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10 Simple Ways To Keep A Fulfilling Relationship

10 Simple Ways To Keep A Fulfilling Relationship

In order for you to experience a fulfilling relationship, you must invest the time and energy to develop the relationship and to invest in your own personal development and self growth. You can’t have one without the other. The investment in the relationship and the investment in your personal development is the secret sauce to having a relationship that is both satisfying and fascinating. A fulfilling relationship includes two partners who both invest in their own development just as much as developing the relationship.

Small baby steps will completely transform your relationship. Before you can make big changes in your relationship, you must take thousands of small steps. These steps are both positive and brings excitement in the relationship. This excitement encourages the both of you to live a better life. Not only will your relationship reap the small changes but so will you within your own individual life. Below are 10 simple ways that you can start taking today in order for you to keep and maintain a fulfilling relationship.

1. Live without expectations.

Don’t just expect your partner to do something to make you happy.

Expecting that your partner will do a specific action for you to be happy is a foolish way of thinking. How would you feel if your partner always expected you to call as soon as you finished work? I’m sure you would feel a sense of  pressure and obligation. Nobody wants to feel obligated to do anything. You would be more than willing to call your partner after work if you didn’t feel obligated. Put yourself in the shoes of your partner. If you’re expecting your partner to always make you happy, you will never be completely satisfied in your life.

A relationship is a bond between two individuals that has something to put on the table. You can’t expect your partner to be the end-all, be-all to your happiness. You must take responsibility for your happiness and have your partner contribute to your happiness. A fulfilling relationship is when both individuals contribute to each other’s happiness, but without any expectations. You are the one who decides for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. Don’t put that decision on your partner. Remember, your partner can only contribute to your happiness.

2. Focus on improving your flaws.

Look at yourself first instead of pointing out the flaws of your partner.

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It’s human nature to point out the flaws of others before looking at our own flaws. For you to experience a fulfilling relationship, you must learn the importance of focusing on improving your own flaws rather than pointing out the flaws of your partner. We all have imperfections—that is part of who we are. When a disagreement occurs between you and your partner, look within first before looking at the flaws of your partner. If you focus too much on your partner’s flaws, you will end up being judgmental and critical. This does nothing but weaken the foundation of your relationship.

Next time you are in disagreement with your partner, instead of pointing the finger at your partner, point the finger at yourself and ask, “What do I need to improve on?” It may be the ability to fully listen to your partner’s perspective or not being so stubborn and hardheaded. Whatever it may be, look at yourself for the solution rather than looking at your partner as the problem. You will only be treading water if you continue to focus on your partner’s flaws. Make the commitment today to start focusing on your own personal development. Not only will you benefit from this, but also your relationship.

3. Be calm before the storm.

Don’t just react immediately when your partner does something that upsets you.

Immediately attacking your partner after they have upset you will only make the situation worse. Think about the saying, “the calm before the storm.” This is the peaceful and quiet period before a period of trouble and distress. I know from personal experience how easy it can be to react to your partner when they make you upset. It takes patience and the ability to consciously stop yourself from reacting negatively. It will not be an overnight fix; rather, it will be a long term change of behavior. It will be your behavior that will either worsen the storm or lessen the winds of impact. It’s your decision to make.

Just remember, if you continue to react negatively towards your partner whenever they upset you, they are more likely to hide anything that will make you upset. Do you want to establish a foundation that is based on secrets and lies? I’m sure you don’t. So, practice the strategy of taking deep breaths and consciously stopping yourself from reacting negatively. Understand where your partner is coming from and communicate in a way that is effective and encourages positive dialogue. Commit to developing a solid foundation of trust, commitment and patience.

4. Set boundaries.

Let each other know about these boundaries and decide what you’ll do if the boundaries have been crossed.

Setting boundaries for your own well-being and also for the well-being of your relationship is key to experiencing a fulfilling and satisfying relationship. Without boundaries, how do you or your partner know where to draw the line? Setting boundaries will establish a solid foundation. Think of a house being built. There is a blueprint of how the house should be built. Without this blueprint, the house will be built on a weak foundation. It’s the same with your relationship. The boundaries are the blueprint in which you and your partner establish in order to experience a fulfilling relationship.

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You and your partner must decide the boundaries that you want to establish in your relationship. Think about your personal values and beliefs that you have for yourself. What do you value and what do you believe in? The answers will help you create boundaries in your relationship. If you value honesty and open communication be sure to establish this in your relationship. A boundary of this can be, “If your partner lies to you on a continuous basis and lacks the ability to have open communication, then the consequence is to break up.” Again, you are the only one who will decide the boundaries that you want to have in your relationship. Be clear with your boundaries, effectively communicate why it’s important to you and what the consequences are if these boundaries are crossed.

