I’ve always believed that when two people genuinely love each other, they go out of their ways to make the relationship work. That is what I was taught to look for in life.
But, the constant rash of breakups everywhere around me got me thinking… Can romantic love last forever? Or people are simply giving up without a fight?
If you ask me, the key to a healthy and sustainable relationship is hard work. You see, happy couples are not born. Relationships don’t just happen overnight. You try your best to make them work, and if that doesn’t work, you try some more.
But, you don’t give up!
The happiest couples out there are made. It’s neither magic, nor a rocket science. You just need to understand that if this is what you want, you have to be ready to compromise. You have to try to make things work, even if it takes a lifetime.
Here are 3 essential rules that will put you on the right track:
KNOW WHEN TO SAY, ‘I’M SORRY’
Nobody is perfect. Perfection is simply an illusion. Whether we like it or not, eventually all of us will mess up more than once in our life. We are going to make mistakes, we’re going to regret them, we’re going to them and there’s no escaping from that. It’s life.
So, the real question here is not whether we can avoid hurting the people we love, but whether or not we’re empathic and considerate enough to know when to say, ‘I’m sorry’ and make things right.
The most sustainable relationships and the happiest couples we know are people who have learned how important it is to be aware of your flaws and humble towards other in order for a relationship to thrive.
I’m not saying that it is easy to compromise. Most people would rather hold on to their pride and defend themselves when they’re wrong instead of admitting their mistakes and working things out.
According to marriage researcher and author Dr. John Gottman, defensiveness, or blaming the other person, is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is the most toxic self-defense mechanism.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
According to Zach Brittle, Co-founder of ForBetter.com, learning to ask for what you want in the relationship is the most important skill for newlyweds to learn.
You’d assume that most of us have no problem asking for what they need, but you’d be wrong. You see, sometimes we think we already know the answer to our question, and sometimes we’re just afraid of how our partner will react. This is the point where most relationships hit a dead end.
The biggest mistake we make is expressing our wants with demands, rather than desires. And according to Brittle, “Demand is rigid. Self-centered. Unforgiving. Demand takes your partnership out of the equation.”
Desires gravitate around things that both partners value. For example, equality, freedom, trust, joy, peace.
BE A GOOD LISTENER
Almost everyone can nod their head and silently disagree while listening, but being an active listener means much more than that. It is a really challenging skill, and it is the only way for a relationship to last.
Active listening is not waiting for your partner to finish, just so you could share your perfect counter-argument. It’s staying quiet and empathizing with your partner’s feelings. It’s putting yourself in their skin and imagining what is like to right where they are.
It’s a skill that has the power to build love, trust, and true intimacy.
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