post written by: Marc Chernoff

12 Relationship Truths We Often Forget

12 Relationship Truths We Often Forget

It’s easy to make your relationships more complicated than they are.  Here are twelve simple reminders to help you keep them on course.

  1. All successful relationships require some work. – They don’t just happen, or maintain themselves.  They exist and thrive when the parties involved take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their minds and hearts.  Open communication and honesty is the key.  (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
  2. Most of the time you get what you put in. – If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding.  It’s a simple practice that works.
  3. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in someone’s life. – Never force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they know your worth, they will create one for you.
  4. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. – Some people will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you; but most importantly some will bring out the best in you.  Learn to see and accept the differences between these people, and carry on accordingly.
  5. We all change, and that’s okay. – Our needs change with time.  When someone says, “You’ve changed,” it’s not always a bad thing.  Sometimes it just means you stopped living your life their way.  Don’t apologize for it.  Instead, be open and sincere, explain how you feel, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right.
  6. You are in full control of your own happiness. – If your relationship with yourself isn’t working, don’t expect your other relationships to be any different.  Nobody else in this world can make you happy.  It’s something you have to do on your own.  And you have to create your own happiness first before you can share it with someone else.  If you feel that it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within yourself to find out what piece is missing.  Your partner can never ‘complete’ you because you are already whole.  The longing for completion that you feel inside comes from being out of touch with who you are.  (Read Stumbling on Happiness.)
  7. Forgiving others helps YOU. – Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  8. You can’t change people; they can only change themselves. – Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.  If there’s a specific behavior someone you love has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t.  If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows what you need them to do.
  9. Heated arguments are a waste of time. – The less time you spend arguing with the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.  And if you happen to find yourself arguing with someone you love, don’t let your anger get the best of you.  Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)
  10. You are better off without some people. – When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you. If someone continuously mistreats you or pushes you in the wrong direction, have enough respect for yourself to walk away from them. It may hurt for a little while, but it’ll be ok. You’ll be ok, and far better off in the long run.
  11. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. – Honor your important relationships in some way every chance you get.  Every day you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by making small gestures to show your appreciation and affection.  Remember, making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Your kindness and gratitude matters.
  12. Even the best relationships don’t last forever. – People don’t live forever.  Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.  And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.

Photo by: Josh Liba

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  • Another great article! I have been reading this blog for at least 3 years now and you guys always post perfect advice for what I am going through. I wish more people would read this.

  • Great relationship advice! Love you guys! So timely in so many ways for many people. Keep inspiring the masses!

  • Simply great! All relationships, intimate and otherwise, could benefit from people understanding these truths.

  • Great post! I really like #4 - it’s a great reminder in our daily interactions.

  • Honestly, every article on this website inspires me! They are all so meaningful and can be applied to everyone’s life. It really makes me strive to be a better person. Such a wonderful website!

  • These wise thoughts have been said before in some fashion, but that’s a good thing because they should be said over and over again. Why? Because I often forget. Thank you for this post. :)

  • Thank you for these reminders. If I could only remember #3, I could save myself so much heartache and stress.

  • Simply great and inspiring relationship advice. Wisely said.

  • I have to say that I really love your blog. It’s amazing!! I know it’s not a new comment and you’ve heard this a lot of times before but I needed to say it ;-) Thank you for your great advice!

  • As always, great stuff! One I like to share is that time and space sometimes needs widening. You don’t have to be together in order for the healing you need to take place. Sometimes partners need the room to facilitate individual emotional restoration. Separate isn’t always terminal.

  • I thoroughly enjoy your blog posts and I consciously put into practice your concepts as they allow us to become the better versions of ourselves. Thank you! :)

  • I love this article. Thank you so much for posting :)

  • Great article! Simple truths. Love your blog.

  • You two always have the best advice written in the most effective way. Thank you!
    I have read similar advice in the past, but never as on point as yours! Great work! :-)

  • Excellent article. Inspiring and practical. Thanks!

  • This is a great article. I forget how I stumbled on this website, but I must say that after reading many of your articles, I start to think a little bit differently. And I know it’s for the better.

    All the best to you!

  • What a great article. These are the things we should be teaching ourselves and our kids about love from day one. Fantastic! :)

  • Thanks for the kind words, everyone. We’re so happy that so many of you resonate with our thoughts on relationships.

  • A really great post! Thank you for sharing.

  • Two words: Thank you!

  • I love your website. It is full of very wise tips and advice about life. Well done! This article is particularly great. Thank you for your efforts.