5. Develop your own sense of direction.

Even though you are in a relationship, continue to develop yourself as an individual.

When you’re on cloud 9, it’s easy to forget about your personal needs. You tag along your partner and put your needs aside. What happens when you do this? You lose yourself and become resentful because your partner is living out their dreams but you’re not. You will need to balance developing your relationship and also developing yourself. As I’ve shared with you in the beginning of this article, in order for you to experience a fulfilling relationship, you must invest into your relationship just as much as you invest into your personal development.

A fulfilling relationship is a combination of your dreams and the dreams of your partner. It’s about putting both of your dreams on the table and encouraging each other to pursue these dreams. A healthy relationship requires both partners to express themselves and their needs. Make sure that you develop your purpose just as much as you encourage your partner to do the same.

6. Be curious about your partner.

No matter what challenges come your way, always make it a precedent to be curious about your partner and their needs.

This has become a precedent that I have set in my own marriage. Every evening after work, my husband and I sit on the couch and just ask each other thought-provoking questions. These questions allow both of us to better understand each other. Never allow the stress of life to take over your relationship. Continue to push stress back and develop the foundation of your relationship.

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Ever wonder why young children are so curious about life? They are excited to share all that they learning about the world. The curiosity and excitement of a young child should inspire you to do the same with your partner. Be curious and excited to learn more about your partner. What interests them? What makes them happy? What brings them to tears? Questions like these will help you establish the a colorful love map of your partner.

7. Step away from the crowd.

Instead of living up to society’s standard, decide for yourself the type of relationship you want to have.

We live in a society where we are constantly surrounded by noise. This noise can have an influence with how we handle our relationship, whether it be what we see in the magazines or reality shows. Instead of being influenced by the noise of society, decide with your partner on the relationship you want to nurture. A fulfilling relationship focuses on both partners’ individual needs with what the relationship needs as a whole.

Be clear with the kind of relationship you want to experience with your partner. Don’t just copy what you see on the television or in a magazine. It’s important for you to decide the foundation in which your relationship is built upon. Focus on your individual needs and what a healthy and happy relationship looks like to you.

8. Develop a common purpose.

Find a passion that both of you have in common and make sure you take the time to develop your passion.

Personally, I’ve experienced the power of developing a common purpose. My husband John and I are very passionate about helping others in life and marriage. With this passion, we have decided to make it our mission to help individuals and couples live a life truly worth living. This is our common purpose where we gain a sense of togetherness and inspiration. We not only are helping others but indirectly helping our life and marriage.

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Find out a common purpose that you and your partner share. This may be snowboarding or traveling. Whatever your common purpose may be, make sure you take the time to develop it. A fulfilling relationship is a balance between “individual dreams” and “together dreams.” Take the time to nurture both!

9. Be hungry for personal development.

Constantly feed your mind with ways on how to grow and develop both as an individual and as a couple.

We are all lifelong learners. Even when you’re 87 years old, you will still learn something new. Everyday should be an opportunity for you to grow, develop and deepen the wisdom of life. This includes both your individual development and as the development of your relationship. Read personal development and relationship books that will give you the wisdom to live a better life. I suggest that you get yourself a library card and read, read, read. There are endless amounts of books at the library for you to gain wisdom from. Also, instead of listening to the radio in your car, grab some audio programs from the library and start listening to them in the car. Did you know that the american commuter spends 38 hours a year stuck in traffic? Instead of being stressed about the traffic, listen to a personal development or marriage audio program. This will not only decrease your stress level but you are gaining wisdom at the same time.

The energy of a relationship will effect  both individuals. Feed this energy with inspiration every single day. Constantly look for ways to develop yourself and your relationship. Never stop learning. For when you stop, you stop growing.

10. Surround yourself with positive people.

Be very selective with the people you surround yourself with. They will indirectly influence your relationship.

The people you hang around with do influence you. I remember a time when I had a friend who would brag about the gifts her husband would buy her. She would show it off and it always made me feel bad about myself. It was as if I had to compete with her. This negative way of thinking is not necessary and can be avoided. This makes me think about society’s standard of living. Never fall into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. Your relationship will suffer and your individual happiness will never be satisfied. Be careful with the people you call friends. They indirectly influence how you think and act. Surround yourself with people who are like-minded who value what you value.

These 10 simple ways to keep a fulfilling relationship will take time to establish but once your foundation is solid, you’ll look back and be happy that you started making the small necessary steps to changing your relationship!

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Tiffany Mason

Tiffany is a life coach empowering women to unleash their feminine essence & design a meaningful life & marriage.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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