I don’t know about you but I’m a real creep when it comes to the inner workings of peoples relationships. I dig a good behind-the-scenes peek into what works and what doesn’t for all sorts of people in all sorts of set-ups. I’m so fascinated by what kinda stuff supports a relationship and what will destroy it. What will take a relationship from pretty good to epic central!
Because here’s the thing
Creating a kick arse relationship with my chap is my second highest priority (second only to sustaining a kick arse relationship with myself) and I take it pretty darn seriously!
I never signed up for a mediocre love story, and I reckon if you’re reading this, neither did you.
But here’s where it gets tricky. Most of us never received the benefit of a blueprint or a roadmap or even some dodgy little outline on the back of napkin giving us the secrets to an awesome relationship.
It’s up to us to figure it out for ourselves.
Which is why I love hearing other peoples ‘love lessons’. I use it as inspiration for my own relationship. Some of the tips stick and have offered great support. Others, not so much.
So in case you’re a curious cat like I, here are just a few love lessons I absolutely swear by to create, cultivate and sustain a deep, loving relationship that I feel super proud of.
Feel free to pinch ’em!
Address the “small” stuff
Little things turn into big things so speak up when something has triggered you. No matter how small it seems clear it up with your partner so you can clear it out of your system. Don’t let it build up until you self-combust over a dirty tea towel (guilty 🙋🏼)
Ask for what you need
So often when we pick a fight or criticize our partner it’s actually because we have a unmet need lingering behind the scenes. And so we lash out in anger rather than bravely putting ourselves out there and making a request for what we really need. Your needs are your responsibility so speak up Buttercup! Oh and NEVER assume your partner can read your mind, use your words instead.
Trust more police less
I get it, no-one wants to be cheated on but sometimes trying to ‘protect’ your relationship will be the very thing that may destroy it. Leave homeland security to the police and practice trust instead. And yes that means respecting your partner’s privacy especially when it comes to their phones and internet browser history. Instead of pouring all your energy into 24/7 surveillance, channel that energy into practicing honest and open communication. Share your desires, speak about your fears and invite your partner to do the same. It has been proven over and over again that couples who feel free to talk honestly about their desires, even when they aren’t directed at each other, paradoxically become closer.
At the beginning of a relationship, everything is new and exciting! But as the relationship progresses and familiarity inevitably sets in it can be very easy to believe we know our partner inside out. Keeping a curious attitude and never assuming you know everything about your mate will ensure you’re constantly learning about each other and will keep that spark of newness alive. There’s always more to explore and discover so stay curious!
Listen like it matters because it does
Most of us are pretty good talkers but are we great listeners as well? Practicing active listening is so important when it comes to making sure your partner feels seen and heard. So listen up and pay attention. By showing your partner they’re worthy of your full attention you are elevating one another above your iPhone, TV, email or toenail. You showing them that THEY matter.
Do the work
In order to have an epic relationship, you’re going to have to do the work. That means making a commitment to do the things that’ll help cultivate and sustain the kind of relationship you desire. Deep love requires deep work. Invest in books, workshops, coaches and therapists if needed. Talk to couples who inspire you, draw inspiration from people who model the kind of relationship you want. Seek out better ways to deal with conflict, communication breakdowns or intimacy hurdles. Invest in your relationship and you’ll always get a great return.
Practice radical responsibility
It’s much easier to point fingers than it is to take responsibility for your part in any conflict. But instead of shifting into instantaneous blame, take a moment to shift from reaction to reflection. Ask yourself: what part did I play in this? Where did I not ask for what I want? How could I have handled this differently? For example in the classic case of “You never romance me anymore!!” taking radical responsibility means asking yourself the question: do I romance him?
Be their biggest fan, not their greatest critic
There is nothing I hate more than seeing someone tear down their partner in public. Not only is it awkward as hell to witness, it’s catastrophic to the relationship. There’s no excuse for snide comments, nasty criticisms, put-downs and never-ending nagging. Be your partners greatest cheerleader, bolster them up with appreciation and praise. Let them see the best version of themselves in your eyes and they’ll want to live up to it, I promise!
It begins and ends with reverance
This one’s a biggie because without reverence for one another, what’s the point of it all? If you’re not offering your highest commitment, devotion and respect to your partner then what are you giving instead? I wrote about the transformational magic of reverence here and for me, it’s been the ultimate relational game changer! I highly recommend checking it out.
And there you have just a few love lessons that have made a HUGE impact in my relationship. There are plenty more so keep an eye out for part two coming soon!!!
Got a love lesson or secret you swear by that makes your relationship great? Share it with me below…so I can steal it 😉