of their life. There are certain components that are required to create a base for a healthy relationship. Here, we shall check out certain traits of a healthy relationship.

Traits of a Healthy Relationship:
Having a healthy bond of friendship:

Having a bond of friendship between the couple is very necessary if you wish to have a healthy relationship. Couples that discover this beautiful bond end up knowing each other to a deeper level. Friendship is a bond that will help you to connect in various ways and considering your partner to be your buddy would help you to enjoy each other’s company to the fullest. Being a friend can help you to care and share and understand each other in various other spheres of life.

Mutual respect for each other:
For a relationship to be truly compatible in every aspect, couples need to maintain respect for each other. This respect can be towards one’s career or any other issue related to life. The moment you display a sign of respect towards your partner and appreciation for what he/she is doing for you, it will only help to strengthen this very special bond you share! Mutual respect only helps a couple to grow in a relationship.

Affection and intimacy in a relationship:
The right levels of affection are required in a relationship in order to strengthen the bond. Although physical intimacy is required, it does not always mean there is no other way to express your love. A simple ‘Love You’ works wonders when your partner is having a hectic schedule. You might be surprised how well a tight hug can keep couples more connected. A healthy relationship therefore can be gauged when couples share a lot of affection and are intimate with each other no matter how busy the schedule may appear.

Honesty and building the trust factor:
Honesty between a couple helps to bring them closer to each other and also know more about each other. For any healthy relationship, it is necessary both partners are completely honest about their opinions about all issues in life. Honesty will help to build the right amount of trust in a relationship and couples can even learn to value each other’s opinions and beliefs. This will in turn help to develop the right levels of respect for each other.

Sense of Humor:
Laughter can sure be a great way to ease things between couples. Having a great sense of humor and being able to share funny moments help to take the relationship to a new level. Having the perfect sense of humor without really hurting sentiments of people around you is one of the traits that go into the making of a healthy relationship. It also helps couples to overcome difficult situations with more ease.

Perfect Communication:
A relationship would require you to constantly communicate with your partner and get one’s feelings across. Communication is required so that couples can understand each other perfectly and also avoid misunderstandings from being created. With proper communication, a healthy relationship is possible without any added hassles! There could be no other better way than to express your feelings before your partner and also gain his/her confidence in due course of time.

To maintain a healthy relationship, a couple would also need to have a common vision and goal. This would help couples to get the most out of life together!

Characteristics of a Healthy Personality

A healthy personality is well-balanced, cheerful and stress-free. Healthy people have self-discipline and self-control. They are honest with themselves. They have a great ability to understand others and they know well how to deal with people. They have a strong faith in themselves. They always listen to their mind, rather than following the majority. A psychologically healthy and contented person achieves all happiness and takes hard efforts to go beyond, through a process of self-realization. Such healthy people contribute a lot to overall happiness and health of the society. A healthy person possesses individualistic uniqueness in his/her character and personality. Read on to know more about the characteristics of a healthy personality.
Following are some of the remarkable characteristics of a healthy personality:

People with a healthy personality accept themselves completely as they are, although they wish to change parts of themselves. They have a basic self-regard and self-love, which is carefully developed and intentionally expanded.

