Now, just because I am writing a post called “10 keys to creating an amazing relationship” does not mean that my relationship is necessarily perfect. I am not an angelic girlfriend by any means. But I have done a lot work over the years on this area of my life and as a result I am really starting to reap the benefits.
There was a period a few years ago where I was single for quite an extended period of time, and rather than spending every spare minute trying to find a partner who would love me, I dedicated the majority of my time to learning to love myself.
It was a big, deep process but it was so worth it. I am a completely different person as a result of it, and now that I am in a relationship I am to fully experience all of the amazing effects that this work has created.
This does not mean that the work has ended. Not at all.
Relationships are our greatest assignments. The work is continuous.
But through my journey so far, I have found some key things that I believe lay the foundation of an amazing relationship, and I thought I would share them all with you.
1. Know Thyself
To be in a good relationship with someone else, you first have to be in a good relationship with yourself. It is important that you take time to get to know who you are, and to know what it is that you are bringing in to the relationship.
Do you really know yourself? This in itself can be a life-long journey, but the process of self inquiry and inner reflection is a beautiful tool that can be incredibly healing and empowering.
Think about who you have been in your past relationships and how you have acted. Think about the types of guys/girls you have previously attracted and how they have treated you. Identify any patterns that arise and think about what is inside you that may be creating these patterns. Are there certain beliefs that you have about men/women, about what love means, and about what a relationship is? Do you have any behaviours that you think could be potentially sabotaging a relationship?
Think about what you want from a relationship. If you are in one already, think about what you actually want from it. Or, if you are not in one, think about what you want from your next one. Taking some time to get really clear about who you are and what you want, will make a huge contribution to the success of your current/future relationship.
2. Love And Accept Yourself
I am sure you have hear this saying before – How do you ever expect anyone else to love you if you do not love yourself? How many of us go in to a relationship looking for love because we do not not ourselves? How many of us need that validation from someone else in order to feel loved?
You cannot get something from someone else that you have not already created inside you.
If you do not love yourself, you will attract a man/woman who cannot truly love you either. You must learn to love and adore who you are, even if you have faults, flaws and imperfections.
Even if you are already in a loving relationship, you should never stop working on the loving relationship with yourself also. As soon as there is an imbalance, and you expect more love from them than you are willing to give yourself, your relationship with suffer.
3. Communicate With Love
Honest, open, genuine communication is paramount to having a good relationship, but the one key factor in successful communication is learning to communicate from a place of love.
There is nothing more important than communicating your thoughts and feelings to your partner, even if they may not always be what they want to hear. However, there is a big difference between communicating from a place of love than communicating from a place of fear.
When you are communicating from love you are speaking from the heart, expressing your truth and honouring your feelings.
When something is upsetting you or bothering you it is best to express it rather than suppress it. Determine if it is something you can resolve in yourself, or if it is something you need to speak to your partner about. Even if you have to say something that is not very nice, connect with the intention of saying it with love before you speak, and it will make a huge difference to how that person receives the message.
When you communicate from fear you may think you are expressing your truth, but underneath you actually have a motive to create pain in the other person. You may be trying to prove a point so you are right and they are wrong, you may be trying to say something that you know will hurt them, or you may be criticising them or blaming them.
This type of communication separates you from your partner and destroys relationships. If you are in a place of anger, fear, jealousy, hatred or hurt – it is not the time to communicate. Instead take some time out, take a deep breath and work through the emotions before you start communicating with your partner.
4. Ask Yourself – What Can I Give?
Relationships are about both giving and receiving. However, there is often an imbalance in our minds between the two. Many of us look to our partner to give us things and to make us feel a certain way. As soon as we are not getting what we want from the person we become upset at them.
Shift your thoughts for a moment from ‘what can I get from my partner?’ to ‘what can I give to my partner?’
Have you every thought about what your partner wants and needs from the relationship? What do they want and need from you? Perhaps you can ask them, if you are not sure. When you shift from a getting to a giving mentality, you realise that relationships are about loving and supporting your partner, not just taking and getting what you need from them.
In addition to giving to our partner, we must also learn to give to ourselves. When we give enough love to ourselves, the love within us will effortlessly overflow on to them. As a result of not looking to our partner for what we need, we will feel more complete and more able to simply enjoy the relationship for what it is.
5. Be Vulnerable
I recently watched this beautiful clip by Brene Brown on vulnerability. In it she shares that you cannot have true connection with any other human being unless you are willing to be vulnerable. This has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my relationship, and I have no doubt that there will be many people who can relate.
How often do you let yourself be truly vulnerable with someone? I mean real, raw, honest, authentic vulnerability? How often do you let someone see who you really are? Not the beautiful, got-my-shit-together, perfect version of you. But the real version of you.
Share what is really going on. Be willing to be real even if it isn’t glamorous. Allow someone to see those parts of you that you often hide.
Our whole society is built on facades. We are taught to put on a happy face to hide our emotions. We are taught to be strong during hard times. We are taught that being perfect gets you love and approval from others. We are taught that to survive in the workplace you must always appear confident, even if inside you are crumbling.