  • I started reading your articles a few months ago when I stumbled across it. I haven’t missed one since. They are wonderful and inspiring. And I love how many of your FB updates are quotes from your articles… such great reminders for keeping us inspired..

  • Powerful! #7 struck a chord with me as I recently wrote a post about the ten habits of the Amish that have impacted my life. And forgiveness is one of them.

  • Thank you for your inspirational writings! They mean a lot, and they help me — it feels as if sometimes God is speaking to me through your posts.

  • Valentine’s Day is here soon and your post at this time just made me so heart-warming… and thought-provoking. Thanks Marc and Angel! Wishing everyone a sweet, memorable V day.

  • Thank you for the beautiful and timely post. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Hi Marc,
    As always, thanks for your beautiful insights. Also, what happened to the blogroll tab on the right? I visited some of the inspiring blogs you recommended but forgot to bookmark them.

  • @Nicolas: The plugin/code we were using to manage our blogroll links broke when we performed a recent upgrade (it was loading slower than the rest of the page… weird). Anyway, We’ll work on fixing it over the next few days/weeks and getting a blogroll back up somewhere on the site.

    @All: Thanks again for making us smile with your kind, insightful comments. :)

  • Insightful reminders. Nodded as I read most; and got a tingle on a few.
    Thanks for posting.


  • I love all your work and have been a fan for few years now. No other blog gives insights as you do! Thanks for sharing this with us! Hope you one day write a book!

  • Nice little reminders of stuff we already know but all to often forget :)

  • Every time I read anything posted here, I feel inspired and refreshed. Definitely going to share this one!

  • Some great reminders here. I think we all have one (or maybe a few) of these that we struggle with. It’s so important to allow our relationships to shift as we do. In my experience the best ones have an interesting way of cycling back when both parties needs it most.

  • Great info! Your blog inspires me on a regular basis. :)

  • Hi M&A,

    I think point #2 is the key to any relationship. Whatever you expect from others you should give it to them, FIRST.
    Of course, all the points have their own importance and relevance.
    Marc & Angel, tell me if I want to use your articles and turn it into a podcast in Hindi language, what do I need to do. I would like this awesome material to reach out to people who can’t read English.
    I would appreciate if you replied to my email.
    Keep up the good work

  • I loved this line “You are better off without some people.”

    Before I read your post I had already implemented this but was feeling very guilty about it as I felt I had been too selfish and harsh in doing so. But after reading this I am convinced it was not that way at all. And whatever I chose to do will benefit me in the long run.

    Thanx Marc & Angel for such soothing words!

  • Just the other day I was talking to a friend about the way I used to fight with people. I was a screamer and a thrower of things. I would say mean and hurtful things…it was very intense. Sometime in my early 30’s I stopped doing it…
    Sometimes I miss the passion in a good old fashioned knock down drag out fight. There was always a sense of release that came from one of those fights. Now, I can’t even imagine what it would take to get me that upset, but I do miss the releasing part of it. Then again…I don’t get so wound up like I did back then…so maybe there is no need for that intense of a release. hm…
    Great article…I live and believe every single point.

  • Thank you so much for these. I’m so impressed with them I’m going to put them on a profile of Mine and share them with all of My friends. This is how I’ve lived My life for a long time. I’m going to start following your blog. Thank you, again.

  • Thank you so much, you cleared some of my confusions about certain relationship issues I have.

  • I just happened to read a friend’s posts on Facebook which linked to this site - now, am sucked in reading.
    Such inspiring thoughts!

  • I love the relationship truth about forgiveness. Letting go of resentment helps YOU. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

  • Nice one! Thank zou Marc and Angel:-)

  • I am simply impressed with such great thoughts!! Very Inspiring!

  • This is a really a great article, thanks!

  • Some of the most helpful relationship tips I’ve reading awhile.

  • Lovely wisdom for healthy relationships. Thanks.

  • “And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”

    I know. But I still miss my friend.

  • Number 3, about fighting for a spot in someone’s life touched me. I heard a sad story from a man whose wife was unhappy because she felt he was putting his work first, e.g. he would not interrupt writing work emails late at night to talk to her. They ended up getting a divorce.

  • Wonderful article! :-)

  • Very nicely written…

  • Thank you for this article and website. It’s helping me tremendously.

  • Thanks a ton for sharing such an insightful post. Your article just gave me a little extra strength to recover from bad phase of a relationship. It’s helping me somehow. First time I visited your blog and it rocks indeed.

  • I love #1. Coming from a person who have a successful relationship, when two people really care about each other, they always find a way to make it work - no matter how hard it is.

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