Lyrics There was a time
We thought our dream was over
When you and I
Had surely reached the end
Still here we are
The flame as strong as ever
All because we both kept holding on
We know we can weather any storm
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the fire burning
It's something we could never live without
It it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
As time goes by
We've learned to rediscover
The reason why
This dream of our survives
Through thick and thin
We're destined for each other
Knowing we can reach the other side
Far beyond the mountains of our pride
Ridin' the good times is easy
The hard times can tear you apart
There'll be times in your heart
When the feelin' is gone
But ya keep on believing
And ya keep holdin' on
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the dream from dying
It's something we could never live without
If it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
By Guest Nicole
HereÂ’s what they are:
1. Be together for the right reasons
DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
By far, the most common answer was Â“being with the person for the wrong reasons.Â”
Some of these wrong reasons included:
Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a Â“loserÂ” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for imageÂ—because the relationshipÂ looked goodÂ on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As weÂ’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship Â“workÂ” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
The other Â“wrongÂ” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to Â“fixÂ” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each otherÂ’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. WeÂ’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, itÂ’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending onÂ whyÂ andÂ howÂ you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself,Â love is never enoughÂ to sustain a relationship.
Read more:Â https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Guest Nicole
Relationship issues are inevitable; they are a part of our human experience. And this part of our life, essential to our well-being, can bring us to our knees or make us feel bad about who we are.
Have you ever heard yourself say these things?
"I hate the way you make me feel." "What you are doing makes me insecure, and when you stop doing that, I will be happy." "I can't deal with the way this relationship makes me feel anymore." We are all affected by our relationships in some way. However, no matter what you are experiencing, there is one thing you can always do that will immediately affect how you feel and, in addition, will empower you and make you feel good about who you are instead of leaving you feeling depleted, exhausted, or lost. So what can you do in the moment that you are at your wit's end, feeling hurt, upset, or confused?
Simply reconnect to yourself and use this very challenge, issue, or difficulty to become stronger and more of who you are meant to be. Use this challenge to become stronger and more powerful instead of allowing it to break you down or make you feel like a victim.
Here are three ways to take back the reins of your life and immediately change how you feel about yourself and your relationship:
1. Let go of the concept of "right and wrong."
Very simply, instead of focusing on what the other person did or didn't do, observe how you're feeling and identify what you need. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to yourself instead of being paralyzed and disempowered by pointing the finger at the other person.
If you've ever said, "If you would just change, everything would be OK," you know how easy it is to focus your attention on what the other person has said or done. The next time you find yourself doing this, ask yourself, "If this is the perfect person to help me become who I'm meant to be, what am I supposed to be learning from this relationship?"
2. Give up trying to change the other person.
Although this isn't easy, make a commitment to yourself to work on accepting the other person as they are. Each person brings their own "stuff" to a relationship—we all have our own history with our own issues, wounds, and challenges to overcome.
The next time you feel yourself taking on the other person's issue or trying to "fix" them, remind yourself that the only person you can change is you. And affirm for yourself, "I will focus on how I'm being affected and what I need to work through and will allow the other person space to work through their issues as well." By declaring this, you will be better equipped to not take on the other person's issues or take their actions personally.
3. Learn how to stop basing your worth on the condition of your relationship.
Give yourself the gift of diving deeper into your own inner exploration and development. By doing this, you will become more at peace with who you are and will know at a deep level that you are OK—even when your relationship isn't perfect or when things are happening that are hurtful or upsetting.
Begin by making a commitment to your growth. Affirm that reconnecting to yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. Then take one simple action this week: Start reading a self-help book, research a personal development course, or take 10 minutes each day to check in with yourself and identify what you need by asking, "What can I do in this moment to reconnect to who I am and what I need?" A few examples could be writing down three things that make you feel good about yourself, looking at some photos that bring a smile to your face, or spending some time in nature today.
Relationships are in a constant state of flux and bring a level of complexity to our lives that is out of our control. The one thing we always control is whether we will use our challenges to grow, expand, and become more of who we are meant to be or, instead, allow them to hold us back and limit our potential.
Today, make a declaration that you will use even the most difficult relationship in your life for a monumental purpose—your life's purpose—to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. And then do just that.
By Guest Nicole
We all want to feel understood, respected, and appreciated in our relationships. But life can often get in the way and undermine the connection we used to have with our significant other, leaving our love feeling lackluster. It doesn't take much to feel like you're moving in opposite directions.
