The quality of your life is a direct reflection – not of how much material stuff you have – but of the quality of your most intimate relationships.
No matter what life throws at you (good or bad), unless you have someone to share the ups and downs with, deep down it can be a lonely place.
My parents split when I was 9 years old, so I got to see the ‘ripple effect’ of what happens when two people (who once loved each other) couldn’t work things out.
And today, it’s more ‘normal’ than ever for couples to throw it all away at the first sign of trouble.
There’s no two ways about it, relationships are bloody hard.
I know, because I’ve been in one with the same person for almost a quarter of a century.
Sometimes it sucks. And sometimes it’s bliss.
Sometimes you want to kill them. And other times, you want to hold them and never let go.
It’s almost like an intimate relationship is designed to challenge you to constantly look inside and outside of yourself so that you can grow more and give more.
In life, constant growth is the key to lasting happiness and I believe it’s also the secret to happiness in your intimate relationships as well.
If something stagnates, it eventually dies.
And so the key is to find ways to bring the best of yourself to the relationship often – like you did in the beginning – and the rewards can be immense.
A quick disclaimer here…
Believe me, I’m not delusional.
Sometimes relationships run their course. Sometimes people have nothing in common anymore and genuinely grow apart. And sometimes the best thing to do is to end it graciously and wish each other well.
It’s just that most people short change themselves.
They will never truly find love because they don’t give love a chance or they think ‘the grass is always greener’ (which is rarely the case unless you’ve embraced the lessons learned).
Any practical psychologist will tell you that our deepest fears as human beings are that we can’t be loved or that we’re not enough.
And these fears are amplified if at some time, we’ve been rejected or neglected by someone close to us – often in our childhood.
Unfortunately, people who have been badly hurt by love often give up on chasing it, in favour of its flimsy cousin called, ‘connection’.
Connection is easy to get.
You can get it on Facebook or by joining a social group. It doesn’t take much work.
But experiencing the true joys that come with creating an invigorating, intimate relationship with your life partner does take work.
For what it’s worth to you, here’s my 5 secrets to an ‘alive’, lasting relationship with your significant other (based on my personal experience):
- Be your partner’s biggest fan – Because you know every side to your life partner (good and bad), it’s sometimes easy to overlook the things that are truly amazing about them. Practise letting them know how proud of them you are or what it is about them that you really love. It doesn’t seem like much, but it really is incredible emotional fuel for a vibrant, lasting relationship;
- Be resilient – In long-term relationships between two people, shit happens. And it’s designed to test the true strength and resilience of the relationship. In these situations, denial and blame are a no go zone – even if on the surface it was ‘all their fault’. Scratch the surface and you’ll find that there are deeper reasons and meanings for their actions and intent, and if you really care about them, this is the time to look outside of yourself (as hard as it might be) and to bring the best of yourself so that you can both learn, grow and move forward;
- Practise what you did in the beginning – Think back to when you met your husband, wife or partner for the first time. How did you behave during that ‘honeymoon’ period? Chances are you treated and protected them like a brand-new shiny car! Over time though, the novelty and shine can wear off and it’s easy to fall into the trap of not giving them the TLC that they deserve (but this is a big mistake). Tell them you’re thinking about them when you’re at work, cook them dinner, be the one to go get the groceries or put out the rubbish and keep an element of surprise in the relationship and it won’t turn stale;
- Be adventurous and stay active – the more emotionally and physically fit you are, the better your relationship will be. These attributes bring an energy and aliveness to the relationship that is hard to replicate if you’re always looking and feeling stressed and run down. Do activities together and do stuff on your own and you’ll find that this will also spin off into your intimate connection with one another as well;
- Spend quality time together 2-3 times per week (just the two of you) – this is crucial to maintaining a quality emotional connection with your life partner. When the intimacy is gone and two people simply co-exist for convenience, they usually immerse themselves in their work, their own hobbies or in only spending time together socially or when friends are around. This is not how an ‘alive’ lasting relationship is defined. Go on a date night together, walk on the beach or go see a movie. Whatever it is, just commit to doing something as a couple at least a couple of times per week and it will bring emotional energy and connection to the relationship that might surprise you!
Zane Truscott is the Founder & CEO at Fortune Events – the official promoter and events facilitator for Don Tolman (a.k.a. “The wholefood medicine man”), since 2006 in Australia and New Zealand. He’s a wellness facilitator, personal growth strategist, fitness enthusiast, advanced yogi, mountain biker, martial arts black belt, business owner, husband to Inga of 22 years and proud Dad to their three daughters, Arki, Milla & Georgie.
- Author: Zane Truscott
- With: No Comments
- On: 25 Jan | '2019