Couples who have been together for a while, and new partners wondering how to make it last, love has revolutions that must be completed. There will come a time when you must go deep as one determined unit, past transgressions and inadvertent wounds to rediscover the magic and essence of your individual couplehood.
Destroy & Rebuild Foundations
In relationships, we must be aware not everything old is compatible with the new. Things that have worked for us in our past, may not work in our future or present relationships. Your partnership is much like a house built from the ground up. If you want that house to last, it requires a strong foundation. Lots of people build their homes using the blueprints of old, outdated foundations, then they move in and everything slowly falls apart. The house is eventually destroyed, but the foundation laid remains until they decide to build a new one.
The entire process of destroying and rebuilding foundations starts with constructing your personal foundation. Prepare yourself with patience and understanding, identify what it is that you are searching for and practice articulating your needs to whomever it is you decide to be involved with. You must also have the ability to recognize when a person isn’t on the same page as you and then make the proper adjustments as necessary, which may mean limiting interactions, or calls. You should also strive for learning to convey the reason for your adjustment. It is crucial that after you make any form of adjustment that you remain firm in your decision.
Make sure you build your foundation with constructive qualities and beliefs. A constructive foundation embodies what you need, which allows you to express your needs to potential partners without forcing them to compromise their own values. Because they keep their sense of self, it permits them to give to you confidently and comfortably. Nobody enjoys feeling as if they are being taken from, drained, or compromised, so be sure to make it easy for people to want to give to you.
It isn’t difficult for a person to recognize another person who has a solid foundation, that’s because you will project an outward expression of an embodied stronghold. Your confidence, mannerisms, and ability to communicate will manifest themselves more effectively because of your strengthened foundation. Only those who have built strong foundations have the ability to withstand the weathering of a real relationship so, build on to yourself before attempting to construct with another person.
Many of us enter into our relationships believing in certain concepts of love that could potentially damage the welfare of our relationships. These misconceptions place expectations on our partners that they may or may not have the capacity to deliver, and when they fail to meet those expectations we resent our partners and blame love. As we grow in our relationships, misconceptions such as “love is a two-way street” or “love doesn’t hurt” should be ruled null and void because they don’t apply in a real relationship.
Love in it’s most simplistic definition is “charity.” Charity is a gift from one party to another without any payment or gift anticipated in return. When we define love as “charity” it never becomes a two-way street, in fact, love is often a one way street with a stop light. It’s necessary to regulate just how much love you are giving out because giving too much of yourself can cause you to either forget about your own needs or may cause you to be taken advantage of. When love is working the way it was designed to work, that’s where the two-way street manifests, two people giving freely of themselves. It is not you give me some then I’ll give some back. Similar to a highway, sometimes one side has traffic and the other side is flowing. Love fluctuates.
Another misconception is that “love doesn’t hurt.” Love hurts for the better. The very idea of love forces us to break bad habits, do things we normally don’t do, and above all, it forces us to be vulnerable. There will always be moments when love hurts because nothing good comes without hard work and the willingness to take a potentially painful risk. Love is an action meant to be performed over and over again; some of us get it right the first or second time around, but others have to learn the painful lessons it takes to become intimate with love and learn how to apply what we’ve learned to the necessary areas.
Lack of consistency is one of the top reasons why relationships fail. This is the reason why our partners may say, “He doesn’t do the things he used to do”, or “She’s not the same person I remember.” Consistency is vital to our relationships’ success. Consistency, by one definition, means “an agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole.” So ask yourself, what are we agreeing on? and where is our harmony that is necessary for a successful relationship?
Four Key Practices
Love in Communication: Hone communicating your feelings regardless of fear or doubt. Do this knowing it means progress and understanding when you are being communicated to as well.
Love in relations: Show love in this area not just sexually, but find what makes each of you feel appreciated. When you do this neither you or your partner will feel burdened when giving.
Love in confrontation: Even when you’re disagreeing, show love. Never use hurtful information against each other because you erode your partner’s sense of trust that they can’t be intimate with you. Find a way to argue productively towards a solution or just listen to what’s being said.
Believing in the Existence of Love: The biggest and most powerful lie we can tell ourselves is that love doesn’t exist or it doesn’t work. Find a way to destroy the barriers keeping you from loving and love selflessly and abundantly, and you’ll rarely be unsatisfied.
Human beings instinctively seek the most comfortable and pleasurable circumstances, elements that are naturally consistent within our personalities. With a combination of life experience and external influence, we develop an internal persona which influences our perspectives, decisions and attractions. We then let this persona develop our idea of love, which serves to become an item of our basic instinct: the yearning to be satiated.