Then there are the couples that appear to have perfect relationships. They light up when they see each other, speak highly of their significant other, and rarely seem to bicker. It's easy to assume that there is a magical connection between them that only a few get blessed with.
But what if they were doing a few simple things that were responsible for keeping their relationship healthy?
There are some basic things you can do to foster that sense of deep love and connection, even when you feel like your relationship is already starting on the back foot. These tips have the ability to significantly improve how happy and satisfied you both feel in your relationship. It's these behaviors that keep those happy relationships flourishing.
Here are 3 ways you can start fostering positivity in your relationship:
1. Start with your personal happiness.
Happy people create positive relationships. If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you will always feel let down. When you're happy within yourself, you reflect that back into your relationship. Start with recognizing how you would rate your level of happiness currently. If you're not as happy as you'd like to be, ask yourself, "What can I do to support myself to feel happier?" The answer could include restarting a hobby, beginning a new health routine, connecting more with friends, or taking steps to follow a passion that is deep within your heart. The crucial element is that you need to step up and take responsibility for your own well-being. By taking action, you will feel more empowered and recognize that happiness ultimately has to be an inside job. This change in energy will move into your relationship.
2. Look for the good.
We're all happier when we feel appreciated. It's therefore hardly a surprise that relationships need more positive interactions than negative ones if they are going to thrive. Dr. Gottman's famous research found that you need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction if your relationship is going to stay happy. Begin with consciously watching for what your partner is doing right, rather than consistently focusing on what they are doing wrong. Look for opportunities to voice your appreciation and aim to add as many positive interactions into your shared experience as you can. Feeling positive emotions is a precursor to a happy relationship. You have the ability to focus your attention so that you look for and appreciate the good in your partner. This simple action ultimately helps to remedy the balance of positive-to-negative interactions and set a relationship back on a healthy track.
3. Make space to nurture your connection.
Positive relationships are sustained by a foundation of strong connection. Just like a small child needs attention to feel truly happy, a relationship needs nurturing if it is going to continue to stay healthy. It is important to put time aside exclusively to connect with your significant other. Rather than assuming it will just happen, create it. It may be a monthly date night (where, thankfully, there is no TV to distract you), taking a walk together, scheduling a vacation, or choosing to fall asleep while cuddling on the couch rather than going to bed alone. Remember that time and energy dedicated to fostering your union is essential. Where your energy goes your attention flows. Attention is the fuel that will help your partner feel important and valued in your life, which will likely lead to the reciprocating of care and kindness.
Even when your relationship isn't as happy as you'd like it to be, there are things you can do to improve it. When you take care of yourself and resolve to show up positively for your partner, things begin to flourish. The result—you'll feel both happier in yourselves and in your coupling.
By Guest Nicole
Opposites attract, so date someone who's nothing like you. But, wait a minute—isn't it important to find someone who has a similar background, values, and goals? There's so much conflicting dating advice out there, how can you possibly figure out how to find love?
While it's true that finding a partner with qualities that differ from yours can add balance and excitement to a relationship, problems can arise when there are too many differences. The more compatible you are with your partner, the more successful your relationship will likely be.
Here are seven areas of compatibility to examine when choosing a partner. They don't all have to line up perfectly, but the more aligned you two are, the better the relationship will be.
Do you get along well most of the time or find that he/she irritates you on a regular basis? Do you find yourself saying, "If only she'd think before she spoke" or "I wish he'd be less lazy"? Is he overly anxious? Does her alphabetized music collection make your skin crawl? What you see is what you get; so if you don't like your partner's temperament, don't try to fix it. Find someone whose personality is more compatible with yours.
2. Communication style
Are you direct or indirect in communicating what's important to you? Are you passive while she's assertive? Do you hold things in until you explode or speak your mind clearly and directly? If you can both communicate clearly and in a similar fashion, you'll have a much higher chance for a successful relationship.
3. Friends and family
Do you like and get along with each other's friends and family? Do you agree about how much time to devote to both? And if you're both single parents thinking about tying the knot, are you clear about how you'll parent? If friends and family issues become too stressful, they will have a very negative effect on your relationship.
4. Nutrition and fitness
Are you a gluten-free vegan while he is a Big Mac addict? Do you surf the waves on the weekend, while she's home surfing the web? This may seem like a minor point, but think about how many meals you will share with each other. How do your partner's food choices and attention to fitness align with your lifestyle and values? If you're not a good match in this area, you will probably have big challenges in your relationship.