  • A person with a healthy personality has an ability to communicate with anyone. Such person shows understanding and compassion. He/she can listen to others with a great patience.
  • Healthy people are quite creative. They possess exceptional zest and amazing brain function.
  • They are competent. They have a quality of being well qualified physically and intellectually. They have some excellent virtues such as being reliable and dependable.
  • They have a great conviction. Their thoughts reflect listening to their inner self and they take it as truth. Such people generally don’t just follow the majority without thinking. They do the things as per their own thoughts, as they are quite sure about it.
  • You will see that healthy people are always curious to know about the new things. They are always alert, curious and inquisitive and are often seeking and learning new things.
  • Such healthy individuals have an appealing, magnetic personality. Their personal attraction and lively personality often influence others. They have a positive attitude and an easygoing charm which make them quite sociable and popular wherever they go.
  • They have a great common sense and presence of mind.
  • People with health personality are quite courageous. They put their courage to a positive use.
  • They cherish their personality, their body, their appearance, their interests and accomplishments as well as their beliefs and values.
  • They allow themselves to be trusting and open with appropriate people. They make themselves to be trusting and open with appropriate people. They don’t feel scared to be known deeply at a personal level. However, they are alert about not to be exposed to be exploited by those who don’t wish their well-being.
  • They are able to enjoy their being with others, particularly with someone in a romantic relationship as they enjoy a healthy sense of self-esteem.
  • When they face any relationship breakup or a personal tragedy, they are able to come out of it without falling into a disabling depression. They have a group of supportive friends to overcome such situation. They hold some healthy interests to see them through crisis.
  • They tend to protect their health, self-esteem and well-being despite the struggles, chaos and drama of the past. They leave behind their past and live in the present. Positive attitude plays a significant role in building a healthy personality.
  • They generally accept others as they are. They don’t attempt to change others to meet their requirements. It’s really a good thing. Over-expectation can be troublesome to others as well as themselves.
  • So, try to achieve a healthy personality, which offers you a number of benefits regarding personal, social and professional aspects. Your positive attitude and self-confidence can surely make your life cheerful and stress-free.

How to make a Relationship Last?

"The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships." - Anthony Robbins. This certainly holds true for everybody. No matter the amount of money one can have or all the luxuries in this world, having good and healthy relationships is what matters if one wishes to claim to have a successful life. Often what seems to be a good relationship ends up being on the brink of a break up for petty issues. The secret to make a relationship last forever lies within us. After all, compatibility is the major issue and often cracks develop in a relationship when couples cannot really compromise on certain factors. So, how to make a relationship last? How does a person make a relationship work? Are these the thoughts that are troubling your mind? Well, you are not the only one out there! Here are some guidelines that can help you to make a relationship last.

Being happy in a relationship takes effort from both sides. It is of no use if efforts are a one-sided affair. Communication is the base to make any relationship last. Do you have a problem with any of his habits? Try talking to him and sorting out the issue rather than getting worked up about it. Does she show signs of being a nag? Why groan over the issue and become unhappy when you can talk it out between the two. When you remain unhappy, you are bound to make your partner feel unhappy which would ultimately make the both of you suffer. Always communicate your true feelings to each other in an amicable manner. The way you put across your message can give you varied results!

Always keep that fun element alive in a relationship. If you wish to make a relationship last forever, you need to discard the feeling you have been going steady for long. Take a day off from work and surprise your partner by planning something elaborate at home. You can bake a cake or decorate your home so that when he returns, he would be in for a surprise. Guys can send a bouquet of flowers to her workplace or plan a secret rendezvous for the weekend. Plan things without your partner’s knowledge and see the surprise on his/her face. Work issues always tend to bog people down so you need to make an effort to bring the zing back into the relationship. Married couples can pretend they are still going steady! Ultimately, the idea is to spend quality time with each other and prevent the relationship from getting stagnated at any point.

Ensure you both have developed common interests and values together. Even if you may think your partner is poles apart from you, you need to work upon few common angles that can help you to cherish each other’s company and discover new things as well. This is also a good way of spending more time with each other. Join a dance class at the weekend or play a sport together. Whatever it is, you need to bond more strongly to make a relationship last.

Be intimate and cherish the time spent. You can try small acts that display your love and affection. Surprise your partner with a cup of tea in bed or leave some love messages at specific places around the house. Add a touch of romance to every single day of your life. Make your partner feel loved and you would be surprised to the amount of love you get in return.

Develop a strong bond of friendship between the two of you! Apart from romance and intimacy, one needs to strengthen the bond by being good friends for life!

For a rewarding relationship, you need to work around many issues that seem difficult to tackle. A couple needs to be equally committed to make things better between them. Equal efforts will help to strengthen the bonds between couples. Love, affection, trust and commitment towards each other are some of the major aspects that will help you to make a relationship last forever!

