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12 Ways To Build A Strong Relationship

12 Ways To Build A Strong Relationship

Couple of hands against the sea view

I think it is safe to say that we all have had several intimate relationships in our lives.  Some successful and some not so much.
I’m not a relationship counselor nor a psychologist,  but I thought I would share from a personal standpoint what is going so well this time around for us that has been vastly different then the past.

Have you ever taken the time to reflect on what it was that made the successful relationships so great?
I sat down with my partner, Carmil Surritt, and asked him:  What makes our relationship work so well?  What is it that we do that creates a safe, playful and happy place for us?  Here is what we came up with:

1) We have both done many years of personal work to gain clarity of Self.
We entered this relationship very happy with who we were already.  We weren’t looking for a relationship in order to fill a void.  We felt complete as we were.  How content are you with who you are? What you are doing in your life that gives you meaning?

2)  We were not afraid to be alone. 
We were both very happy in being with ourselves.  Of course we enjoy time with friends AND we also enjoyed time by ourselves.  We weren’t seeking a relationship because we were lonely.  Can you be with yourself and be content?  Do you look to be “busy” all the time in order to avoid the “lonely” feeling?

3) Respect
We all know this but how many people actually put this into practice consistently.  We have never treated each other poorly.  We do not call each other names.  We do not take our frustrations out on one another.  We accept each others autonomy. We honor each others feelings and beliefs.  Why is it that the one person we love so much we act as if it is acceptable to treat them poorly? How can we shift that?

4) We DO NOT fix one another.
Although we are both coaches we do not “coach” each other.  We do not give unsolicited advice, however, we do request assistance if we need help or ask the other if we would like some support. Otherwise we hold space for the other to work through their stuff without judgement or “fixing.”

5) We allow each other to be ourselves.
We accept each other as we are.  Quirks and all! We do not try to change one another which can only happen when you are secure with who you are. (Refer back to #1) Can you appreciate your partner as they are showing up today without the desire to change them?

6) Daily appreciation.   
Each day we share what we appreciate about one another.  We acknowledge the contribution the other has made that day.  We don’t take one another for granted – ever.

7) Mature level of communication.
Often we project on to the other person our unhappiness with ourselves.  Instead, Carmil and I take time to recognize when it is “our stuff” and not the other persons and admit it.  We practice the teachings from “The Four Agreements” – we do our best to not take anything personally.  

8) We each look for ways to contribute to the relationship instead of what we get from the relationship. (I think this speaks for itself….)

9) We see each others interests outside of the relationship as a benefit – not a distraction or threat.
We understand that by enjoying things on our own we have more to share with each other. We are not looking for all of our mental and emotional nourishment from the other person.  How can you support your partner in an outside interest and help them create their own independence separate of the relationship?

10) We don’t have expectations on each other or on the relationship that cause it to be toxic.
Letting go of our expectations can be challenging – no doubt.  However, when we do, we can then let go of the attachment of things being or looking a certain way and instead accept things as they are in the moment.  Where might you have expectations that your partner could never live up to?  Or yourself?

11) We encourage each others growth and learning.
In many relationships one of the partners may fear abandonment when the other is growing or learning new things.  Instead, we choose to be encouraging and happy for the other as they step into their highest expression of themselves. Travel, classes, workshops etc.  Is there a class you want to take or your partner wants to take?  Go for it!

12) Create a space that is safe to be vulnerable and not have that held against you in the future.
How many times have you expressed fears, doubts or concerns only to have it used against you later?
Instead, create a space in which you can express your truth and vulnerability and know that your partner supports you unconditionally.  Don’t throw things from the past back on them.  It’s done.  Are there ways you or your partner do that?  Compassion and empathy go a long way towards creating a safe relationship.

Are there any points you would like more clarity or further details on please post a question on the blog and we will do our best to respond.
Is this information something that would interest you to learn more about in a workshop? Let us know!

Namaste,
Sara Valentine
Carmil Surritt Life Coach

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