Love is not just about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build until the end. A relationship should be healthy, caring, loving, kind, upbeat, and positive. It should make your smile a little wider and your life a little brighter.
Happy, healthy personal relationships are one of the greatest joys of life. So starting today, choose to take control of your relationship with your significant other. Here are ten commandments to follow together.
You deserve to be with somebody who makes you smile – somebody who doesn’t take you for granted – somebody who won’t hurt you.
I. We will remember that every person and relationship is different.
People don’t fall in love with what makes you the same; they fall in love with what makes you different. Be your imperfectly perfect self. We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are. And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love most about us.
Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect. Every couple makes their own love rules, love agreements, and love habits. Just focus on you two, and making your relationship the best it can be.
II. We will listen to each other openly, without judgment.
It’s far too easy to look at someone and make a snap judgment about them. But you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a smile hides. What a person shows to the public is only a small fraction of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that run all the way to the foundation of their soul.
Never judge. Learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of your significant other. Pay close attention to them. Be present. We don’t always need advice. Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand. There is a time to speak out and a time to remain silent. True wisdom comes from knowing the difference. And this difference can make or break a healthy relationship. (Read Love and Respect.)
III. We will say what we mean and mean what we say.
Share what is going on in your mind and heart. Share your deepest thoughts, needs, wishes, hopes, and dreams. Open communication and honesty is vital to healthy relationships. Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.
Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication running. Start communicating clearly. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people, especially your significant other, try to read yours.
IV. We will support each other through good times and bad.
Be there through the good, bad, happy, and sad times – no matter what. Be willing to provide a listening ear, a hug, and emotional support in all circumstances. Trust that you can count on each other, and be available not only when it’s convenient, but when you need each other the most.
V. We will be loyal.
True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated. When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority. Loyalty is everything.
VI. We will live by the truth.
Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. Run a marathon. Live so that when others think of fairness, integrity and reliability, they think of you. (Read The 4 Agreements.)
VII. We will spend quality time with each other.
Make time for each other. With our busy schedules we often forget to relax and enjoy the great company we have. In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart. So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words
Carve out special time for just the two of you once a week. Do something fun. Spend time together talking, going on dates, and making each other laugh. Not only is it true that laughter is the best medicine, but it’s also true that shared laughter can make a good relationship great.
VIII. We will appreciate each other and help each other grow.
Having an appreciation for how amazing your significant other is leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for them when they’re making progress. Cheer for their victories. Celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage their goals and ambitions. Challenge them to be the best they can be. And be thankful for their blessings, openly.
IX. We will settle disputes peacefully.
Not much is worth fighting about. Heated arguments are a waste of time. If you can avoid it, don’t fight. Step back from arguments with your loved ones.
When you feel anger surging up and you want to yell that vulgar remark on tip of your tongue, just close your mouth and walk away. Don’t let your anger get the best of you. You don’t have to be right or win an argument. It just doesn’t matter that much. Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation.
X. We will love and respect ourselves as individuals too.
Our first and last love is self-love. Don’t rely on your significant other, or anyone else, for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to either.
Accept who you are completely – the good and the bad. And make changes in your life as YOU see fit – not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know it’s the right thing to do, for you. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
Photo by: Jeremy Blanchard