Real, Healthy Relationships aren't found, you Must Create Them!

It takes a firm foundation to build a solid house. We all dream of trustworthy and reliable relationships and know the meaning of the old proverb "a friend in need is a friend indeed". However, the stability we look for in a relationship seems to vanish rapidly with all the pressures of the nowadays ever fluctuating society.

What would you answer if someone asked you the following question: "How can I build a dependable relationship?"

I took the ideas from Dr. H. Norman Wrights book where he sums up the four main pillars of a relationship: love, trust, respect and understanding. If one of the pillars is not solid enough, the whole construction is threatened and will eventually collapse. What’s more, you can’t build upon one of the pillars to compensate the lack of another! For instance, you can’t compensate the lack of trust with a double portion of love; it takes more time for trust and reciprocal understanding to be built when compared to other qualities of your relationship.

Let’s see the four main bases of the house of love:

The pillar of love
This pillar consists of more elements necessary for a relation to function: a) safety and security, b) support, c) the "feeling you belong", d) the care.
  • To be yourself is a great privilege and there are certain people in your life that you can be yourself with because you trust them, you can give up the "safety armor" and simply enjoy their presence. What a relief!
  • To know that you have people to encourage and support you trough the good and the bad times is a need we all have. A person who gives you support is with you determining you to bring out the best in you, encouraging you, help you dream to a higher level that even transcends your own level, this is a true supporter. It is not easy to encourage someone to achieve higher goals then your own it takes a lot of character but you’ll surely be rewarded for it!
  • The "feeling you belong"
    We are social beings and we all know the pain of being rejected versus the joy of being accepted /needed and valued within a community. That’s why it is important for us to belong with someone respectively in a group that best represents your values and interests.
  • To care for someone means to give that person a special place in your heart and to be willing to give up some of your own comfort in order to show that your care is true. It is not always convenient to sacrifice your time for someone else but it is impossible to say you care, without any sacrifice whatsoever.

The second main pillar is trust
Trusting others comes easy to some people but for others this can be extremely difficult especially when their experiences pushed them to believe that people are not to be easily trusted, that’s why you should handle your partner with extreme care when it comes to this chapter.

Can you rely on your partner? Does he do what he says he'll do? When two people trust each other they transmit the following message:" I trust you, I will be with you when all forsake you; you can rely on me with big and small things; I tell the truth, I will not change and I won't be impulsive". As it takes two to have a relationship, you have to be trustworthy if that’s what you want from the other. Are you a dependable person?

The third pillar, respect
This is by far the most neglected aspect of a relationship. Respect is a must in a lifelong relationship and it means to acknowledge the value of the other person. An essential aspect is that in order to respect others you have to respect yourself first.

If you don’t respect yourself how can you respect others?

This "ingredient" can be seen, shown, but how?

You can welcome the other giving him/her the attention he needs, it is like saying: "I am happy you are in my life!" it means to show a high level of appreciation to the point where you feel free to tell your friend that you wish you had his abilities/qualities.

The fourth pillar- the understanding
The first three elements depend on this last pillar, understanding the other. This pillar needs time to grow as it can only be built on knowing your partner, it requires an intense communication; you must know what the other feels and how he/she thinks to be able to understand him/her.

Your friend can’t understand you if you are not open, if you don’t reveal yourself. Your partner has to do the same, you can’t tell your deepest heart of hearts unless you know and trust the person, that’s why this pillar is built in time.

Now even if all four pillars are solid in your relationship - which means the chances to have a beautiful long-term relationship are real and in fact, great there is a common element involved here: the risk.

If you are not willing to be vulnerable and assume the risk of a relationship, you can’t dream of a perfect relationship. This is the bottom line: Are you willing to risk?

It is not easy to choose the right person for you and these consequences will last a lifetime, it is after all one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Decide wisely!

