The 8 things all long lasting couples have in common
As a human behavioural expert and speaker at relationship seminars, I have worked with hundreds of relationships to improve both partners’ appreciation for each other and share tools to overcome relationship-ending challenges. I’m also in a long-term loving relationship myself and draw inspiration daily assisting my clients to gain clarity, understanding, insight, knowledge and power in their relationship lives.
In my time working with over 250+ clients a year, I have noticed certain rituals and qualities that allow some couples to last longer and experience higher levels of love and gratitude for their relationship than others. I believe it would be wise to share this knowledge to enlighten and empower others in utilising some of these secrets to success in their relationships. I have adopted them into my relationship and watched it blossom beyond any other relationship I have ever experienced before.
So how do you increase the potential for your relationship to achieve higher levels of commitment, connectedness and fulfilment?
1) Understanding each others values + communicating in each others values
Every human being living on planet earth lives their lives by a set of values. Their values dictate and determine what they consider to be right and wrong, good and bad, their morals and ethics. Our values are that of which we consider important to us and we want to import into our mind and sphere of awareness. No two human beings have the same set of values and every human being has a hierarchy of values (A hierarchy of what they consider to be most to least important in their lives). Furthermore our values are determined by our voids, meaning that of which we perceive to be missing or empty in our lives.
Whenever someone aligns with our highest values we pull them closer and call them friends. Whenever someone rejects and puts down our highest values we feel repulsed and call them enemies. Our partners also experience the same emotional roller coasters. At the beginning of a relationship we perceive that our partners generally align with our values and see more similarities than differences, more support towards our values than challenges to them. This is commonly known as the honeymoon stage or the infatuation stage.
Our connection and disconnect to our partners is dependent on our perceptions of our values and theirs. Now, since every human being has a different set of values, we will perceive that we have attracted someone with a different set of values at times. For example: you may appreciate shopping, fine dining and expensive holidays. Your partner on the other hand, may not feel the need for those and appreciate a walk in the park, basic living and family time at home. If you’re unable to see how to not only fulfil each others values, but also to appreciate your partner’s, then the relationship will decay and both partners will feel more drawn to others who resemble the life, lifestyle and value systems they pursue to acquire in this life.
So the art of learning to communicate in each others values is the art of creating win-win conversations that leave both partners feeling highly fulfilled, truly inspired and valued, without the need for pointless sacrificing of self for others. The common misconception that we should sacrifice certain elements in our relationship creates bitterness and resentment, as whenever we do something not in equal exchange, we expect that in the future our partners will return the favour. If they don’t, then they are attacked with “But I did (x) and (y) for you”. So ultimately we may say that we are doing things out of ‘good will’ but if we feel that our partners are taking more than giving, we start to feel resentment and unbalanced. This is why creating win-win situations builds the relationship as every exchange where both partners feel their values are being highly met will reduce the need for future feelings of being owed something.
2) Constantly developing as individuals and as a couple
In life all elements evolve and nothing stays stagnant, so to believe that the person we are now will be the person we are in 1, 2, 5 or 10 years time is absurd. We will have changed in our values, ethics, morals and more potentially and sometimes considerably. Our partners also undergo the same changes in their own unique way, so the truth of the matter is that you and whoever you are dating now will change in the future, and if you learn how to change together and align your values, the relationship will feel stronger and more connected. If you don’t, and feel like your values are completely contrasting, you may perceive that the person is not what you once appreciated. The relationship will show signs of decay and disorder, leading to a possible break-up. The key is to constantly be developing as individuals and as a partnership, to be doing what you love, whilst loving what you do. Challenging your partner to do the same within each other’s values and the seven areas of life.
With this attitude of gratitude alongside a balanced ratio of support and challenge you'll feel highly fulfilled and appreciated as individuals and as a couple. You will continue to move in the direction of self-mastery while also promoting relationship and life mastery. This truly is the key to achieving success in ones relationship.
3) Equal amount of support and challenge (Understanding that your partner is there to support and challenge you to expand your awareness and increase your self worth)
As mentioned above, our partners are here to equally support and challenge us to acquiring what we desire in life. If we unrealistically expect our partners to always support us, then they will do the opposite and challenge us to break our addiction to such one-sided polarised thinking. Whenever we do something that aligns with our partner’s values, they will most likely support us, and the further away and more we challenge their values, the more they will challenge us.
Now, maximum growth occurs at the border of support and challenge, so our partners are giving us exactly what we require to maximise our lives. For example, if you are always trying to be nice and never mean, you will possibly attract a partner you feel is stronger, meaner and pushy. This is not wrong or bad. They are teaching you to be more assertive through experience so that in the future you learn to stand your ground, otherwise people will walk all over you.
You are equally there to teach them to consider others, so that you both may own true leadership qualities. Parents must learn to own these qualities if they are to raise level minded children. They must learn to be supportive at times allowing open communication with children and building high levels of trust. At other times, being firm, teaching children boundaries and respect. So both qualities of nice/mean, hard/soft, hero/villain must be equally owned in order to master our lives and maximise our potential. A relationship creates the perfect environment for such growth.
