We all want to be happy, there is no doubt about it. We all want for our relationships to work and become better and stronger. Do you know what you want in a relationship? How often do you think about that?
Recently I discovered my old diary I haven’t seen in years as I was moving from place to place while it was sitting silently in a box. It was weird to hold and read it. I felt as if I was barging into someone else’s personal life, personal thoughts, personal… the world. It took me a while to actually realise and reconnect with a previous version of myself through those pages.
Long story short I stumbled across one page that became yellow over time. It contains 8 rules for a happy relationship I came up with years ago. I don’t really remember how nor what influenced me back then. And something told me to share it here with you.
8 Simple Rules for a Happy Relationship
1. Reflect and Receive
What I reflect I shall receive. It’s as simple as that. When we give love, we receive love back in the same or different form. When we are angry for no reason with our loved one causing them unpleasant feelings, the pain will return and bite us in the a**. Simple, you see.
For me, it was hard to realise and accept, but I’m working on it full time.
No matter the age. No matter the gender. We all need love. We are all longing for love and connection.
When we are filled with jealousy, pointless arguments, controlling obsessive behaviour, manipulation and endless nagging, WE NEED TO STOP and reflect. We need to realise that it has nothing to do with love.
Love is that tenderness, care, acceptance and warmth that makes your rainy day brighter. We all need that. And we shall learn to give each other more of those pleasant moments.
3. The Power of a Word
It is important to remember that words contain not only the meaning but power. You can hurt someone with a word that would stick in their memory forever and hit them really hard. Or you can heal someone with a beautiful and caring word. I didn’t know that back then. But now I do. Realisation of that made me more mindful about things I choose to say.
Use the power of words to encourage, to show how much you care, to express love while you still can.
Love is a gift. The whole relationship is about giving your warmth, your care and sharing your world with the one you trust, the one you love. I truly believe that love is a gift. The more we share, the more we love, the more love comes back to us. It’s a very powerful feeling.
For me, the greatest gift of love is that person’s time he shares with me. His full and undivided attention means so much more than diamonds and gold in the grounds of the Earth.
Time cannot be turned back or paid with in advance. It can be only shared with each other right here and right now. I value time and people who choose to spend it with me very much.
The power of touch is enormous. A simple hug can be a real life saviour if you had a lousy day and everything turns to flames around you. A simple but encouraging tap to a shoulder may become an empowering booster.
We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth —Virginia Satir
6. Common Grounds
Here’s a tricky one. It’s more about having the same ground for understanding each other, starting from our sets of interests.
Look, if you don’t get the idea of baseball if you would rather prefer to spend holidays surfing than skiing… it’s fine! Don’t try to change that in your partner, nor try to change anything that doesn’t align with the system of your beliefs, likes and dislikes. What’s important here is… UNDERSTANDING.
Or, at least, striving to understand why that particular thing is important to your partner. What makes him/her tick?
For example. I believe that my better half is a genius! I have no doubt about that. He is absolutely amazing with the latest technologies, social media and he understands how things work. He knows everything about the whole industry, new revolutionary innovations and he always predicts correctly where technologies will develop.
I understand and appreciate it now. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that all he was talking about 24/7 was technology and innovations. And when the conversation would start with words: “Guess what these guys came up with…” turning into a 2-hour monologue – I would roll my eyes and space out completely. Because there was no way I could stretch my attention span for that long, c’mon! Disrespectful? Yes, unfortunately. But things change if you are mindful about it and want them to change. To heck with that, things change anyway.
I was trying to read tech news and I was only getting more confused… growing even more impatient with myself for not digging the whole excitement other people share about technologies. But then I realised that I DON’T HAVE TO. I have my own set of interests and I should concentrate on that. If this is important to my partner, it’s great! We are, after all, different people. That makes us great discussing and exchanging opinions from different areas we found interesting and we expand our horizons together by listening to each other and respecting each other’s interests.
So it is vital to learn how to actively listen.
7. Let it Shine Through
Anyone can claim that they love you. Anyone can do that, right? You actions are the thing that either proves or wipes your words from the earth no matter how beautiful those words and claims are. So it is important to really let your love shine through your actions.
8. Freedom to Be Yourself… Here and Now
When I was younger I had this unshakable belief that everything should be aligned with the image of the world that I lovingly created in my mind. I thought that people should always be and should behave in certain ways and that the weather should always be sunny and warm. I believed that people driving on the highway should give me the way… that the person I love should be in a certain way too and that I can improve him by implementing and enabling new features as I saw fit…
Silly me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around one simple idea: nothing will ever go EXACTLY according to the way I want. Everyone came here with the freedom to be themselves, here and now. How dared I to think otherwise is bewildering to me right now… Oh, well…
At least I realise it now that we have our freedom to be ourselves, so as our loved ones we choose to spend our lives with. Remember and appreciate that. Don’t try to change anybody. Adjust your attitude instead. And just go with it.
I found my unexpected encounter with an old diary very insightful and useful. It’s amazing that sometimes we have to look deep in our past for a glimpse of a second to realise something that is happening now, making it peculiarly obvious with that “Duh” moment.
You have the freedom to be yourself… here and now.