Is the glass half-full or half-empty? It depends on which way you look at it!
Here are some tips to develop a mind-set, a set of attitudes, that will boost your relationship and provide a map for your relationship journey, no matter where you currently are placed.
You could use this as a quiz and ask yourself, how am I going with these relationship attitudes? It has been said that no one can resist a loving heart, no matter what has gone on in the relationship. Sometimes, it just takes one person to lead the way, and that can make a very big difference. If you find you could do with some assistance here in developing healthy relationship attitudes, be sure to speak to a professional relationship counselor while you are learning new skills.
1. Appreciation: Express appreciation often, do not take each other for granted.
In my experience, couples who feel excited, hopeful and positive about their relationship have a distinct mindset. They look out for things to appreciate about each other and in turn for ways in which they can support each other. They feel grateful for the opportunity to be together and they are able to express their feelings to each other without criticism, blame or anger.
2. Listening: Is an under-valued skill.
Practice listening from your heart and listen for the meaning underneath. Speak less and listen more.
Be open and receptive to each other and listen to each other, you will instantly find your relationship more fulfilling and satisfying. Happy couples are willing to take on board what their partner says and to demonstrate that they value their partners’ perspective and opinion. They make efforts to understand each other, to walk in the others’ shoes.
3. Repair: Be a leader, be willing to fix hurts, disappointments and misunderstandings.
Go the extra mile!
Strong couples are quick to forgive when things go wrong and they do not let the minor trivialities of everyday annoyances become bigger than they are. They let go of the small stuff. They do not keep score and it doesn’t matter who initiated a conflict or who’s fault it was, both are willing to move towards each other as quickly as possible after there has been a breach, both are willing to initiate that first step towards healing and build a bridge. They are willing to start over: again and again!
4. Responsibility: Relationships are a dance, change your steps and you change the dance.
You can take responsibility for yourself but you cannot force change upon your partner.
Be willing to change and take responsibility for your own part in your relationship. Couples who feel satisfied seem to have a deep level of personal responsibility and ask themselves often: ‘What is required of me here? What is my contribution to the dynamic between us?’ Listen to your own thoughts and ask: ‘Why am I thinking that way? What is really going on here?’ Be willing to look below the surface. Defensiveness and a compulsion to ‘fix’ each other can be really detrimental, so let go of thinking ‘if only he or she was a certain way, then I would be happy’.
5. Space: Is a biological need.
Do not suffocate or smother your partner but give them room to be themselves and to grow.
Great relationships demonstrate a high degree of independence, with partners not relying on each other to make them happy. Each person takes responsibility for their own growth and happiness and allows their partner to do the same. Cultivate your own interests, passions and friendships so that your partnership can be characterized by fluidity and flexibility rather than rigidity. It is healthy to understand that good relationships are made of two people who are both independent and inter-dependent.
6. Play: We all need play in our lives, let yourselves have a sense of humour.
You have to have fun together!
Laughter is the best medicine, even for a little anxiety in a relationship. Cultivate a light attitude so that you don’t see problems as being insurmountable. Being light-hearted about things and not seeing problems in the relationship as being personality failures is enormously liberating.
Don’t tune out or turn off, it’s a big turn-off for great relationships. Have a willingness to “Be there”.
Make efforts to stay in contact with what is going on in each other’s world. Ask about each other’s day, greet each other with affection and attend consciously to hellos and goodbyes with a sense of presence so that your partner knows that they are your priority.
8. Courage: Be prepared to grow, to learn, to do what it takes.
You have to be willing to risk yourself and to show up in your relationship with all your human flaws and foibles. While this can be scary, a willingness to be exposed in an intimate way will see couples respectful with each other’s vulnerability and courageous with their own.
This post was originally published here.