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Date Someone Who Can Do These 10 Things To Make You Happy

Date Someone Who Can Do These 10 Things To Make You Happy

As a therapist who specializes in relationships, I can’t help but notice several skills and personality features that can make or break a relationship.  No, this is not going to be an article about making sure to find a rich guy who likes to spoon or a hot girl who likes to watch football.  These 10 skills are what make couples feel satisfied, connected, and happy with each other regardless of their superficial characteristics.  If you have a partner who can do all 10 of these, (and you are able to do them as well), your will have a very satisfying relationship:

1. Date someone who can delay gratification.

In other words, the ability to do an unpleasant thing instead of an enjoyable thing in order to achieve a more-important benefit. Being in a healthy partnership means being able to suck it up and deal with all kinds of unpleasant things (embarrassment, vulnerability, taking out the trash, resisting acting on angry impulses, actively listening instead of playing video games, running a boring errand, etc.) for the sake of the other person and for the sake of the relationship.

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2. Date someone who can be present.

Relationships suffer when one or both partners is not able to engage in the moment with the other person.  Of course we are all busy and can’t exactly sit around staring at our partners quietly all day long, but the ability to genuinely listen to and focus on the other person at least a few times a week is important.  If your significant other is unable to unplug, disconnect from distraction, and engage in interacting with you, this could lead to loneliness down the road.  Also, people who are able to be present and attentive to one thing are excellent listeners, since they are simply in the moment focused on what the other person is saying.

3. Date someone who makes you feel emotionally safe.

Being “emotionally safe” with your significant other means that you are comfortable being vulnerable, making direct requests, and being yourself in his/her presence.  If you have a partner who criticizes, is defensive, talks you out of your feelings (is invalidating), or is often annoyed or condescending toward you, you will eventually grow to feel “emotionally unsafe” in that relationship. Partners who feel emotionally unsafe feel disconnected and powerless at best, and depressed and miserable at worst.  If your partner is open to hear what you have to say (even when s/he does not like it), does not act defensive or critical of you, feels that your emotions are understandable, and considers your requests and desires, s/he has the ability to make you feel emotionally safe.

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4. Date someone who can tolerate not being in control.

A healthy, happy relationship consists of two people who can tolerate the feeling of not being in control once in a while. This skill is required in many situations, from  letting someone else choose the paint color for the bathroom, to letting someone else openly share feelings that can’t exactly be “fixed.”

5. Date someone who can take control when necessary.

There are some people who struggle with being responsible for decisions and actions.  Whether it is calling the plumber when the sink is leaking, or resisting buying a new sofa because it isn’t in the budget, the ability to be “in charge” and “proactive” is a positive quality in a partner.

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6. Date someone who knows and appropriately communicate his/her feelings.

Emotionally-aware partners are able to pinpoint that they are feeling disrespected, ignored, or lonely instead of simply flying off in a reactive, non-constructive rage.  If your partner is emotionally aware enough to understand his/her feelings, this is a good sign for your relationship.

7. Date someone who knows and appropriately communicates his/her needs.

If your partner is able to directly request his/her needs without criticism, yelling, passivity, aggression, or passive-aggression, this is a great sign. If your partner calmly makes specific requests for you to change a behavior without making you feel inadequate or inferior, you probably have a keeper on your hands.

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8. Date someone who can be humble.

Humility is required during the process of forgiving someone else for their mistakes and during the process of asking for forgivness from someone else.  In a happy, healthy relationship, both people are able to abandon ego and pride when necessary.

9. Date someone who can tolerate emotional intimacy and togetherness.

In a happy, healthy partnership, both people are comfortable sharing emotions, thoughts, and needs.  If a problem arises, they are comfortable discussing it instead of avoiding it and pretending it doesn’t exist.  They share vulnerabilities, fears, successes, and life goals comfortably.

10.  Date someone who can tolerate separateness.

The ability to tolerate separateness means that he/she is comfortable doing things on his/her own.  And when you are doing things on your own, he/she is not texting or calling you constantly.  Being able to be on your own once in a while without experiencing anxiety is a sign of security and trust.

Featured photo credit: taliesin via morguefile.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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