People continuously change within relationships, however, love does not change. In order to have a sense of consistency, we must embody a synonymous definition of love. As we hold on to our definition, our personalities will mature, but the actions we took at the beginning of our relationship will never go away because they will grow as we do.
Our agreement to love another produces a harmony between two hearts and minds; it allows us to apply every variable of love to each other consistently. This doesn’t mean there won’t be issues within the relationship, (every relationship has them), but it does mean issues will be solved with love, that troubles should be resolved productively. Maintain your consistency by upholding your agreement to love and fight against your selfish instincts. Love is a living thing, which thrives as you provide for its care. The more you place your relationship into love, the more love places itself into you.
Appreciation & Reassurance
Men and women have many incentives to love, however, there are two in particular that are constant necessities in any relationship. Appreciation and reassurance. Each of these qualities are love’s fuel and glue and need to be exercised often in any relationship. Although men and women have a different demand for each of the two, women, I believe, are more in need of reassurance, as men are more in need of appreciation.
Because women instinctively love through their ability to communicate feelings of love and spending quality time with their partners, they have little issue reassuring. Men, on the other hand, naturally love through their ability to provide, protect and physically please, so appreciation is one of men’s natural gifts. Again, this is my opinion. Both men and women should be proactive in learning how to give to each others love in this respect.
Without these elements, resentment can be created, which may cause other aspects of the relationship to deteriorate, communication, for example. If one isn’t receiving these necessities, the resentment may cause a person’s ability to communicate from a place of love to be diminished and therefore, to become ineffective.
Conversely, appreciation and reassurance encourage a a cycle of building trust within a relationship, which ultimately guides the two of you into true intimacy. Intimacy, being the final and most important part of any relationship as well as the most difficult to attain if the prerequisites haven’t been met. Lovers must keep appreciation and reassurance in mind at all times if they truly wish to take their relationship to the next level.
Setting Boundaries & Gaining Understanding
In our generation’s relationship practices, we see a lot boundaries being crossed as well as the presence of stubbornness ruining the stability of relationships. It is more than necessary to establish how far you are willing to go for the sake of your relationship, and even more necessary to learn to understand the other. There are too many people who have no discernible perimeter for what they will do to keep their relationship, due to the fear of starting over or being alone. At the same time, people define too many limitations for what their partner cannot do in their relationship. Relationships can’t function under those kinds of circumstances.
It is of the greatest importance to maintain your own identity within your relationship. Any and all relationships are a sum of two parts working together and should remain two parts to continue being considered a relationship. The feeling of love can be a consuming one. If you are taken by that feeling to a point where you are no longer an independent operator in your relationship it may result in your being drained of an ability to be conscious of boundaries you shouldn’t cross. You will do things because you “love” them, ignore signs that are obvious to everyone observing them and blame yourself for problems that arise in your situation (I reference “situation” because at this level your relationship has ceased).
Gaining understanding in a relationship is vital. To know your partner’s habits, likes, and dislikes is one thing, but to understand why they are important to them is far more important. Understanding must be reached in relationships, or resentments could potentially damage the relationship. Arguments and misunderstandings are inevitable in all relationships, however, they are just learning experiences. Remembering this may help you during your next disagreement.
Certain boundaries need to be discussed in relationships, especially as sexual romance is concerned. Many people are not willing and/or comfortable fulfilling certain of their partner’s sexual desires. Discuss these challenges and settle upon a mutual agreement.
Once these boundaries are set and understanding is achieved, the lines of communication become clearer and resolution easier. All of these items work together in love and should be exercised consciously.
Reaching for Intimacy
The most important step in our love relationships is reaching intimacy. Defined as “the acquiring of a deep unusual understanding of a person”, reaching intimacy requires the constant study of your partner’s mental, emotional and physical conditions to understand their being.
It requires trust in your most vulnerable areas, too: forgiveness and sacrificing your will for the sake of love.
Intimacy doesn’t happen magically or suddenly; it requires absolute commitment to not just the “titles” to which many of us apply so much substance. It requires the decision to put your hands to the plow and cultivate your love regardless the season. If you have no trust or fear of being vulnerable you will find it impossible to acquire the experience of an intimate love. But you must first make yourself available to it and then stick with it.
You must be proud of your relationship as you give up being prideful. Accept the possibility of being wrong. Know what roles you play, and give your partner your best effort.