Category Archives: Healthy Relationships

Why Patience and Love Are The Keys to Lasting Relationships

Patience in Love Relationships

They say patience is a virtue. Yet it’s a virtue that doesn’t come to most of us with ease.  Well, my friends, patience and love go hand in hand. What better way to develop patience than through the bond of a loving relationship?

We all recognize that relationships challenge us to understand, tolerate, and accept another person.  But the truth is that relationships serve an even more important purpose.  Relationships allow us to know and improve ourselves, to build on the foundation that we have as an individual.  To have patience in love is not optional, unless of course the love isn’t meant to last. In that case, one may question if it was every really love in the first place.

A healthy relationship is one in which we spend less time trying to reconstruct our partners and more time looking inward to bring our own personal best to the relationship. If we lack patience, for example, there is no better way to develop that virtue within us than through a commitment to another human being.  Remember, love IS patient.

You may hate the way he leaves the toilet seat up, but he seems incapable of remembering to put it down.  You want to scream each time she leaves makeup all over the counter, yet you face it every single morning.

You know that patience is a virtue, but it’s clearly not one you’ve wrapped your mind around.  So, instead of committing to developing patience within yourself, you commit to trying to change the one you love.  Why should you work on yourself, when he or she can just change?  This is where relationships begin to unravel.  However, this is also the point at which you can work on becoming a better you.

The Patience and Love Connection

Even in the most loving, committed and healthy relationships; each day brings us face to face with things that we’d rather live without.  Over time, the simplest of these annoyances from your spouse or significant other becomes irritating beyond your wildest dreams.  Anger, frustration, resentment—so many negative feelings begin to set in.  Yet, you have a choice. You either allow impatience to get the best of you, making you miserable and ruining any chance of a lasting, healthy relationship OR you get over it.

These days, many people walk away without accepting the challenge of developing patience in love relationships. When faced with this great opportunity for personal growth, too many of us turn the focus outward. The result?  Relationships deficient in patience and love end in breakups, heartache, separation and divorce.

If you’re thinking you have enough love to outweigh the need for patience, think again.  Love is patience.  Patience is love.  Patience and love go together, creating a healthy relationship like hydrogen and oxygen create water (H2O). To separate patience and love is to separate lovers from their oneness, leaving behind individuals unable to truly love at all.

Change is hard, developing patience is hard, and becoming a better person is hard.  Nonetheless, people expect these things from each other.  And when they are not satisfied with their mate’s progress, many choose to give up instead of developing and improving themselves.

The choice to give up or to get over it will always be there.  However, it’s important to know the price of these decisions.  In giving up on a relationship, many times you inadvertently give up on yourself.  In getting over it, you can save your relationship; but even more importantly, you can develop into a more patient and loving human being.

53 Relationship Questions to Ask Your Lover in the First 6 Months

Before you read this list of relationship questions, let’s clarify one thing.  You don’t want to just bring this list along on your date to start an interrogation process.  Instead, try gathering the answers to these questions through normal conversation.

In order to create healthy relationships, you must first learn the art of truly getting to know someone.  Not assuming. Not guessing.  Not hoping.  And definitely not trying to turn a person into who you want them to become. This list of relationship questions is provided to help you foster good communication with your lover (or potential lover) from the very start.  Ask, listen, clarify and observe.

Relationship Questions to Ask Your Lover (Days 0 – 30)

1.    What are you seeking? Casual sex, a friend, short term fun, love?
2.    What types of things do you enjoy?
3.    How do you spend your free time?
4.    What do you do for a living?
5.    What is your idea of a perfect date?
6.    What is your idea of a nightmare date?
7.    What do you like about me?
8.    What do you think are your best qualities?
9.    What do you think are your worst qualities?
10.    Do you have children?
11.    Are you married? Currently involved a relationship?
12.    Would you say you’re an introvert or extrovert?
13.    What are the most important things in your life right now?
14.    Do you drink, smoke or do drugs? How often? What type?
15.    How long have you been single?
16.    What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?
17.    Early bird or night owl?

Relationship Questions to Ask Your Lover (Days 30 – 90)

Once you’re past the first month, you know if there is some degree of interest or chemistry.  However, you still don’t know if there is enough compatibility to move past the friend zone.The idea for days 30 – 90 is to get to know each other far better than you can with small talk.

You’ll want to ask relationship questions that tell you if you’ve met someone you can potentially date on a serious level, or if you’re about to hit a dead end.  Look for signs of compatibility such as similar temperaments, things you have in common and comparable expectations. More importantly, look for red flags that tell you to run like hell.

