From tried-and-true to new ideas, these are the keys to long-term love and relationships
Spring has sprung. The buds of the early bloomers, like the pears, redbuds, daffodils and assorted others, are kicking into high gear. Any second now the season will mark its beginnings with pollen floating from the sky like snow did not too many weeks ago. Many of us will be sneezing and wheezing, and that’s the price we pay for all this delightful flora.
I know it’s spring because when I sit and look out at my woods, which are often filled with scampering squirrels, I notice those squirrels are really going to town. Trying to put it delicately, from what I can tell those bushy-tailed scamps are getting a lot of action. It’s like being back in fourth grade Health Ed class watching those “birds and bees” films. In my backyard version, I have two pups who are having none of it. They bark and chase those love-birds (love-squirrels) right up the trees and off the property. Squirrelus interruptus.
So perhaps, along with pollen, love is in the air. Or at least mating. And how about for us humans? The awakening of spring wakes us up too, doesn’t it? Whether it’s longing to find a long-term, romantic involvement, or perhaps just the companionship of a (scampering) friend, the allure of getting out and about in the warming weather with someone special is alive and well in our beating breasts.
So in terms of relationships, let’s start the season off healthfully. Here are some tips that help to give a relationship every chance of happiness. Some are ol’ standards, because they are tried-and-true ingredients for healthy, intimate involvements. And some you may not have considered before. My hope is that they all help your relationships thrive.
Six Qualities of Healthy Relationships
Communication. Tell the truth, tell the whole truth. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you have doubts, bring them up. With a commitment to honoring your truth anything is possible, including forgiveness and growing closer. Purposeful omission is lying and lying will kill a relationship. Here’s your mantra: When in doubt, discuss it.
Trust. Right on the heels of communication is trust. They thrive together. If a partner is going to break the rules or otherwise dishonor the relationship, such a relationship is fatally flawed. Once suspicion or jealousy enter the picture, it’s terribly hard to undo. So choose wisely, then trust your partner completely. If they dishonor your trust, deal with the situation then. In the meanwhile, you will have been happy.
Respect for the other’s point of view. It’s important to remember that the two partners in a couple remain individuals no matter what kind of relationship they create. Why would you want to agree on everything? That’d get pretty boring. Honor that one of you is a vegetarian and the other loves a great steak. It’s not the end of the world.
Generosity. True love—even true kindness—is generous in spirit. Here I refer to a generosity that’s not about material things, but rather, being generous with your time, your love, your energy, your affections and your attention. Generosity breeds generosity. As Gandhi suggested, be the change. If you want abundance in your relationship, provide it for your partner.
Forgiveness. This is a hard one for many people. However, happy couples get good at forgiving. To forgive completely for everything the other has ever done or failed to do is a true gift to your partner, and certainly one you would hope for in return. Holding on to old stuff will build anger and resentment. Talking it through, working it through, seeking professional help, realizing that to forgive unburdens you...all help to make it possible.
Gratitude. Happy couples are continuously grateful for each other. Certainly not for every thing said or done, or every mood, every misstep or insensitivity. But the broad brushstrokes are filled with gratitude and every day there are myriad reasons to be grateful for your partner. Become tuned in to those, and thank your sweetie every day.
Until next time: “Don’t fall for looks, they will fade. Don’t fall for wealth, it may be deception.
Instead, find someone who makes you laugh.” — Anonymous