I am excited to think that Day 18 of the #AtoZChallenge is here and am loving the relationship building with others – but at the same time, I am also a wee bit sad that April 30 is racing towards us. Somehow April seems shorter than it usually is – thanks to blogging every day.
First, I thought that being a Saturday, it should be Rest and Relaxation – but decided to focus on relationship building instead – because is that not what blogging is all about? Community, friendship and relationship building. So here we go with my take on…
They could be 20 or 80 years old.
They could be of any color, size, shape or status.
It is irrelevant how long they have been together.
Regardless of age, duration of time and ethnicity, it is easy to recognize a happy and healthy relationship.
So life is not perfect. You know it and I know it. In spite of this, there are couples, friends and families who manage to stay committed to each other, love each other.
What is the secret?
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. Some lessons I’ve learned and would like to share are:
A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Pink spectacles are fine, but if you want to nurture a long term relationship, they must be realism tinted spectacles. In the course of relationship building, peaks, plateaus and troughs are the norm. There will be roses. But there will also be thorns. When we recognize this, it is easier to enjoy the rose petals.
Put in the effort
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going ~ Beverly Sills
Relationship building takes work. Sometimes one of you seems to be making all the effort. Don’t keep score. If there are misunderstandings or problems, thrash them out. Don’t assume that things will magically be okay. Just like anything you want to succeed with, relationships must be nurtured and cared for, regularly. You know what they say: no pain, no gain.
Make time for each other
One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is the gift of attention ~ Jim Rohn
Spend time together. A shared activity is a great idea. Sitting quietly watching TV doesn’t really count, unless it is one of those fun things that the family does together, laughing together. Go for walks. Go out for a meal. Play together.
Give each other space
Don’t smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. ~Leo Buscaglia
It is great to spend time together, but it is just as important to have space. The good old me – time. It is healthy to have your own interests so 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.
Accept and enjoy 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. Appreciate it.
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. If the relationship is worth it, why not make the extra effort? So 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.
Realize that 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. If there are issues you disagree about, don’t waste energy arguing. Choose to agree to disagree and compromise. Your relationship can get healthier when you tackle these things amicably.
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges ~ Joseph F. Newton Men
Communication is critical to relationship building. Listen. Empathize even if you don’t agree. No need to be defensive. Share thoughts and feelings.
If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything ~Mark Twain
Trust and honesty form the foundation for any relationship. Better to lay it all on the table than live with doubts.
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 you’s every day. Don’t wait. 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?
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
Isn’t that true?
Today, I recommend
Preetilata Sarkar’s blog
Here is a round up of the week’s posts from M through R
Have a lovely weekend!