Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity to revel in our love for one another. The day set aside and the celebration itself can rekindle the fires of loving our partner. Although, wonder if we could keep our loving attentiveness going every day?
You owe it to yourself to flex the muscles required to create lasting happiness. Strengthening your relationship by applying love's keys is just as important as planning your wedding. Your honeymoon doesn’t have to last only for a season!
Relationship Polishes Our Rough Edges and Creates Diamonds of Love
No matter what challenges arise in life, resiliency in ourselves and our relationship goes a long way to cultivating a healthy relationship. But more vital than anything else is recognizing that there are no perfect human beings or couples.
When we first meet or during the honeymoon cycle, our love and attention are on what we love about the person. However, every relationship has a few rough edges. Sometimes we don’t even realize these qualities until after the honeymoon is long over. Then the very things that we loved about each other can become annoying.
The friction of differences and the conflicts that we naturally experience in life give us the opportunity to love when it isn't easy. Learning to practice loving even when it's inconvenient or difficult strengthens and deepens our connection. Seek to understand your partner. View conflict as a grand opportunity to get to know him or her better and to see life through their eyes. Value their perspective as much as you value them in your life.
As David Richo said so eloquently:
"The perfect partner is the mirage we see after crossing the desert of insufficient love. Mirages happen because we lack water—that is, we lack something we have needed for a long time."
When we commit to one another in relationship or marriage, we agree for the "better or worse." Part of this journey is creating the space for each other to grow into our best selves and allowing each person to be imperfect. Mindfully take note of your mirages, but don't go in search of them.
Here are some of the keys gathered from successful relationships, mine included. They will support you in growing an unshakeable love. Practice these daily and you will polish a precious diamond indeed.
Keys to a Healthy and Loving Relationship
KEY 1 - Keep your focus on how to love your partner more perfectly each day. Acceptance is at the center of every lasting relationship and marriage. Acceptance provides safety for growth as well as self and relational discovery. However, don't mistake accepting your partner for tolerating disrespect or abuse. Accepting a person in spite of their imperfections is different than tolerating unloving behavior. Love means holding each other to love's standard: kindness, respect, appreciation, support, and championing the right to be true to self simultaneously while honoring the relationship.
KEY 2 - Keep your eyes and heart on what you love about each other. Don't let the little quirks of each other's personality derail or eat away at your love. Commit to making love the motivator of every response to your partner. Relish their strengths but also support them amid their shortcomings and failings. A genuine connection and intimacy cannot happen when we are judging our partner.
KEY 3 - Give your partner the freedom to meet their own needs and values. In relationship and marriage, partners can sometimes compete for their needs to be met. When we seek to restrict our partner's activities or if we fault them for what they feel, need, or want, we inhibit their real self becoming. We block the fulness of our relationship that comes as a result of each becoming our best. We all need to foster individuality. Each of us has longings for fulfillment. Everyone’s desires, values, hopes, and dreams are unique to them. Encourage each other to nurture what fulfills you; the joy and contentment will pour back into the richness of togetherness.
Exercise your muscles of love, so you are ready to navigate whatever life throws at you. Allow the rough edges of yourself and your relationship to be shaved off. Your love is as real and powerful as you allow; it needs to be visited and nurtured often. Let love guide you with every decision and response. Then you'll witness love's masterpiece.
Related reading: Learn How to Make Your Relationship Sweet.
If you'd like support in your relationship or get premarital counseling, contact us at Heartmanity. For more information, call Heartmanity at 406-577-2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.