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9 Things All Great Relationships Have In Common

9 Things All Great Relationships Have In Common

Want to know if your relationship is a great one? Check out the top features which all great relationships have in common.

1. You feel loved

This is the lifebelt of your relationship. This fact alone will stand the test of time, disasters, ups and downs and everything else that destiny throws at you. You feel serene and comfortable and there is no pressure on either of you to change.

You are both happy with your body image, while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You feel totally accepted. The shocking fact is that 80% of women in the US are dissatisfied with their physical appearance and are increasingly at risk for eating disorders.  Figures for men are generally at around 45%.

“I’m imperfect, you’re imperfect and that’s perfect.” – Anon  

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2. You make a great team

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity’.” – Epicurus

The real challenge comes when you have to face financial ruin, a serious illness or a tricky career move. Getting through difficult times by mutually supporting each other can be tough and heartbreaking. You both already learned that compromising on finances and career will make things easier. You know that you are self-confident as individuals but as a team, you rock!

3. You give honest, loving and constructive feedback

When there are moments of criticism or negativity, you are both able to give honest feedback. The mark of a truly great relationship is that you can do this constructively.

Here are some tricks you use:

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  • Ask to talk about it: ‘Is this a good time to talk about our redecoration project?’
  • Empathize: ‘I knew you were having problems with that.’
  • Praise: ‘You did a great job there.’
  • Criticize less – learn to let minor things go.
  • Keep it brief.

You avoid using the following phrases like the plague:

  • ‘The trouble with you is…’
  • ‘How many times have I told you…’
  • ‘You never listen.’
  • ‘We never talk about these things.’
  • ‘You’re so cheap – I just cannot understand why you did not tip the waiter.’

 Constructive feedback is like the rain and sunshine on a plant, helping you both grow in love.

4. You organize date nights

Yes, you are still dating your partner and it is truly something to look forward to. Organizing a dinner out, cinema or whatever reminds you of when you were dating each other is one of the best ways to keep a relationship alive and flourishing.

5. You allow each other space to grow

Any great relationship allows each partner to grow as a person and pursue career and hobbies, without having to be there all the time. No great relationship thrives when one partner is clingy, overdependent or too bossy.

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“Basically my wife was immature. I’d be at home in the bath and she’d come in and sink my boats’.” – Woody Allen

6. You always do one activity together

Leaving each other space is essential, but it is equally important to start doing one activity together. When you are in a great relationship, you always do something together, whether it is running, shopping, yoga or a new hobby. The bonding that comes from this fun activity strengthens your commitment and affection.

7. You trust each other 100%

Jealousy and mistrust have never been an issue and you trust each other 100%. So much so, that the idea of checking each other’s emails or text messages has never been a possibility. Openness, reliability in keeping promises, and honesty are the pillars of your relationship and that is why you completely trust each other. It is when these are eroded when relationships start to crumble.

8. You are both feminists

Men who support feminist issues are much more open about their partner’s career goals. The fact is that women appreciate the support. Women who are feminists are more relaxed about taking the initiative in sex. Read about the fascinating research done by the Rutgers University in New Jersey.

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9. You know when to switch off your phone

You are attached to each other and not to your cell phones, Twitter or Facebook. You know when to switch off and spend prime time with each other. You cannot make love to a screen. Research done on 100,000 people by OkCupid.com, showed that the keen tweeters were less likely to have a long relationship.

When you are in a great relationship, you arrive home and you switch off your phone before you come in. Then you greet your partner and start getting attached to him or her. Of course you do that, don’t you?

Featured photo credit: Happy couple/knittymarie via Flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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