4) Clear up in-balanced perceptions fast
You may have heard me talking about the damaging effects on a relationship of not cleaning up past perceptions of anger, hurt, sadness and guilt throughout your life and bringing it into the next relationship. One of the greatest distractions in a relationship can often be unresolved baggage from past partners, events, (people that continually creep into the relationship). It’s like dating someone and being punished for the mistakes all their ex-partners have made, as they haven’t resolved the emotional baggage consciously and unconsciously. This unresolved baggage creates an unnecessary toll on the relationship and can easily push partners away looking for a clean break in another’s arms. The key is to dissolve baggage as soon as possible and clear up your mind, heart and space in the relationship, for you to focus and be present now. The greatest tool to do so with absolute precision is The Demartini Method®, the only tool that 100% balances past baggage forever.
5) Don’t sacrifice for each other, actually aim to enjoy every moment of their lives
One of the greatest myths that prevent relationships from truly reaching their potential is the myth of being a good partner when you sacrifice for your lover. This is not only a lie it, creates unrealistic expectations on others and ourselves. As human beings, we are geared to accept only equal exchanges. Whenever we feel that an unequal exchange has occurred between a partner and ourselves, we store that memory unconsciously until we feel that we have been ‘done wrong by’ and immediately bring up the unbalanced exchanges to use against our partners.
These exchanges can quite often sound like this:
“Well remember when I did (x) for you...”
"I always do (x) and (y) for you and why can’t you just (z) this for me...”
“Well next time I won’t do (x) for you...”
“Yes I did do (x) out of the goodness of my heart, I thought you would return the favour when I needed...”
We don’t simply do something for nothing and the more we do for our partners, the more we expect in return. This is because we are looking to have equal exchanges that serve our values and allow us both to be fulfilled. So a much wiser exchange would be one where both partners win as mentioned above. This exchange may sound like this;
Partner 1’s highest values : Fitness (Male)
Partner 2’s highest values : Cooking (Female)
Partner 1 : “Hi honey, I wanted to go for a run down to the store and get some exercise while I grabbed some of the items you are missing for your new recipe you were excited about”
Partner 1 : “Hi honey, are you available this week to teach me how to make healthy delicious meals so that I can take my fitness to the next level and also take the load off you occasionally and cook something we both appreciate?"
Partner 2 : “Hi love, why don’t you go out for a run and enjoy the hot weather while I enjoy cooking up a feast ready for when you come back home”
Partner 2 : “Hi love, would you be interested in going for a walk later? It’s a beautiful day outside and we could go to your favourite park while the sun is out. I’d love to share some food ideas for this week’s family gathering and also some healthy options catered just for you"
In each of these exchanges the partners respected the other person’s values and also theirs. They found win-win situations that allowed both to feel fulfilled in what they were doing. When we learn to fill as many moments of our life and relationship with highly fulfilling exchanges, we get the opportunity to look back and feel balanced and highly inspired by the time we have spent on planet earth.
6) Are willing to put in work and have a high value on relationships
When we are doing something that we love and truly value, we put in hard work and love doing it! If you have a high value on a beautiful athletic body, then you appreciate all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into your workouts to acquire your goals. If you are inspired by business ventures and an entrepreneurial lifestyle, then you have no problems working late creating new business prospects for the world to enjoy. So if you want to experience a successful relationship you must firstly, highly value it and secondly, be willing to work on it daily to acquire high levels of mastery.
This will include:
Clearly understanding your values alongside your partner’s values
Linking your values so that you can see consciously and unconsciously how they assist each other.
Communicating daily in each other’s values so that you’re both empowered and loving your lives and your time with each other.
Research, review and study relationships so that you’re gaining greater insights into what it’s really about and how you can grow yours beyond your current limited set of tools or thinking.
7) Set goals and objectives to assist the relationship grow (challenges to acquire more resources and push both partners in all seven areas)
As mentioned earlier, the maximum growth happens in the middle of challenge and support. When we work with our partners towards mutually inspiring goals and we can see how those goals align with both of our values, then we grow equally and obtain more resources along the journey. It is often said that challenges bring couples closer together and make them grateful for what they have and what they overcame in order to grow into mentally stronger and wiser people. Life never stops throwing challenges at you. For the rest of your mortal days, you will have a list of challenges, so choose some in the seven areas of life as well as your highest values and attack those goals as partners.
8) Clean up infatuations and resentments towards their partners so they can love them for who they truly are and not unrightfully projecting one-sided illusions onto them
My mentor Dr. John Demartini is commonly known for saying that “When we love someone for who they are, they become who we love”. Whenever we infatuate over elements of our partners and perceive that they are more positive than negative, good than bad, right than wrong, happy than sad, or any one-sided polarised view, we set them up for failure. Because no human being is more positive than negative or negative than positive, they are equally both. Creating this unrealistic expectation of a partner to live up to (polarised standards) is guaranteed to undermine the relationship and lead to bitterness.
The key is to see your partner as an equal in all areas of life. Whenever we infatuate over our partners we minimise ourselves relative to them and later build up resentment to free us from our unrealistic expectations and equilibrate the playing field. Whenever we resent our partners we perceive more drawbacks then benefits, this is a signal to see the other side so we can maintain balance and equilibrium in ourselves and the relationship, otherwise it decays and dies.
So don’t let time be the concluding factor to balancing out your perceptions, that simply takes far too long and you sacrifice precious moments in your life awaiting change. Take action! On a weekly basis, balance out infatuations and resentments when they appear. Stop holding your partner on a pedestal or in a pit, start holding them in your heart as an equal.
To gain further insights into relationship dynamics, creating a stronger bond and how you can attract your ideal partner, simply click here and learn more today.