Building Boundaries and Protecting Them

Healthy relationships are defined by boundaries. Knowing where we start and another begins is essential in maintaining stability with another, no matter what their relationship to you is. They keep us from entering unsafe areas that qualify as a violation of our boundaries. All of this may seem confusing, so it's best to think of a boundary as an imaginary personal space bubble that protects us from others and from ourselves. When that bubble is violated, another person has tried to control the feelings, attitudes, behaviors, choices and values of another.

These personal boundary bubbles form naturally but are shaped by a number of elements like how our parents set rules, traumatic experiences, or being rescued from consequences of an action. Thus, the shape your bubble takes is based on learned behaviors. Healthy boundaries, which keep some form of separation between us and another person with whom we have a relationship with, have numerous benefits for both parties involved.

For starters, healthy boundaries define us as people. If we have no sense of separation from another, we lose that sense of self. It can also cause us to lose sense of reality in general. Also, they define our relationships with others. They can help us choose who is a good person with whom you want to have a connection to and who might try to violate us. A healthy boundary will help us to know how connected we are to the other person, thus keeping in the good elements and leaving out the bad.

Healthy boundaries can also assist us when things happen that are out of our control, such as another person violating our boundaries. They keep us from choosing to react badly, by yelling or cursing, and to take pro-action. If you have established boundaries with another and that person breaks those boundaries, this can give you a signal that you need to take action before things become too out of control.

Finally, healthy boundaries allow us to be free to make our own choices and to enjoy the differences in those around us. Their differences will become valued, and they will value the differences between you more. If you have no boundary and you attach yourself to another, you can lose your sense of identity. Thus, keeping a healthy boundary between will preserve individuality on both sides.

When you need to set a boundary with someone, do it clearly. Don't use anger or frustration and avoid rationalizing. You cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person's feelings. You might hurt their feelings, but in the end remember that you'll be protecting both of you from further hurt in the future. If you're unsure if a boundary is necessary or not, look for signals such as anger, complaining, frustration with another, and feeling threatened, suffocated, or victimized. These emotions clue us into the fact that we have limits as individuals and we have to protect them. Often convincing ourselves that we have limits is more difficult than convincing others. Some people will be happy to respect your boundaries, while others may not be so happy with this. For situations where the other becomes angry with you, a support system outside of that individual is your best line of defense.

Most importantly, you must remember that setting boundaries isn't easy. It's an ongoing process of listening to yourself, respecting yourself and others, understanding your rights as an individual, and taking care of yourself. This is essentially why we need and must protect these personal boundaries.

The 3 A's of a Healthy Relationship

Have you ever met a married couple that was so lovey dovey that it just about made you sick to your stomach? You wouldn't mind so much if they were newlyweds, but for crying out loud these two have been together for years. Yet every time you go out with them, they are in full mushy mode. They openly vow endless love and one refuses to make any decisions without consulting the other. It's enough to make you want to sue the pastor who presided at their wedding ceremony.

The cynic in you says this is nothing more than an act they put on to fool the public at large but you know in your heart that is not true. You have seen these two in action when they didn't think anybody was looking (no not like that!) and from your observations, they are the real deal. The love, trust, mutual respect and sheer enjoyment they get from being in each other's company is as genuine as a Sunday morning.

So how did they beat the odds? In the US alone roughly 49% of all marriages end in divorce. While the good news is the divorce rate has dropped to its lowest level since 1970, the reality is 49% is still a high number.

Yet even when couples decide to stay together many are trapped in a marriage that has plenty of routine but little else. Somewhere during their relationship, the marriage went from fun and romance to a chore that saps the energy out of both parties.