We are not taught that tearing down our walls, revealing our imperfections and showing the deep truth of who we are is ok. It is up to each of us to be willing to open up our hearts and release our fears so that we can create the deep, honest and beautiful connection we all crave.
6. Make Yourself Number One
This is not about being selfish. Rather it is about ensuring that your own wants and needs are being met, as well as the wants and needs of your partner. It is about making sure you are not losing touch with who you are and your own life, even though you are in a relationship with someone else.
What is it that makes you, you? Do you have passions, hobbies or interests outside of the relationship? Do you regularly spend time with your friends? Do you ever spend time alone, without your partner? It is important for each person to maintain who they are and stay true to themselves while in this partnership.
When we make our partner the only source of our happiness or fulfilment we place huge expectations and pressure on them. Instead we need to have numerous ways of meeting our needs for connection, love, passion, romance and fun.
We need to create other things in our like that make us feel special, be it a hobby, a meditation practice, going to the gym, a date night with a girlfriend, reading a book or taking a bath.
A relationship is a partnership that requires cooperation. If you work together you should be able to find ways to achieve your own goals individually as well as the mutual goals that you share together as part of your relationship.
7. Learn To Receive
I know I talked about the importance of giving in a relationship, but it is equally important to be able to receive. If you are struggling with your self-worth and self-love, receiving love can be really difficult.
Do you receive compliments easily, or do they make you uncomfortable? Do you enjoy receiving gifts or do they make you feel guilty? Do you feel comfortable receiving loving touches, cuddles and kisses or does it make you squirm?
If you are someone who find it difficult to receive love, start practicing getting comfortable with giving love to yourself. You can show yourself love by saying something beautiful to yourself, noticing what is wonderful about you, treating yourself to a massage, making yourself a nutritious meal, or by simply getting yourself to bed early so you have enough sleep.
If we do not feel comfortable receiving, we can actually block people from loving us without even realising it. Be willing to receive love in all of it’s forms and give love to yourself unconditionally.
When someone shows you love, whether it be by giving you flowers, buying you lunch or giving you a hug, open your arms and your heart and embrace it. Then say a big thank you, because you deserve it.
8. Forgive And Release
Carrying around resentment in a relationship is a sure fire way to destroy it. Do you ever bring up things from the past that your partner has done and hold it against them, even if it was from years ago? Do you ever replay past hurst or stories in your mind over and over again? We cannot carry around unresolved issues, as they are like buttons sitting inside of us waiting to be pushed.
It is important to heal and release the past, otherwise you are likely to just re-create it over and over again. We need to practice forgiving anyone and anything that has happened that is causing us to carry around pain. It is not about excusing what the other person did. In fact, it has nothing to do with them. The pain you are carrying around is hurting no one except yourself.
Forgiveness will set you free. It will release you from the bondages of the past. It will give you closure. Even if it is something tiny, practice forgiveness. Every time your partner does something that upsets you forgive them, release it and move on.
If this is an issue for you, I highly recommend you seek out some forgiveness meditations and so some energetic cord-cutting exercises. It will help you heal old wounds finally let go of the resentments you have been carrying around.
9. Take Responsibility
One of the most powerful things you can do in a relationship is take responsibility for what you are bringing to it. We must become aware of our own ‘issues’, insecurities, past hurts, fears and patterns and how they are impacting the relationship.
The best way that we can work on any challenge in our relationship, is to first work on ourselves. By doing this, we begin to see that when there is a problem in our relationship, it is usually as a result of a problem that has started in us.
We must take responsibility to do our own work on ourselves, to move from being in a fearful place to a loving place, and to release all of our past ‘baggage’.
It is very easy to get caught up in a lot of emotional drama when we face a relationship challenge. But instead we need to stop, drop the drama and identify what the actual cause of the upset it. You might start off by thinking it is ‘them’ who has done something to upset you. But if you start to work through it, you may in fact begin to see it is actually the way you are perceiving this situation and the story you are creating around it. You have the ability to change how you are thinking and therefore change the way you are feeling. But you must first take responsibility for the role you played in creating it.
10. Appreciate Your Partner
When you first fall in in love with someone, they can do no wrong. You love everything about them. They may have strange little quirks or habits but you find them endearing and cute. Over time however, things seem to change. There seems to be more about that person that bothers you, and their little quirks and habits are suddenly extremely annoying.
The more you focus on something, the more it will grow. So, the more you fuss and complain about what you do not like about your partner, the more you will experience these aspects of them.
On the flip side, the more you appreciate what you love about them and focus on all the great things about them, the more you will experience these aspects of them too.
So, if you ever find yourself feeling a bit negative, some appreciation is all you need to shift your perspective. Start thinking about all the things you love about that person. Think about all of the things that are great about them. Write lists of all the really positive aspects of who they are. Express gratitude for having met such an amazing person. Not only will you feel better, but by seeing this person in a more positive light, you will be lovingly supporting them to then become the best version of themselves when they are around you.
Which of the 10 keys resonated with you the most? And if you applied them, which ones would have the greatest impact on your relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.