They could be of any color, size, shape or status.
It is irrelevant how long they have been together.
It is easy to recognize a happy and healthy relationship
Life is not perfect. (Oh, I know you know that!) But in spite of this, there are couples, friends and families who manage to stay committed to each other and love each other.
So what is the secret? Here is what I’ve found – some researched, and some I have had the privilege of learning, sometimes the hard way. You don’t have to be lucky to enjoy your relationship. No – luck has nothing to do with it. It takes a lot of persistence, hard work and commitment. And here are the lessons I’ve learned:
You’ve got to be realistic
A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Long term relationships must be seen with realism tinted spectacles. All relationships go through peaks, plateaus and troughs. There will be roses and lots of them. But there will also be thorns. Recognizing this will help appreciate those rose petals.
You’ve got to work hard
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going ~ Beverly Sills
Relationships take a lot of work. There are times when just one of you seems to be making all the effort. If there are misunderstandings or problems, thrash them out. Don’t go assuming that things will sort themselves out. Hey, it ain’t magic. Just like anything you want to succeed with, relationships need to be worked on, nurtured and cared for, regularly. You know what they say: no pain, no gain.
You’ve got to make time for each other
One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is the gift of attention ~ Jim Rohn
Nothing can equal spending quality time together. It is okay to spend time sharing an activity. Sitting quietly watching TV doesn’t really count, unless it is one of those totally gripping thrillers. Now, for me, I’ve reached that point in my relationship with my husband when we can both sit in the same room, working at our respective projects, with the TV on – and laughing and just looking at each other when we hear something – and we both know how we’ll react. But it takes time to get here.
You’ve got to have space
Don’t smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. ~Leo Buscaglia
As wonderful as it is to spend time with the ones you love, it is also important to get some space. It is healthy to have your own individual interests and things to do so that you return to the relationship refreshed. Lots more to talk about. You miss the people you are usually with and always cherish the value they bring to your life.
You’ve got to accept your differences
Soul-mates bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. ~Author Unknown
Enjoy your differences. Just think about what drew you to the person in the first place. Okay, so we cannot choose our families, but when it comes to friendships and partners, the things that you loved initially are the things that make you maddest later. But hang on, stop to think about the things you loved. If there are differences, see the brighter side and appreciate it.
You’ve got to stop trying to change each other
Before you try to change others, remember how hard it is to change yourself ~ Bill Bluestein
Many people praise someone for the way they are, and then, when they get closer, expect them to change. Come on, it is okay to make the extra effort if the relationship is worth it. Stop complaining about trivial stuff. It is natural to get bugged once in a while, but don’t make it a habit. Of course, with partners this can be a wee bit tough. But cutting each other some slack seriously helps. I’d get mad about many things before, but once Sury and I planned division of labor about various things around the house we suddenly had very little to complain about. Happiness walked in.
You’ve got to realize some problems have no solutions
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~ Carl Jung
Some problems are best left alone. So there are issues you disagree about. But instead of wasting energy arguing, why not agree to disagree and compromise? Your relationship can get healthier when you tackle these things amicably.
You’ve got to communicate
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges ~ Joseph F. Newton Men
The number one cause for relationships disintegrating is the lack of communication. Listen to each other. Empathize, even if you don’t agree. Don’t get defensive. Share thoughts and feelings.
You’ve got to embrace honesty
If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything ~Mark Twain
Good old trust and honesty form the foundation for any relationship. Better to lay it all on the table than live with doubts.
You’ve got to respect each other
When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom ~ John Gray
And that holds good for any relationship. Don’t take anyone for granted. Say your I love yous whenever you feel the urge to. I do that all the time. Who knows what might happen tomorrow!
After all, we only have one life. Why not live it in peace and harmony?
Got this nice pic from healthyheels.wordpress.com
Here’s an all-time favorite of mine:
Present your family and friends with their eulogies now – they won’t be able to hear how much you love them and appreciate them from the grave. ~Anonymous