It doesn't have to be that way. There may not be any full proof guaranteed cure alls for the relationship blues but every little bit helps; like the 3 A's.
  1. Attitude
    Marriage is a chore if you convince yourself it's a chore. Do you look at every bump in the relationship road as a crushing obstacle or a challenge to overcome which brings the two of you closer together? It's all in the way you perceive it. When you change your attitude, don't look for your spouse to make the initial move. "Saying I'll do it if you will" means that it may never get done. Work on your outlook first. Hopefully, your significant will notice what's going on and get on your wavelength.
  2. Attention
    Your spouse has been exercising or upgrading their appearance to please you. Are you taking notice? What about your communication and listening skills? When it's just the two of you, neither spouse should have to compete with the TV, newspaper or internet to get your attention. Keep it mind that what they want to tell you is not always going to be of the earth shattering variety. Sometimes they just want to talk or vent or see what's on your mind. Either way show them your undivided consideration.
  3. Appreciation
    Too often when we think "we've got it like that" we tend to take the other person for granted. Break that mold and start buying your significant other a small gift even when it's not a special occasion. This is an excellent way to show gratitude; however it does not have to be monetary. For instance, they do the same household chore day in day out but now you start thanking them for doing it. In fact you surprise them occasionally by doing the work for your spouse without being asked to do it. When it comes to appreciation within a marriage, little things mean a lot.

The goal in any relationship is to be selfless enough so you both are a team that just keeps getting better and better. Trying the 3 A's can help considerably with your game plan. You might not ever win Couple of The Year but stick with it anyway. Eventually when people see the two of you coming, they also will start reaching for the Rolaids.

Steps For A Healthy Relationship

Are you ready for real love? In this day and age of fast-paced and short-lived relationships, it's challenging and many times difficult, to find good, solid, effective, and useful, information that helps to build healthy and long-lasting romantic relationships. Whether you're single, married, divorced, or looking-to-be-married, these time-tested steps will help you and your current or future mate to create a long-lasting romantic bliss:
  1. Always Be Your "True" Self
    You are wonderfully and uniquely made by a loving Creator. If you find that you have to act or try to become someone you weren't born to be, in order to fulfill someone else's expectation, then something is seriously wrong. A true love will appreciate you for who you are and what you bring to the relationship, and vice-versa. If you feel as if you're being pressured to alter your character to do things you wouldn't usually do (drink, drugs, pre-mature sex, lie) so that the person will continue to see you, that's a certain sign that things are unhealthy. Your true love will gladly embrace you just for who you are-so don't be afraid, step out in faith and show your true self.
  2. Develop Deep Communication with Each Other
    A healthy relationship goes much deeper that a surface affair. Even though you may both look good arm-in-arm, or standing next to each other, whether at a concert, family reunion, Movie Theater, or at church, can you talk when you're alone? What's going on in your conversations-are they deep and meaningful or surface and bland? Do you discuss personal hopes, dreams and goals, or just talk about the weather and the plot to the latest drama? Can you count on each other to lend a listening ear, good advice, and undivided attention?

    Good, honest, and deep conversation will keep you deeply connected. When in doubt, talk it out. Always keep the lines of communication open in your relationship.
  3. Don't Ignore, but Explore Your Differences
    Do your personalities blend well? Is one of you on the optimistic path while the other is on the pessimistic side of the road? Opposites may initially attract, but eventually they can repel each other. It's important that your personalities are compatible.

    If one views life through rose colored glasses, while the other is always singing-the-blues, then you have to make some sort of adjustment to accommodate each other. The simple truth is oil and vinegar make an excellent salad dressing, but they don't mix well in romantic relationships, unless both personalities can explore each other and find some sort of balance. If you can adjust and love each other's personalities, regardless of any differences, and bring out the best when you're together, then this is a winning combo, and you could very well be a dynamic-duo in a life-long healthy relationship.
  4. Share Similar Interest and Values
    You don't have to have the exact interests. As a matter of fact, having diverse preferences can help you to share new and exciting things with each other. However, make sure you have at least a few common interests, so it won't be an ongoing battle over what to do and where to go to keep you both satisfied. You may have to compromise in some areas like sports, politics, movies, shopping, music, etc. Keep in mind that compromising doesn't mean depriving each other of their individual interests but instead it means participating in each other's interests.
  5. Discuss Your Spiritual Beliefs Together
    If you're not on common ground with your beliefs about who and what God means to each of you, this will eventually cause a rift in your relationship. Don't try to conceal your true beliefs and hope that it will all just one day fall in place-it won't. Make sure you talk about your faith honestly and openly with each other. There's a wise adage that states, "The couple that prays together, stays together."
  6. Appreciate Each Other's Unique Body Temple
    Let's face it, we're all built differently. We come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and shades. In order to have a healthy physical and emotional relationship, you must embrace and appreciate each other's total package. One of the worse things a couple can do to each other is to fantasize or try to fit their mate into someone else's body image. When you throw away preconceived "ideal body type" perceptions, you'll enjoy the true worth of your partner.