Many people say that they are seeking a partner who is financially secure. In today's volatile financial market, financial security is not something you can count on. A few more appropriate questions are, "Are you responsible with finances? Are you generous? Do you contribute to charities?" Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. It is helpful if you share similar financial goals and habits.
I don't believe you have to be with someone who has the exact same level of education. In fact, there are many brilliant people who never graduated college (Steve Jobs, Rachael Ray). However, couples who share similar backgrounds in education (and that includes self-study), life, and professional experience are usually better suited for each other. They have more in common and can relate to each other in a deeper way. They are on the same wavelength and truly "get" each other.
There are many things that come under the category of intimacy, including romance and public display of affection. Some couples have different sexual needs, which can lead to anger and resentment. An essential component of a lasting loving relationship includes having similar ideas about frequency and style of intimacy. So if you're more Mr. Fifty Shades and she's Ms. Low Libido, you will have issues in your relationship.
What can you do if you are not compatible?
It doesn't have to mean things can never work, but these are your options:
Accept things as they are. Work on yourself and the relationship. Leave the relationship. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. You partner will only change if he/she wants to.
If you are dating to find a lasting, loving relationship, it is far more effective to choose a compatible partner from the start than to try to fix a relationship with a weak foundation. Don't be afraid to walk away if your basic needs are not met. There are millions of singles in the world. Move on and find a better fit. And make sure to use the most powerful four-letter word in dating—"Next!"
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
I received the below question from someone recently, and it reminded me how difficult it can be to distinguish the things that truly matter in a relationship from the things that we have been told "should" matter.
Question: I've been dating Josh for about three months. He's a great guy, good-looking, smart, and most importantly, he treats me with respect. However, I've had a tough dating and relationship history. I was engaged to a guy who never followed through with his promises and broke off the engagement. I was married to a man who cheated. As you can imagine, trust has been difficult for me.
I've been working on myself, and I now love and respect myself so much more. Because of that, I've been able to slowly develop this wonderful relationship. I don't want things to go wrong.
Here's the problem: Josh has never said, "I love you." I feel that he really cares, but I'd feel so much better if I heard those words. Am I being silly or insecure? Or should I be concerned if he doesn't say those three magic words?
Here's what I told her. I hope it helps you, too.
Josh sounds like he's a good partner for you. He respects and cherishes you, which is fundamental to a lasting relationship. He honors and values you because you've learned to love yourself and to stop tolerating liars and cheaters.
It sounds like this is a much healthier relationship than you've ever experienced. Let's celebrate that!
You ask about those three little words; when is the right time to say, "I love you"? It sounds like you're ready to profess your love, and he might not be there yet. Here's how to know where you stand.
Watch his actions, not his words.
If he's showing you that he cares for you, that's what matters most. As you probably know, words are not as important as follow-through and consistency.
I would be more concerned if he said "I love you" after only four dates, and his actions didn't match up. How do you know if his actions mean that he loves you? I have created an assessment to help you figure out if someone loves you, whether they've said it or not:
Is this person calling and texting consistently?
Do you get together on a regular basis?
Is the relationship escalating and growing?
Do you feel valued and cherished by this person?
Do you feel safe with them (emotionally and physically)?
Are they considerate, kind, and thoughtful?
Do you feel good about the relationship when you're with them AND when you're not?
Is this person open to talking things out when you disagree?
If you can answer "yes" to all of the questions above, that person cares deeply about you and prioritizes you in their life.
It's helpful to know that people express their love in many different ways, and it's not always in the way that we expect. In the wonderful book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman lists the five ways of expressing love as follows:
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time Giving Gifts Acts of Service Physical Touch I suggest you take the love languages assessment to find out what your preferred language of expression is. I highly recommend that you ask Josh to do the same so you can learn his love language too.
Understanding the way you each express love is one of the keys to accepting and embracing your partner. It can lessen the anxiety you feel when you aren't getting what you need in a relationship.
So, is it really important to hear the words "I love you"?
I believe those three words are highly overrated. They can be meaningful if they're said in the right context and with sincerity. But they can mean different things to different people. To one partner, "I love you" means "I think you might be the ONE I've been searching for my whole life." To the other, "I love you" means "I like you a lot, and I want to sleep with you."
