5 Laws to Maintain Lasting Love
- A Shared Vision.
The most important thing a relationship can have is a common goal or vision. A sports team has one goal, to outscore the other team, by maximizing their score and minimizing the opposition’s score. The team work as a cohesive unit to accomplish this goal. They work together, as intra-team bickering will only hinder this effort. In a relationship it is critical for the couple to see themselves as a team. They must work towards a shared vision together. This vision gives the couple direction, as if they were attempting to travel to a far off location. This gives them guidance to navigate life’s struggles.
A shared vision is critical in child-rearing, as having different methods of raising children can be a significant source of conflict. Consider how each partner might give punishment to a child. If there is a disparity, there is the potential for an argument. Just as a disparity in voltage causes current flow. If we either share the same vision or respect and accept the difference, there can be no argument.
- Unconditional Love
This cannot be stressed enough. Often I coach individuals and they indicate that they need to establish boundaries and set expectations in the relationship. What this amounts to is holding their partner hostage or setting a trap for them, that they inevitably encounter. In romance, there can be no conditions. Both partners came together as completely different individuals. They came together as unique. Unconditional love exists to respect this fact. Instead of differences driving conflict, they should be seen as fostering intimacy and respect in the relationship. Consider that one partner’s differences might make up for a flaw in the other partner. One partner might be soft spoken, while the other is loud and assertive. This characteristic can assist the relationship as a whole.
When we love with conditions, we are not saying when we can not love, we are saying when we can love. Instead of love being a 24/7 endeavor, it becomes a part time effort. Even if one’s partner meets our voiced expectations, we can always fault them for not doing it perfectly or on time. There is always an excuse to not give love, so as to control our partners and get something from them in return. There can be no if’s and’s or but’s in love. If there are, then that is not love. Period.
- See the Best
It is critical in a romantic relationship to see the best of one’s partner. This is less obvious when all is well, but the most critical thing to do when one or both partners become upset. In my book, I created a concept called “masks”. We often have a distorted or faulty image of our partner. When upset, we further distort their image. Instead of seeing the best in them, as a wonderful person, we see an evil and destructive individual. When we see this, we treat them as if they were a villain. To better our relationships, we have to remove these masks and just see them for who they are. The same person exists, whether or not they are upset. Consider the fundamental attribution error as a logical follow-on to my masks concept. When one’s partner makes a mistake, it is common to call them a screw-up. IF they lie once, they become a liar. One moment does not imply permanence. For the same reason, when a partner is upset, we should see it as a one-off event or temporary. We need to see the person as a whole and not make the mistake the whole.
- Communication. Communication. Communication.
I focus a lot of my efforts on instructing individuals how to communicate in difficult moments with difficult people. But what about the general communication skills that apply all day long? In a long-term relationship, it is common for communication to take a serious back seat, as partners rest on the fact that their partner won’t up and leave, as they would in the courtship. We have to realize that relationships are built on that courtship and abandoning those actions is akin to stabbing the relationship in the back. Communicating effectively is very simple.
- Face your partner.
- Square your shoulders with theirs.
- Listen. Don’t just hear their words. Listen and analyze their words.
- Paraphrase and repeat what they said for clarification.
- Take an active interest in their words and thoughts. If you find them annoying, it is because of your lack of interest.
- Put down the phone.
- Turn off the computer.
- Facebook can wait.
- Put your back to the Television.
- Commitment. commitment. commitment.
My specialization is emotional transformation. The purpose of emotional transformation is to no longer let everything hurt our feelings. So many things hurt our emotions that have no objective attribution of right or wrong. Many things that hurt us were learned to be bad. This subconscious programming came from others, as we were raised. We accept the emotional trauma from others, through their imparted ideals. While I coach individuals to eliminate these so that we can be happier much more often, it is still possible to experience some pain from time to time.
When pain is experienced, it is possible to think the relationship or world are ending. Commitment keeps individuals from making rash decisions on what is likely a temporary trauma. Even sexual or emotional affairs can present temporary road blocks in a relationship. Many couples surpass these obstacles and become stronger as a result. It becomes an eye opener, and the couple realizes they have to run towards each other and re-kindle what used to be. Every single relationship that has a shared vision and a natural magnetic draw can be successful, no matter what hardship is endured. We can overcome these obstacles if we turn off the subconscious programming and instead allow happiness to flow to the surface. The truth is that when we focus on these 5 principles, the distance that causes affairs and other relationship ending drama actually go away. Individuals focus so much effort on energizing their expectations and laying emotional mines, that they forget to create relational intimacy with their partner. With commitment, we can return to bliss in the blink of an eye. When all of these concepts are mastered, a moment of emotional trauma ends when both partners agree to let it end. By no longer drawing out a disagreement, they can instantly return to bliss. Commitment is seeing beyond the obstacle and placing faith on overcoming it.
Fight for love. Don’t fight to fight.
Thank you for reading,