    I remember years ago, one of my college friends, Nicolette, a five-foot-eight-inch, former beauty queen, adamantly refused to date any man under the six-foot mark. Her preconceived idea of the "ideal match" was "an athletic hunk who would be paid well for playing ball-footfall, basketball, or baseball would qualify him-as long as he had the height, the muscles, and the billfold." Well, after many heartbreaks, shallow relationships, and adopting a completely new outlook on life, she eagerly reports that she has been very happily married to a five-foot-five-inch dentist for over five years and "has since been blessed with two wonderful children to complete her healthy marriage."

    Nicolette would have missed out on the love of her life had she remained stuck with false perceptions. Don't let this happen to you. Admire, appreciate, and enjoy your companion's body temple.
  7. Talk About "The S-&M Factor" (Sex & Money)
    Two of the biggest destroyers of healthy relationships are the misuse, abuse, lack of or over-use of sex and money (the S & M Factor). Both are very important and very personal in your love life. Yet, unfortunately, most couples make the mistake of not setting quality time aside early in their relationship to discuss these two vital components. To put it bluntly, "You've got to know where you're heading, before you get to the bedding; and know what you're spending before it gets beyond mending."

    In deep romantic relationships, there is a world of difference between "having sex" and "making love," just as there is a major difference between being "involved" and "being in love." The misuse of sex, just like the misuse of money, causes major turbulence in relationships. These can be dangerous influences which overwhelm your relationship; or they can be healthy tools for intimacy and success. It's up to both you and your partner to know what sex and money means to each of you, and to make sure that you share your beliefs and feelings with each other. Otherwise, both the sex and money issues can become major conflicts which will destroy even the deepest love.
  8. Try to Get Along With Each Other's Friends-n-Families
    Although your happiness ultimately depends on how well the two of you get along with each other, some input from loved ones can be frosting on the cake. Do you have a healthy interaction with each other's close associates? Make sure you ask some supportive family members and/or dear friends their opinion about your choice in mate. If the advice is not what you want to hear, examine it closely, evaluate the source, pray about it, and make up your own mind anyway. Make sure you also meet your mate's family and closest friends, and discreetly observe their interactions with each other. Look if there is any dysfunctional family pattern that you need to address and get help with. There is a wise old saying, "Show me your company, I'll tell you who you are." Chances are, if your partner has a healthy interaction with loved ones, you will also get the same treatment-and so much more!
  9. Stay Away From Negative People
    It's important to make a special note here, that although the interactions of relatives and friends can be a plus in building a healthy relationship, some, unfortunately, can also be a minus. If you face unhealthy interference and discouragement from loved ones because of their personal insecurities, don't let them have any influence in your relationship. Both you and your mate must be on the same page and decide to keep negative people out of your personal love life in order to love and grow together in a harmonious, healthy relationship.
  10. Learn to Laugh Together
    This one doesn't need much explanation-if there's no joy, there's very little hope. Laughter keeps love alive. Find something that you can both get a good hearty laugh from. Here's a little secret that works wonders: A good sense of humor and a pleasant disposition has a magnetic attraction that makes people always want to be in your presence. How can that special person resist your gorgeous smile and sparkling eyes? Go ahead, laugh a bit-have fun and enjoy!

There you have it-the practical, useful and effective steps that will surely enhance your current or future relationship. You deserve to have an enjoyable, exciting, and loving healthy relationship with someone who loves you, just for who you are. You are worth it!


Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at  MetroSexual LA

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