How do you improve love and relationships? If you are in a relationship with someone you love and adore, whether you are married or not, it can bring sheer joy or grievous pain.
Love in any relationship brings with it a number of expectations and a lot of hope. Being loved unconditionally is the ultimate dream of most people. When you are loved unconditionally it means you are accepted for whom and for what you are; having a sense of belonging and acceptance; the feeling of being protected and safe; but most of all it means deep rooted intimacy, romance and passion united by an everlasting bond.
But somewhere along the way love and the relationship go haywire. Hope dies and in place of love comes anger, frustration and loneliness. The honeymoon phase of the relationship is often based on lust and the illusion of two people merging as one. But as time will have it this perfect image fades and the dream is ruined. The fact is that the two people involved in a relationship are different. They have different needs, different expectations and different directions. However it is good to know that the disenchantment that follows the discovery of this reality are unavoidable steps to true love and happiness. You just need to work on it.
Even with the best intentions, all relationships can gradually run down. Early pleasures become common place and boring, minor flaws become major faults, little eccentricities become really irritating. To overcome this it is necessary to give each other little pleasures occasionally – the meaninful complement, a phone call to say “I love you”, a walk hand in hand in the park, flowers or a romantic dinner are just some examples.
So how do you make love and relationships work? Is it commitment to the strength of your romantic dream; an alignment of your value systems; appropriate communication skills; or is it just matter of luck?
Some say that the success of love and relationships is directly related to the evolutionary theory and to leadership. Leadership is the key to a successful relationship. Males are programmed genetically to be leaders. It goes back to the caveman days and involves the hunter instinct. The hunter mode is very strong in men when they first meet a new girlfriend. They show off their leadership skills – they ask her out; they pay for the meal; they open the door; they ask for her hand in marriage. Because of these biological instincts, women are subconsciously attracted to this leadership behaviour – they fall heads over heals in love with this potential husband; this provider; this potential father of their children. Because you see, all of this genetic programming ensures the survival of mankind.
The secret to saving a marriage lies in building attraction, not in solving problems. It is a fact that woman are driven more by emotion than logic. Therefore men, if you are always apologizing, discussing, compromising, grovelling or begging, it is like water off a duck’s back – it just washes over a woman and may even kill the attraction you have for each other.
I am not saying that communication is not important. It goes without saying that an effective leader will have good communication skills. In any relationship or leadership situation it is important to have good effective communication skills such as:
– Effective listening skills – understand your partner and have empathy. Good listening keeps you in tune with your partner and you can see your relationship through your partner’s eyes. When you listen well to what your partner is saying you are actually saying that you care.
– The ability to express your feelings appropriately, and the ability to accept your partner’s feeling without judgement. Be assertive rather than passive when communicating your emotions. Really care about what your partner is feeling.
– A clean communication style – avoid things like being judgemental, blame, accusations, put downs, threats, bringing up old history, negative comparisons. Address the action not the person.
– Good negotiation skills – partners in a relationship negotiate constantly. It is a process where it is decided about how the things in the relationship will be done, i.e. housework, raising children or planning a holiday. Negotiations need to be fair allowing both partners to achieve their goals without manipulation, hurt or regret.
– A constructive, healthy conflict resolution method. Deal with old conflicts and resentments and put them to bed and then develop some strategies to deal with current problems effectively. Take time out if necessary to stop fights escalating into verbal or physical abuse.
It is also important to learn how to cope with anger, whether you are the aggressor or the victim, because anger damages intimate relationships. Anger which can be openly aggressive or disguised as passive aggressive, creates emotional scars which worsen with every outburst, interfering with both intimacy and trust. Emotional abuse has the same effects as physical abuse on a person.
So what do you have to do to build attraction and to develop an appropriate “couple system” to save your marriage? You need to work on the male’s leadership skills and rekindle the hunter instinct in him so that he becomes that amazing, compelling, dynamic, charismatic leader she was attracted to at first. And then the female’s biology will take care of the rest. Your sex drive will be reactivated and you will both fall wildly madly in love again. Have every argument turn into a passionate love making session!
And the good thing is that it is never too early or too late to learn new skills which will help you to have the ideal relationship. Everyone needs to work on their relationship skills – new lovers, partnerships of several years and even partners who are already going through difficulties with the relationship and it seems that there is no hope of keeping the love and the relationship alive.
Love and relationships takes hard work, but it is important to work smarter not harder on them to achieve a long, happy, passionate and successful relationship.