Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Working Toward Long Term Relationships

Can You Have a LTR (Long Term Relationship)?
I am really liking this article Signs that Your Relationship Can Last a Lifetime.  How often have we read wordy articles only to say “why didn’t they just say that in the beginning,” or “I had to wait that long to get what I needed?”  With that being said:  
I am going to let the article speak for itself and just highlight its bullet points.  

Keep a sparkle and a thrill.  Stay smitten.  Be swooned.  Keep your knees weak ever so often when you think of them.  Find the why in how you need to keep up and step up into their league! Remember the intimacy if the newness of the relationship.  Remember that bit of nervousness of when you first met.
Have date nights.  The trap is making these dates rudimentary and obligatory.  If a couple becomes aware and evolved date nights become honored and respected rituals.  Sacred.  Dates should not be a time to complain, discuss what is not working, or to talk about your horrible boss.  If you boss is horrible and you discuss them how can you incorporate the story into meaningful shared conversation.  Ask your partner/spouse about their week?  A date should not be about you.  A date should be about your partner and your relationship.  

Sex in long term relationships evolves and so often we hear that lessens over time.  The real discussion is intimacy.  Honestly?  A twenty year old’s sexual experience is going to be different than a forty year old’s experience.  Anyone knows that a newly signed athlete’s performance is vastly different than his seasoned highly paying skilled counterpart.  Both scenarios have value and merit.  In sex, many do not understand that hand holding at the right time if far greater than a sexual act.  
Happiness should be in a marriage.  If not you would best address it.  And incorporate it into the daily or weekly format.
Compromise.  This word is a modern-day term that causes problems.  I assert that to compromise is a myth and a strategic war term to make peace.  If you are thinking of your partner and their best interest and if you are truly in a good space with your partner you do not think about compromise.  You LISTEN and you might allow them to have the discussion work in their favor. If your partner wins you win.  Instead of lawyering toward a truce or a compromise (euphemism for an agreement that works on your favor, or reducing a possible escalation to terms that you can accept) work towards living in harmony.  

For better or for worse happens in the middle of the relationship not just in the vows or at the end of a marriage.  Use difficult times as a powerful tool to further bond your union.  Tragedies and life conflicts make you stronger. Fighting.  Wow.  How can you fight respectfully?  If you grew up in a hostile childhood and if your workplace and career is an aggressive hostile environment you need to leave that in the past or at the door.  Do not drag in Boxing matches or the WWE into your marriage.  Learn the language of fighting with your partner so that they feel respected and safe.  If you do not know how it might cause difficulties.
Let them grow and set them free.  No one like to be caged (well, that is another blog and that has its place but another discussion).  The trick here is that if your partner grows and you stay stagnant they will outgrow you.  Thus?  Get a life and grow so that you can bring it to the table at your weekly dates!

Be engaged in their change and newness.  Or be aware of who they are?  If you know them so well then shake thing up appropriately.  Take an unannounced road trip and embrace their response.  If they love grunge or indy music take them to an old jazz club 50 miles away and engage in their response.  Help them polish their best self.
Make the relationship your first priority.  First.  Not second. Not I’ll get to it. Not “in the summer when things settle down …”  First.  You should be placing your partner before yourself.  While doing so, you might benefit with having a partner who does the same:  Your partner should be placing you as an ongoing primary thought.
Constructive criticism has a negative connotation.  You want your partner to shine and look their best. Editing can be done in many ways.  A mindful editor might avoid RED ink as it might present as hostile receiving red marking on a white paper with the author's personal words.  But a good editor help with reaching publication and a wider audience (or targeted audience). Thus, I would support the usage of mindful support or social or constructive support.
Your partner should have an equal voice in your relationship.  Their thoughts and belief and philosophies and opinions matter.
Be nice.  Bees honey vinegar.  Being tactful and nice is not being fake.  If you need to edit what you say then edit.  Nice saves marriages.
In summary, in identifying and managing the above listed items you should be reaching a success in your union.  Oddly, I am not a rocket scientist. Just a marriage therapist, couples counselor in Los Angeles.  And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the mastery of many of these above listed items would improve your marriage and other relationships ( co-workers, friendships, family, parents, siblings).  More than anything the idea of listening and effective communication and respect and observing from and openness leads to success in relationships AND in life.

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