How can you tell that you are in a highly cherished relationship? Usually, the signs are pretty obvious. Read the 12 pointers below that will confirm if you are on the right track. If you cannot tick off all these, then there might be some repair-work to be done!
What do we mean by cherished?
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” – Oscar Wilde
Most marriage or partnership ceremonies mention the word ‘cherish.’ The best definition of the word ‘cherished’ is ‘nurtured.’ Think of a plant which needs water, sunshine, and a bit of tender loving care. Just do that today and every day. The plant or relationship will grow and flourish as you discover each other.
“Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today.” – Michelle C. Ustaszeski
1. You never make these mistakes.
Watch this five minute video which will show how this couple went wrong and how they failed miserably to cherish each other.
2. You get a message every day.
These messages are usually little gems to show you are loved and appreciated. They can be silly or funny ‘love you’ messages, notes left in weird places, in jokes, and coded messages. They have one thing in common – they show that you are treasured.
3. You are up to-date on your partner’s schedule.
Simple, but effective. You know what is happening at work and vice versa. You swap worries, anxieties, and successes. These are always followed up with specific questions about how the day went. Don’t forget to ask for more details.
4. Your partner or spouse has no problems with your success.
Promotions, awards, brilliant performance reports, and success in the sports arena are always ok. Your partner does not feel threatened or lose self-esteem when you are on a winning streak. It is all part of your personal development and you should never feel stifled in a relationship. A study, led by Kate Ratliff at the University of Florida showed:
- Men were more likely to suffer loss of self-esteem when their partner achieved success.
- The ‘Oscar Love Curse’ after women won Oscars may have affected some relationships negatively.
- Many partnerships broke up, eg. Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, and Kate Winslet, just to name a few.
- Dutch men felt similarly although the gender gap there is less than in the USA.
5. You never feel threatened, insulted, or inadequate.
When your partner is angry, you never feel that you are under threat or that there is a risk for your safety. Angry moments melt like snow in the sun. There is no fallout afterwards. You have never experienced insults or threats and you have certainly never been emotionally blackmailed. A positive indicator might be that 95% of the time you spend together is calm, peaceful, and mutually fulfilling. You do not feel that you have to act a part in a domestic play.
6. You share precious moments.
“Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.” – Booth Tarkington
You both ensure that special occasions are celebrated and recorded. But this also includes sharing everyday pleasurable moments when doing things together, such as watching sports or eating out. They will be valuable moments later on and will be visual reminders of a cherished relationship.
7. You are grateful and you say thank you.
Every day, your partner shows you some appreciation simply for your presence. You can respond by being grateful and using words to show that the appreciation is mutual.
8. You have your own space.
Space is not just a physical room where you can be quiet and alone when you need to be. No relationship can thrive when a clinging partner threatens to suffocate you. You also feel that you have room to grow, develop your own projects, and hang out with your own friends. Your partner feels the same about his/her interests and you both ask how these are progressing.
9. You are always given support.
“I never wanted a Guardian Angel. I didn’t ask for one. One was assigned to me.” – Mercedes McCambridge
You feel your partner is like a guardian angel who offers support, advice, and help for you to get through a difficult patch, like an issue at work, bereavement, or a health problem.
10. You always make time to spend time together.
Couples grow apart very often because they are too bound up with work and commitments. Eventually, the lack of prime time together becomes a negative force. Workaholic tendencies need to be checked because loneliness is often the first step in a break-up.
11. You are never nagged.
Lucky you! How many partners would like to be able to say that? It is a sad fact that the actual nagging about trivial things becomes a negative message. The partner is aware that he or she is not appreciated, is inadequate, or the partnership is floundering like a ship on the rocks. Very often, nagging means that there are underlying problems that need to be addressed.
12. You feel perfectly at ease in the relationship.
Tom Hanks, in the film ’Sleepless in Seattle,’ summed it up so well…
“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it.”
So, how did you do? Were you able to tick off all the 12 signs that you truly are in a highly cherished relationship? If not, who is the guilty party? If it is you, then you can start to fix a few things right away. If it is your partner you could show him or her this post. Better still, you could just have a chat about it. Much cheaper than going to a therapist!
Featured photo credit: Couple in Bed — Image by Ole Graf/zefa/Corbis via via Flickr , Ole Graf