There are many other ways to express your love. So, remember to watch what he does more than what he says. Understand each other's love languages. And once you've done that, you'll be able to take a deep breath and stop worrying so much about whether or not someone says I love you. Do you feel loved? That's all that matters.
By Sandy Weiner/MBG
By Guest Nicole
Would you continue communicating with a brother/sister you like/have feelings but he/she has not showed romantic interest in you, maybe even clearly has said not to your intentions?
By Guest Nicole
(CNN)Together for 74 years, even death couldn't keep Leonard Cherry and his wife Hazel apart.
The Cherrys were high school sweethearts, married in January 1942 in Muldoon, Texas. Last week they died, just a few hours apart. Their only grandson, Craig Cherry, said their love was the strongest love that he had ever seen.
"The two were always smiling and always deeply in love," Cherry told CNN affiliate KWTX.
Although family members are mourning their loss, the couple's 72-year-old son, David Cherry, is grateful that his mother and father can be together forever.
"I feel blessed that Daddy's suffering is over, and I feel blessed that Mom is with him and that she didn't have to live alone."
Leonard Cherry, 95, had been in hospice care only days before his death at the St. Catherine Center in Waco, while Hazel Cherry, 93, who was in good health, moved into The Village at Providence Park, a nursing home, just next door.
"Mother had been driving around town and still going to the grocery store as recently as two weeks ago, but Dad's health had been failing for some years," David Cherry told the affiliate.
Leonard Cherry died at 1 p.m. on Thursday. His wife passed at 11 p.m. It was not immediately clear what caused her death.
David Cherry said his parents would be missed.
"It's kind of hard you know, you can't pick up the phone and call them anymore, or call mother and can't go by and see Dad," he said. "The more I began to think about it, I began to smile because of how much they loved each other."
Leonard Cherry became a B-24 bomber pilot after enlisting in the Army Air Corps at the start of World War II. Stationed at Carswell Army Air Corps Base in Fort Worth, he trained others to fly the plane.
Once the war was over, Leonard stayed in Fort Worth and went to work as an auto body repair man. He later owned his own auto repair business that he and his wife operated until 1980, but the couple of almost 40 years wanted to be closer to their grandchild and son.
Leonard sold his auto repair business and the couple moved to Woodway to spend the rest of their lives together.
A memorial service is scheduled for the two Friday.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It took 5 years after my divorce for me to start meeting people again.
For many years I couldn’t imagine ever meeting anyone new because I was still stuck on my past relationship. I enjoyed marinating in the past, feeling sorry for myself, guilty for what had happened, and fearful of what could happen in another relationship.
I had no desire to meet someone new. As time passed and I did the work of grieving and healing, things changed. In a more grounded and healed space, I am open to meeting new people in my life.
Having met a few women of late, I’m beginning to wonder if another relationship is even possible. Is the “one” person out there for me? Will I find love again? Will I find another relationship?
I know that if you’re divorced, broken up, or single for a long time, it can feel like you’ll never meet someone again. You might feel like you’ve done everything you can to meet that special someone but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind if you feel like you will never be with someone again.
You are enough by yourself.
Before you can meet someone and find a relationship, you must do inner work. Some of us have a lot of inner work to do. You might not know how to love yourself. Others might have a bad relationship with themselves. You might not feel complete or enough. Before seeking a relationship, you have to learn to be enough by just being you. This means accepting yourself for who you are. It’s realizing that you don’t need anyone but yourself. It’s realizing that you are complete. To realize that you are enough, look for ways to honor and appreciate yourself. Think about your loving and generous nature. Affirm daily that you are enough, you are loving and you are complete.
How you treat yourself is more important than any relationship.
You want a relationship filled with kisses, kind words, shared memories, and support, but can you receive love from someone else if you can’t accept it from yourself? Before trying to love someone else, love yourself. Do for yourself what you would do for someone else. Be considerate to yourself. Be patient to yourself. Be positive to yourself. Be gentle with yourself in the words you use and the way you treat yourself. Treat yourself to what you would enjoy. Splurge on yourself so you feel pampered and taken care of. Get enough sleep, rest, exercise, nutritious food and self-care. Treat yourself as you would treat your most devoted and passionate lover. If you’re seeking more ideas, check out my self-romance book here.
Visualize the relationship you want in your life.
