As you probably guess, I have been to many seminars and read quite a few books on the topic of relationship. Like many of you, I didn’t get to learn about relationship and what it takes to create a lasting and successful intimate relationship from school. In my opinion, our education teaches us a lot of useful things, but they somehow forget to teach us the most important area of our lives – our relationship.
Guess what? The quality of our life and the level of happiness in our life depend on our relationship. It doesn’t matter how successful, reach and famous you are, but if you come home and you are not happy with your significant one, life can be suffering.
So what does it takes to make a relationship work? Here are the two big lessons:
#1. Act as if it’s the beginning of the relationship
If you compare most relationships at the beginning and two years later, you will see a difference. The way each person treats the other, the way they look at each other, and the way they talk might not be the same as at the beginning. In fact, when we fall in love, it doesn’t require us a lot of effort to do something for the other person. It is as if it happens naturally. It’s called infatuation or the “high” of the relationship in the beginning. Studies show that after two years in average, we gradually get off the “high” and we start to become who we used to be before the relationship. Most couples at this point will find the relationship boring and nothing new. This is called the law of familiarity. It means when we are used to something, we tend to take t for granted. So how do we fix this? By doing what we did at the beginning of the relationship.
Think about what you did at the beginning. Did you try to do everything to make the other person happy? Did you talk sweet and gently to your loved one? Did you look at your loved one’s eyes and say “I love you” every day? Now the question is, are you still doing these things? If not, why not? Why are you not doing these things? That is the problem! Because you stop doing what it takes to make a relationship work, that’s why it becomes boring. I learned this valuable lesson from Anthony Robbins’ seminar in Australia. Here’s the lesson: If you do what you did in the beginning of the relationship there won’t be an end.
“If you do what you did in the beginning of the relationship there won’t be an end.” – Tony Robbins
#2. Understand your loved one’s language of love
The concept “language of love” was taught by Gary Chapman who is a relationship counsellor and author of the The 5 Love Languages series. The 5 languages of love are:
- Words of Affirmation: Complementing and saying positive things about your spouse such as you look so beautiful, I appreciate what you did for us, etc…
- Acts of Service: Do something for your spouse such as taking the rubbish out, look after the kids or clean the house and do the laundry, etc…
- Physical Touch: This does not always mean sex, but it can just be anything like rubbing your spouse’s shoulder, give him/her a hug or hold their hands while walking on the street.
- Quality Time: This means spending your time with your spouse without distraction such as TV, mobile phone or the kids. Just sit there with your spouse and talk about the things you both care about.
- Giving Gifts: Giving presents is one of the ways to show love, affection and appreciation to another person. What does your spouse like? Think about something he or she likes and give it to them. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. It can be things you make or find in the garden.
By understanding these love languages and the love language of your spouse, you can satisfy their need for love and be able to maintain and grow your relationship. I hope these two big lessons will help you take your relationship to the next level.
P.S. I highly recommend you read The 5 Love Languages book if you haven’t. This book is life changing!