When you are in a relationship you value, it is important to subscribe to the ABCs of Relationships. Mind your P & Qs, and everything else from A to Z.
A = Accepting
When in a relationship, it is important to accept your partner as he or she is, instead of always trying to change him or her. If you want to embark on a self-improvement plan, start with yourself. When you don’t like something about your partner, it comes across as criticism. Unconditional love comes from accepting each other’s idiosyncrasies.
B = Believe
You must believe in your partner. Believe in their abilities, believe in their dreams, and believe in their love. When you have a partnership, you believe in each other. No one should have more faith in your partner than you do.
C = Communication
Effective communication is critical to the success of intimate relationships.
D = Disagree in Private
Discuss disagreements in private. The whole world does not need to know your personal business. When you are with others, including children, parents, and friends, do not ask them to take sides. Work out your issues with no spectators.
E = Encourage
Being in a relationship means being a cheerleader, encouraging and helping your partner do the things he or she wants to do.
F = Friendship
When you are in a successful relationship, your partner is someone you genuinely like and share common interests with. When important things happen, you are excited to tell your significant other. You don’t try to manipulate him or her. You share a genuine friendship.
G = Gratitude
Be grateful every moment for your loved one’s presence in your life. You never know when a life is going to end. And remember, your loved one has a choice. He or she can always find another who will show more gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t make you weak; it makes you appealing.
H = Happiness
When you love someone, you want them to know you are happy to be in the relationship. Have you ever seen how happy dogs get when their owner comes home? Show the same happiness and excitement when you are with your partner.
I = Integrity
Integrity is important in all relationships, especially with your significant other. Say what you do and do what you say, without exception. Do not make promises unless you intend to keep them, and when you do promise something, move heaven and earth to make it happen.
J = Eliminate Jealousy
Your partner is not your possession; jealousy will not bring you closer. Jealousy stems from four root causes: insecurity, past experiences, possessiveness, and expecting things to never change. Do you know where yours comes from?
You always want to treat your partner with kindness, even when it’s not returned. Be kind because tomorrow is never guaranteed, and be kind because that is the type of person you want to be.
L = Listening
Instead of listening just to hear, listen to understand. Instead of tuning out or waiting for your turn to speak, really listen to try to see where your partner is coming from. You don’t have to find agreement, just a better understanding. This will really help you when we get to the letter “N.”
M = Maintenance
Getting the guy/girl is not the end, but rather just the beginning. What are you doing to nurture your long-term relationship?
N = Negotiating Differences
In any relationship, there will be times when you want different things. When this happens, people usually try to figure out how to get what they want. When you are negotiating differences, you have a completely different mindset; you are concerned with finding a way for both of you to get what you want. When you have this mindset of both win, it becomes relatively easy to find a solution.
O = Openness
Transparency is important in a loving relationship. Being a private person is great, but in a loving relationship, you don’t want to keep secrets from your partner. A long-term, committed relationship is a huge gift you give one another. Reward each other with transparency so a strong bond of trust can develop.
P = Pamper
Don’t just pamper your partner when you are getting to know each other. Continue the pampering forever! Instead of focusing on the things your partner does that are annoying to you, focus on the things you love. When you focus on the positive, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to continue the pampering long after saying “I do.”
Q = Quixotic
I know, I was definitely reaching for a “Q” word here, but allow me to provide the definition. According to Webster, quixotic means: absurdly or extravagantly romantic or chivalrous. It goes right along with Pamper. Don’t stop the romance or chivalry just because you “got” the guy or girl. Continue it forever. The more you love each other, the more you will be in love with each other.
R = Respecting
Through listening, learn what your partner needs to feel respected and then give it to him or her. Do not respect your partner the way you wish your partner would respect you. You will probably miss the mark as your picture of respect likely looks different. Focus on the platinum, rather than the golden, rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”
If you want to have a meaningful and healthy relationship, then you are going to have to trust your partner. Trust is one of the important building blocks of healthy relationships. Trust is a choice you make; it’s not necessarily something a person must earn. That being said, however, if your partner has shown he or she is not trustworthy in certain areas, then trust him or her to continuing being who they have shown you to be. Don’t expect a cat to turn into a dog.
U = Understanding
If I had to list the most important quality in a relationship, I would say it’s the quest for understanding. I say “quest” because I don’t believe you can ever fully understand another person, but the desire to work at better understanding will help a relationship last in a very healthy atmosphere.
V = Value Each Other
There will be times when you aren’t able to understand your partner because you both have very different ways of seeing certain things. When this happens, instead of devaluing your partner, value him or her as bringing a new perspective to the situation.
In our upcoming Secrets of Happy Couples Retreat, I talk about having a win/win/win whenever you are able to negotiate your differences so both of you are satisfied with the outcome. You win, your partner wins, and the third win occurs because your relationship grows stronger for going through the process.
Be sure to schedule some X-rated time with your partner into the busyness of your life. Connecting with each other in a sexual way is an important part of maintaining closeness, and it’s a great stress reliever too!
Y = Yin / Yang
Maintain the balance in your relationship. Sometimes you will carry the load, sometimes your partner will, and often you will share it. Balance is the key.
Z = Zest
Maintain your energy and excitement when you are with your partner so he or she knows how happy you are to be together.
Follow these Relationship ABCs so your relationship will sizzle, not fizzle!
Make an investment in your relationship and spend a romantic weekend in San Antonio, TX with our Secrets of Happy Couples Retreat. Act Now, early bird pricing ends December 15th.