It is important to know what kind of person you want in your life, so visualize them. Think of the person’s characteristics, values and world perspective. I try to focus on the internal qualities that I am looking for instead of the external ones. I’m not as preoccupied with someone’s career, looks or credentials. I’m not hiring someone to work for me or someone to show off to others. I’m looking for someone who is compatible with me, someone I can live with for the long term. So, visualize this person, but focus on what matters. What qualities in a partner do you desire? How would those qualities make you feel? Imagine the sensations and feelings of being with the person you adore and who fits the picture you’re looking for.
Let go of your attachment to having a relationship.
While it is good to have a picture of the person you want, you have to balance that with the need to let go of that picture as well. Don’t obsessively focus on that person in your visions. Worst of all, don’t focus on the fact that this person is not yet in your life. Engage in moments of visualization daily, but then let go. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and without that person in your life. Let go of the “needy” or “lack” energy in your life. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on the fact that the universe is doing its work to bring you that person. You do your part (living your life) and surrender to the rest.
Your beliefs rule your life.
Your beliefs affect your thoughts. Your thoughts affect your actions and your words. All of this ultimately affects your reality. Your belief system rules your life more than anything else, yet it’s the one thing you can’t see. If you feel hopeless about love or frustrated that you won’t ever meet anyone, you’re likely right. You cannot have self-sabotaging beliefs and expect life to give you something better than what you’re thinking about all the time. If you want a relationship, it’s essential that you shift your belief to a more empowering one. Visualize that person coming into your life. Affirm that you’ll meet someone. Trust that you’ll do it at the right time. Continue to see a picture of what’s possible and believe that you’ll meet the right person. Affirm and commit yourself to a positive picture of love each day. No matter what the past has held, believe your time for love is right around the corner.
Live your life to the fullest.
Regardless of what’s happening in your love life, the way to propel it forward is to live your best life every day. Many people are waiting to live until they meet their partner. You don’t need a partner to live the life you want to have. Sitting at home, refusing to go out with friends and being allergic to doing those things that bring you joy are not helping you find love. If you’re doing those things you’re passionate about and enjoying life every day, you’re more likely to see love coming your way. Raise the vibrations in your life to what it is you want to experience. If you fill yourself with happiness, joy, friendship and companionship each day, even without a partner, you will draw more of that into your life.
Be open to meeting people.
You have to mentally be open to meeting people wherever you are. You also have to open your heart to meeting people. Are your mind and heart open to relationships or closed like a castle door? If you’re avoiding social events, staying away from group activities and refusing to engage with bigger groups of people, you’re preventing yourself from finding the person you’re looking for. Instead of hiding in your cubicle or in your tiny space in the world, take small steps to come out of your shell. Get comfortable being around a couple of people and build yourself up to being in bigger groups. You may not like to be in bigger crowds, but challenge yourself each time. Your best life (and your dream partner) are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.
By Guest Nicole
I still have no idea what I was thinking. Who was that man who showed up during 10 years of my marriage? To be honest, I wasn’t a man, but an immature teenager both in behavior and attitude. It’s not that we men don’t want to grow up – it’s just that we don’t know how. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what a responsible, mature and loving man looked like in a relationship.
I believe more men would “man up” if they knew how to do so. No one teaches us this stuff. If all we have is our parents’ relationship, we’re screwed. The non-communicative, unemotional, and practical relationship of my Indian parents’ marriage hardly applies today. Women don’t want us to hide. They don’t want us to shut down. They don’t want one-word answers texted to them. They don’t want hostile temperaments, temper tantrums and the silent treatment. While I did every one of these things in my marriage, the breakup was so chaotic in my life that it brought me to my senses. Instead of dating immediately or jumping into the next relationship, I took the past few years of post-divorce life to understand myself better and to understand women better. Through friendships, listening to women and understanding myself better, here’s what I’ve learned. Women want us to be the men we are capable of being. They want us to man up. “Manning up” means accepting our vulnerabilities, being comfortable with emotions, and learning to communicate with them in a healthy way. You might feel that manning up in this way is losing your place in the world as a man. You might think of it as weakness. I’m going to argue that this side of manning up will make you more of the man you are.
Here are 9 ways women want you to man up in your relationships.
