4 Secrets to a Happy, Lasting Relationship
by Rick Wall
It seems that the most pressing question surrounding relationships today is focused on how to develop and sustain happiness.
The truth is that despite the fact that the divorce rate of this contemporary culture is exorbitantly high, the potential for creating a happy and lasting relationship is just as possible today as it was 100 years ago.
The difference between now and then is not the potential for happiness, but the increased focus on finding happiness outside of the relationship combined with the growing proclivity for selfish behavior. No relationship in which these elements exist can successfully sustain authentic happiness.
So how do we find the kind of happiness that lasts long term? Here are 4 biggies:
Perception is Reality
Early in my studies of psychology, I was introduced to a philosophical concept that has proven itself to be quite true: “Perception is Reality.” This refers to the fact that whatever the human psyche perceives to be real, creates a reality in the life of the person making the perception.
It is imperative for couples to evaluate the way they perceive their mate and their relationship, because it is this perception that will shape the reality of their relationships with their mates. It will be through this paradigm that they view every action that takes place in this relationship.
For example, if a person views their mate as a gift and a blessing, they will develop a heart of gratitude. Gratitude is the most powerful force in a relationship. It inhibits the proclivity to take your mate for granted and it promotes positive reciprocation.
Most importantly, gratitude and appreciation drives every other element of the relationship. Although communication and trust are vital elements that contribute to the success and happiness in a relationship, the level of trust and communication will be inextricably bound to the level of gratitude exhibited by each partner.
Spending Time Together
No matter how close and caring a couple may be, extended time apart will place a great deal of strain on their relationship. There is no substitute for spending quality time with your mate.
With the hectic schedules that exist in this contemporary culture, quality time often requires sacrifice on the part of one or both individuals in the relationship.
It is actually the sacrifice that makes this quality experience that much greater. There are not too many things that can make a person feel more special than knowing that someone chose to spend time with them instead of doing something else that also brings them enjoyment.
Develop Realistic Expectations for the Relationship
Regardless to how well-matched you may be, you and your mate will have differences, even if it is simply those differences that are generated through the gender gap.
This is why it is immensely important to develop realistic expectations that take into consideration that you and your mate will not always see eye to eye. There will be times in which they will fall short; however, when you make it a habit of gauging their effort more than the final result, it will help you sustain your heart of gratitude.
If they are trying, give them credit.
Focus on Your Contributions
One of the common mistakes made in relationships is the proclivity for people to look for what they will get out of the relationship more than what they are contributing.
Relationships are designed for giving and taking, and they work best when each person is focused on serving the needs and desires of the other, instead of looking to have their needs met.
When these steps are combined with a high level of respect for the concerns, needs and desires of your mate, it will create the perfect storm for unlimited and sustainable happiness.
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