Advice for Long Term Successful Relationships

What is a healthy relationship? Often when I ask this of couples who come in for counselling they do not have a definitive answer. There are a few things which I like to call relationship fundamentals which really need to be in place to have a healthy relationship. Couples who have these relationship fundamentals handle the stresses of life and the natural challenges of a relationship with more ease than those who don’t.

There are 10 pieces of advice which I believe are really important factors to having a healthy relationship. A relationship which will stand the test of time, of stresses and of the challenges life brings. These are the things I call the relationship fundamentals and I will be going over each of them here on my blog.

Relationship Advice

A lot of time we meet someone and we then feel a rush of emotion, a flush of excitement which we often call attraction. It progresses to infatuation where we are now overcome with our feelings of love for that person. The problem with acting from infatuation is that often at the heart of infatuation is really the love of being in love. It is a powerful wonderful feeling which often ignores the realities of the person you are with. Attraction and feelings are important and yet they are not sufficient to sustain a relationship. If this becomes the main basis for the relationship, the relationship will ultimately have difficulty or end when the feelings diminish.

Dr. Les Parrott who is an author and motivational speaker offers this intriguing statement to reflect upon;

If you try to find intimacy with another person before achieving a sense of identity on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself.

I believe the advice Dr. Parrott is sharing is that we must come to a place where we are comfortable and confident in who we really are or at least in who we are striving to become.  When we know our self we are more inclined to form relationships that aren’t self-seeking and create relationships which are more balanced or mutually beneficial.

So before we begin to search out the relationship that is right for us, we may want to take the opportunity to look at who we are and what it is that we really want from a relationship and life. This assists us in being clearer about the kind of relationship we want to attract into our lives. In attracting the right relationship it is also very important that we are learning how to be the right kind of partner or to be our best self. So when we can learn to meet our own needs without relying on someone else. When we can form relationships from a space of completeness verses a space of needing our emptiness to be filled. We have a sense of our intrinsic value, separate from what someone else might be reflecting back to us. Getting to know who we are and learning to love ourselves creates a solid foundation of self that we can bring to any relationship.

So the first relationship fundamental and perhaps the most basic of basics in a good relationship with another person is the kind of relationship that we have with ourselves.

Let’s explore that! Below are some questions which you can ask yourself and your willingness to be honest with yourself is important here. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being yes this is totally me answer these questions.

  • Do you feel you need a partner to complete you?
  • Are you uncomfortable doing things solo?
  • When you are in a relationship do you lose yourself?
  • Do you have difficulties setting boundaries?
  • Do you have difficulty saying no?
  • Do you avoid conflict at all costs?
  • Are you very concerned with; people liking you, other people’s approval?
  • Do you feel compelled to fix things, make things better?
  • Do you feel like you want to be rescued?
  • Do you believe that you are an authentic person in your relationships?

So your answers here are just a guideline for you to know if there are areas in your relationship with yourself that may need a little work.

If you feel you are an authentic person, who sets appropriate boundaries, that you say no when you mean no, and yes when you mean yes. If you feel that you are not compelled to fix other people’s problems and are not overtly concerned with having people like you or in seeking their approval. If you deal with conflicts as they arise and can enjoy doing things solo. If you stand up for the things you believe in and speak your truth even when it is difficult to do so. If you are taking responsibility for yourself and your actions then you are most likely very comfortable and confident in your own skin and in your relationship with yourself.

If however you feel your relationship with self is in need of a little tune up. My advice is to seek appropriate help which can save you a lot of heartache. I will end with a couple of questions;

What is really important to you in a relationship? What is it that you are asking for in a relationship?