1) Listen to her. Women want to express themselves and their emotions. A woman wants her partner to hear her. For her, to be heard is to be seen. If you’ve never practiced the art of listening, now is the time. By listening, I mean not responding, not butting in and not cutting her off. Also, listening means active listening, asking questions to help her express her emotions better and to help her release what’s weighing her down. Listening means uninterrupted listening in which you’re focused only on what she’s saying. You’re not texting or reading a magazine at the same time. Listen when you’re looking at her and in her presence.
2) Open your heart to her feelings. Yes, go there. Go to the hard conversations and say yes to the “talk.” We tend to fear these conversations because we don’t want to face blame, accusations, or emotional investment. I’ve found this to be a mistake. Manning up is getting involved emotionally. Women want us to be receptive to their feelings. For women, having an emotionally supportive man is worth more than a year’s supply of roses and chocolates. (Well, still buy the chocolate!) Once again, listen without judging. Open your heart without resisting. Let her emotion speak to your heart.
3) Sit with the raw emotions you feel. Let emotions wash over you. Practice this in other areas of your life. It’s not something we are used to doing. We are used to running away from our emotions, suppressing our emotions, or denying our emotions. However you’re feeling with the woman in your life or in other parts of your life, acknowledge and embrace those emotions. Being comfortable with our own emotions is the key to being comfortable with creating space for another person’s emotions. If your emotions are too much to bear, write them down, share them, talk them out with an emotionally supportive friend.
4) Be compassionate and understanding. Similar to how we should practice listening, be willing to extend compassion to your partner. While your mind may want to judge or condemn, try to see where your partner is coming from. Take her upbringing, her life experiences and her view of the world into account. Strive for understanding instead of division. Even if the language she uses is harsh or accusatory, step past your emotional triggers and move towards understanding. What is she really saying? What is her message? What does she want to convey to you? Being compassionate takes regular practice. You have to be willing to use this skill in all parts of your life. Practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes and seeing the world from other people’s perspectives.
5) Don’t fix or cure anyone. Listening isn’t fixing or offering a solution. We are innate fixers, but strive to listen without fixing. Keep your solutions to yourself. Ask her what the solution is – she will always know the answer. Often, there is no solution. She is just expressing her emotions as a way of sharing an important part of herself. You are not the fixer-upper. You might have thought that throughout your life, but when it comes to relationships, listening and presence trump advice and solutions. Hold back the attempt to save the day. Ironically, you can save the day by not saying or doing anything.
6) Say sorry when you screw up. You might hate feelings and emotions. You feel weak. Ditto with apologies and saying sorry – whoever wants to be wrong and feel bad? Yet women are much better at forgiving others and they value forgiveness greatly. It’s not just empty forgiveness and flowers they want. True forgiveness is recognizing a hurt, apologizing for having caused it and doing your best not to repeat it. If you apologize and continue to blunder, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not only say sorry but take the follow-up action to correct the situation and avoid doing it again. Saying sorry is taking responsibility, not appearing weak. Putting intention and action behind that apology is manning up.
7) Say what you feel. When you’re not in listening mode and it’s your time to communicate, say what you feel. Holding onto emotional pressures and difficult feelings isn’t going to do you any good. You’re not more of a man because you hide and suppress your feelings. If something is bothering you, give yourself time to process it and share it in the way you know how. Don’t hide the feelings, change the feelings, or lie about the feelings. If you’re going to be vulnerable, make sure you trust the person you’re being vulnerable with. But do share your feelings with the woman you trust and who will be emotionally supportive of you.
8) Avoid pettiness and always take the high road. In relationships and love, your partner will often push your buttons. It’s easy to get agitated and frustrated. It’s easy to yell. Fighting and harsh words are natural and something we all did as teenagers. Avoiding the harsh rhetoric, getting to the root of the problem and taking the high road, on the other hand, is a challenge. That’s manning up. When conversing, stay out of the small and petty. Avoid negativity and criticism. Don’t go there when you want to hurt or infuriate your partner. It’s always better to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, believe she is acting in the highest good and take the high road. Look to avoid conflict, try to reduce put-downs and look at how to resolve the conflict so that you both come out satisfied.
9) Know that gentleness and kindness will go a long way. Don’t get caught up in power struggles or showing domination when it comes to your partner. As young men, we grow up in competitive environments where we needed to prove ourselves and put ourselves ahead of other men. It’s not the same in relationships. Your partner doesn’t think much of you when you get your way, prove your point, or win the argument. Harsh words and criticism are a turn-off and a soul-crusher. Let’s look to uplifting the women in our lives. Let’s speak to them with gentleness and kindness. Use softer tones and deeper intentions behind your words. Don’t kill her with your words – kill her with kindness, generosity and love. Manning up isn’t toughening up – it’s about softening up. You may not be the stereotypical image of a “man’s man” when you “man up” in these ways, but you will undoubtedly be your woman’s idea of a “real man.”
