What Makes a Relationship Happy?

Relationship Advice : What Makes a Relationship Happy?

Happy loving couple in white clothes posing on a pier on MaldivesPeople often ask what is the key to a successful and happy relationship. If I had the ultimate answer here I would be mega rich, but there are some basic principles for successful long term relationships. According to research there are 3 dimensions of love:

Intimacy: how closely two people share in one another’s lives, including communication, understanding and emotional support.

Passion; emotions, desires and needs as well as physical passion. E.g. satisfying, nurturing, caring and personal fulfilment needs.

Commitment: a long term commitment to building a lifelong partnership which helps to keep the couple together in difficult times.

Different combinations of these dimensions produce different types of love, but a love involving all three fully is known as consummate love.

Research into successful long term relationships list the following as important factors:

Having similar values.

Being willing to change in response to the other person.

Being prepared to tolerate the other persons differences.

Having matching religious/spiritual beliefs.

Having an equal intellectual level.

No relationship is ever perfect and the differences that attract us in the first place can often be the irritations between us. Remember that consideration and understanding are essential. There is no such thing as perfection, we first meet someone and the romance of attraction and newness, melts into love and companionship over time. Cinderella is all about the courtship, we dream of that whirlwind perfect love, but do remember that ‘happily ever after’ is all we get for the rest of their lives….did Prince Charming get sick of her chatting to mice, or losing her shoes??? Or did they find comfortable tolerance?

Here is an extract taken from a recent facebook post:


During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?”

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind
replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found. People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfilment. Extramarital fulfilment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know
WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is therefore a “decision”. Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: Fate determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO!

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