It’s about so much more than chemistry.
By Roland Legge — Updated on Apr 21, 2023
Photo: Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock
All couples want to keep their relationships happy, healthy, and long-lasting but they also know that it takes time and hard work.
Are you hungry for love? Many of us often look for a person to complete us. However, the reality is that no one but ourselves can do this. Why? Because you are one hundred percent responsible for your own happiness.
As a couple, you are two whole people going into your relationship. You’re there for each other to create a nurturing environment — nudging you both toward health and wholeness.
What do you desire in a healthy relationship? You likely want intimacy, trust, safety, playfulness, encouragement, love, and compassion. But are you both ready to take one hundred percent responsibility to make it happen?
Healthy relationships should not be hard, but you will go through rough times. Are you both prepared to learn through the ups and downs of your relationship?
If you both can say “yes” to this, you are ready to begin the adventure and learn how to have a healthy relationship that lasts.
Here are three rare personality traits people in the most amazing relationships have:
For you to have the possibility of a good relationship, you need to have some self-awareness. An excellent place to start is to know your strengths and growing edges (weaknesses).
You need to be willing to work on your weak areas. Working on your personal growth takes dedication, self-love, courage, and vulnerability. Your partner is to support and encourage you in this vital work.
An excellent tool you can use to help you in this work is called the Enneagram. Most Enneagram teachers believe that early in life, we are each given one of nine different personality types to survive in the world.
Your personality type is the same as your ego. You could not survive without it.
When you reach adulthood, it is time to let go of your ego. If you don’t become aware of how your personality is limiting your choices, you are more likely to stay stuck in old patterns (behaviors) that no longer serve you.
Discovering your personality type will help you to become more observant of yourself in action. Knowing your type will help you to understand what behaviors you need to monitor. Eventually, with practice, you will be able to stop old patterns from recurring.
The more you can live fully in your quiet mind, in the sensations of your body and the emotions of your heart, the more present you will be for yourself and the one you love. The more present you are, the better able you will be able to connect with your partner.
With growing self-awareness, you will be more honest with yourself and the person you love.
Again, starting with yourself is an excellent place to begin. If you can’t be honest with yourself, it is hard, to be honest with anyone else, especially in a relationship.
What does it mean to be truly honest? Honesty means being willing to admit to yourself why you want to do something or why you are behaving in a particular way.
The next stage is messy and this is where curiosity comes in. If you are getting negative feedback because of your behavior, or people don’t seem to understand you, it is time to step back and discern what is going on.
You need to ask yourself, “Why am I behaving this way?” It is time to get curious about what is going on in your head. What stories are you telling yourself? Then, ask yourself if there is any truth to these stories.
Then with courage re-write your story to name how you want your life to go.
What are your passions? What is on your bucket list? What do you need from your partner to help you live out your dreams? What do you desire to live out with your partner?
Kindness in your relationship can make all the difference. I don’t mean being nice.
Kindness is all about you being able to see the beauty, mystery, and worthiness of another person.
Kindness calls upon you to start by being kind to yourself. It requires you to stop judging yourself and others. It is to be able to accept yourself and others as you are in each moment with all your imperfections.
Living with compassion requires you to live in the moment. It is to learn to forgive yourself and others so that you don’t allow negativity to get in the way in the future.
This radical way of living requires you to take one hundred percent responsibility for yourself. It is time to stop blaming others for your unhappiness.
Lastly, kindness calls upon you to show appreciation for all the people in your life. It is to never take your partner for granted. It is to show gratitude to your partner every day no matter how small, or big the act was.
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But, there is such a thing as a joyful and fulfilling one. To have the best relationship you can have requires intimacy, trust, safety, playfulness, encouragement, love, and compassion.
Intimacy requires you to be willing to go deep into your heart and not be afraid to face any anger, pain or fear. You have a shadow side, but the more you can acknowledge it, the less control it will have over you.
With kindness, you can support each other through rough times. In the good times, you will experience purpose, joy, and meaning in ways that you never dreamed was possible.
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Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.
This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.