By Guest Nicole
Relationships can be difficult. Focusing on external qualifiers makes it even harder. But successful relationships require something much deeper than shared interests or physical attraction. Maintaining a healthy, happy relationship requires you to make daily choices that leave your ego behind and to act in the best interest of your relationship rather than just yourself.
Here are what I consider the 15 essential qualities of a lasting relationship:
Any partner will have qualities, characteristics, and behaviors that push your buttons and test your sanity. To make your relationship last, you have to accept your partner unconditionally—quirks, behavior, flaws, and all. First, you make the commitment to accepting them completely. Then, you speak up and say what it is that’s bothering you.
Once the chase is over and we've gotten the prize, we often just forget about our partner's feelings and needs. In lasting relationships, both partners value each other and take care with their words, actions, and behaviors. If you want to be with that person each day, make them feel that way.
If you’re not willing to share what’s going on with you or what you need from your partner, you’re not going to get what you need. Yet, us men, and women, too—out of shame or a habit built over a lifetime of bottling up our feelings—don’t want to let anyone else in on what’s going on with us. If you can trust your partner enough to share your feelings, you’re more likely to find yourself in a safe relationship that lasts.
You have to be willing to trust your partner not only with your feelings but with your weaknesses. You will have to learn trust at the emotional, physical, and spiritual level. Trust takes practice and is earned one step at a time. Even when trust is broken, you can find a way to repair a breach in trust if you’re willing to work on it.
You have to be willing to share what’s going on, no matter how ugly. You can’t hide behind lies and deception if you want your relationship to last. If you can’t believe your partner when they tell you something, or if your partner is hiding things from you, it’s going to be hard for you to feel safe. Honesty helps foster trust and a belief in each other, which is crucial to making it over the long haul.
Empathy means trying to understand what your partner is feeling. It isn’t about trying to fix your partner’s concerns and problems, necessarily, but about being able to be there for them. If you can pay more attention to what’s going on with your partner and strive to see things from their eyes, you will find yourself getting closer over time rather than more distant.
Do all the things for your partner that you would do for your best friend. Try to anticipate their needs. Think about what they need help with and try to be there for them. Cut out the behavior that gets on their nerves and find ways to uplift your partner. Thoughtfulness, consideration, and kindness is the recipe for lasting relationships.
You have to be committed to your partner, yes. But more than commitment to your partner, you have to be committed to the relationship. If you think about the health and future of the relationship instead of just your own, you’re likely to take more constructive actions and behave differently. It’s not just about getting your needs met. It's about replenishing the fire so your relationship can last.
Thoughtfulness is keeping your partner in mind and striving to do things that will make their lives better. It’s knowing their preferences, opinions, and quirks so you’re able to dance with them, not fight them with. The better you know your partner, the more you can practice thoughtfulness. What can you do today to help them or improve their lives? What can you do today to make your partner’s day?
You will be offended and feel hurt many times throughout a relationship. The key is to forgive quickly, let go of grudges, and start over each day. Yes, this is easier said than done, but forgiveness is crucial to the long-term health of the relationship. You have to let go of trespasses and also be willing to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness takes courage, vulnerability, and practice.
It may sound clichéd, but giving up on firm positions, unbendable views of the world, and what you each want to do independently of the other person is another important step to lasting love. Our egos usually hold us hostage and we can’t get out of the “win-lose” mentality. Compromise is letting go of what’s important to you individually in order to do what is important to the health of the relationship. It’s finding common ground.
Gentleness comes through in thoughts, words, actions, and your general state of being. It’s understanding and accepting your partner completely and treating them delicately. It’s not yelling, not being verbally or emotionally abusive, or name-calling.
Gentleness is treating your partner in a respectful, kind, and compassionate way. It’s recognizing your soulful connection and appreciating their inherent humanness.
After some time in relationships, we often forget to show love and affection toward our partners. Affection can be as simple as touching, holding, or kissing your partner for no reason at all. It’s a warm embrace, a light touch, a loving word, or any other small way you can show your partner that you love them.
To be most affectionate, you have to know how your partner receives love best and do more of that. Is it a loving word, a thoughtful gesture, help around the house, or doing something special for them? The better you know what your partner enjoys, the more affectionate you can be. ThisLove Languages quiz can help you figure out how you and your partner can most effectively show your love to each other.
We all take our partners for granted sometimes. If you can regularly remind yourself how lucky you are and how valuable your partner is, and tell them so, you will boost the happiness and longevity of your relationship. Partners who stay together appreciate each other and compliment each other. Recognize what your partner is doing and let them know that you’re thankful for it.
Most of the time, people don’t really understand us. Everyone has different opinions. Validating your partner shows them that you’re on their side. When you understand and accept what they say, they feel fully seen, heard, and accepted. It’s acknowledging what your partner is saying to you and showing them that you get them—you understand what they’re saying and experiencing. When you validate, you accept. And when you accept, you show unconditional love, which is ultimately what keeps people and relationships together in the long run.
By Vishnu Subramaniam/MBG
By Guest Nicole
How do you open your heart to love again after you've been hurt? It’s a question that has plagued me since my own marriage ended a few years ago. I realized that the barrier to love wasn’t external. Most of the resistance was coming from within myself.
These are all things that can hold you back from finding and embracing a new relationship. Let go of them to find real love.
1. Outdated patterns
We all form beliefs based on the relationship experiences we've had. Our minds love to find patterns and then use those patterns to interpret new stimulus. The thing is, the patterns that made sense in your previous relationship are irrelevant now. They'll keep you from understanding reality rather than help you.
You have to remind yourself that the past won’t repeat itself, that you’ve grown and learned more about yourself, and that things can be different now.
2. Past relationships
Even if your past relationship has ended, you might not have let go of it. You might be holding onto past memories, hoping that you will rekindle your former relationship. Or you might believe that your next relationship will be like your last one. You expect failure.
If you hold onto your past relationships after they are over, you won’t be giving your new partner a chance. You can open your heart to someone new only if you let go of the past.
3. Unhealthy behaviors
We've all recognized behavior or attitudes that hurt our relationships. What changes can you make in your life? What kind of person can you become?
You don’t have to remain arrogant, egoistical, or demeaning. If you have qualities that are detrimental to the kind of relationship you want, be willing to work on them.
4. Doomsday thinking
You’re not doing yourself any favors by constantly imagining the worst-case scenario. You’re not going to be single, alone, and childless for the rest of your life. It doesn’t help to hold onto this thought. Your thoughts have vibrations and tend to affect your behavior.
Cut out the end of the world/no one loves me/I’m going to die single, alone, and poor thinking.
Your thoughts are your reality. Change your thoughts, and you’ll see a change in your circumstances.
You can’t love someone else until you love yourself. No one else can complete you but you. Do the work to cultivate love within. Speak to yourself like you would to a love one. Watch for thoughts of self-rejection or resentment and root them out.
6. Defense mechanisms
If you’ve built a wall around your heart so that no one will hurt you, you’re not ready for love or a relationship. Relationships require you to come out of your comfort zone, to take risks, and to be vulnerable. If your heart is closed, you either won’t attract love or will be doomed to relationships that don't last.
If you have a list of 20 items you’re looking for in a partner, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, or you may miss out on a great relationship entirely.
Likely, no such person exists and you probably wouldn't actually want the person who ticks all those boxes anyway. The lists we have are usually superficial qualities that don't take into account compatibility or shared values.
The more you’re set on a list of qualities in a partner, the more likely you are to skip over someone who is right for you.
Along the lines of mythical lists, do you have unrealistic expectations about your partner? The more expectations you have about their career, their personality, and how you’d like your partner to be, the more likely you won’t keep that relationship.
You can’t expect someone to be a certain way or act a certain way. You can only do your part and be the most authentic and truthful person you can be.
9. Bitterness and anger
You can’t hold onto bitterness and anger from the past if you want to move forward. Forgive yourself, forgive those who have hurt you. If you can’t forgive today, set the intention to forgive. Forgiveness will help you lower the walls around your heart and soften the edges of your soul.
If you’re ready to fall in love tomorrow, be willing to forgive the people who hurt you today.
By Vishnu Subramaniam/MBG
Pope Francis demonstrates love for neighbor by welcoming 12 Syrian Refugees to the Vatican.