18.    What do you like about me so far?
19.    What is your religion, if any? How important is it to you?
20.    What type of pet(s) do you have?  Are there any types of pets that you dislike or prefer not to be around?
21.    How interested are you in politics?
22.    How often do you travel?
23.    Do you have a lot of friends of the opposite sex?
24.    Do you gamble? How much?
25.    How many times have you been in love?
26.    What are your pet peeves?
27.    What are your goals for the future?
28.    What qualities do you look for in a mate?
29.    Are you a risk taker?
30.    Do you like to cook? How often do you like to dine out?
31.    What are you passionate about?
32.    Do you have a criminal record?
33.    When is it okay to physically harm the person you’re in a relationship with?
34.    How do you feel about PDA?
35.    What is your biggest fear?

Relationship Questions to Ask Your Lover (90 Days – 6 Months)

If you’ve dated someone for more than 3 months, there is a chance that things are starting to get somewhat serious.  At this phase, you should both feel more comfortable opening up to each other.  These relationship questions will help you to make the most of that.

Some of the questions below may have come up in conversations prior to the 90 day mark and that is great.  But there is much more to learn.  The goal of your relationship questions after the first 90 days is to spark some pretty significant conversations, thus opening the door to a more intimate connection. Try to get the answers out in the open before you’re involved so seriously that it’s hard to turn back.

Once again, look for compatibility as well as red flags.

36.    How are you feeling about me/us so far?
37.    If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?
38.    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
39.    How is your relationship with your mother? Father?
40.    How do you handle anger?
41.    Are you satisfied with where you are in life right now? Why? Why not?
42.    What would your exes say they loved about you?
43.    What would your exes say they couldn’t stand about you?
44.    What are your beliefs on monogamy?
45.    What are your views on gender roles in relationships?
46.    What was your best relationship? What was so great about it? Why did it end?
47.    What was your worst relationship? What was so bad about it? How long did it last?
48.    Have you ever had your heart broken?
49.    What does a healthy relationship look like to you?
50.    What types of lessons have you learned from failed relationships?
51.    How important is sex to you?
52.    Do you get jealous easily?
53.    Do you want to have children some day? How many?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of relationship questions to ask your lover.  The next list will include questions to ask before you get married.  Feel free to tell me what you think and to suggest other questions in the comment section below.

Is True Love Worth Waiting For?

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~Judy Garlandz

 

Finding True Love: The Makings of Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships start with not just finding someone, but finding “the one.” Anyone can kiss your lips or whisper sweet nothings in your ear; but this is not the foundation of true love.

True love begins where lust, attachment and infatuation end—where fulfillment of the body is integrated with fulfillment of the ever-present non-physical part of who you are.

True love begins where trust replaces fear, humility replaces pride, acceptance replaces judgment, mutual respect outlines choices and love-making is no longer a sport.

Healthy relationships manifest, not from flying sparks and fluttering hearts, but from the solace found in the quiet embrace of two souls destined to journey in union.

True love is the glue that seals your bond to “the one.” The one whose voice speaks, not just to your ears, but to your heart; the one that connects not just with your body, but with your Soul. Is such a love not worth waiting for? The choice is yours. But why fall in love when you can walk in love? Why settle with someone, when you can bond with “the one?”

If it is the fulfillment of true love that you seek, await the experience of a connection far greater, yet simpler, than the excitement of infatuation. Await true love. Await a Soul connection, which is more enduring than rapture, less anxious than attachment, far deeper than lust. Await the one with whom you can bear your Soul, allowing the connection of true love that stems from beyond this world.

True love can be defined as a manifestation of love in action. Love that is unshakable, enduring, meaningful, sincere. You can have that love. Just remember, healthy relationships are not perfect relationships; they are balanced relationships. Balanced by good times and bad, forgiveness and mistakes, ecstasy and tranquility.

Why You Must be True to Yourself In Relationships

healthy relationshipsLove, as you know, is the glue that holds healthy relationships together.  But how can someone love you without knowing you?  It may seem like a silly question, but this is the exact scenario created when you are not yourself in the beginning stages of a relationship.

It’s normal to want everything to go right when you feel the magnetic pull of chemistry with someone new.  But if you’re not being yourself, you’re merely creating the illusion of everything going right.

Healthy relationships are never built on a foundation of false pretenses, deception, delusion and confusion. They are built on integrity, respect, acceptance, and sincerity.  Most important healthy relationships include two people who truly know each other, and love each other notwithstanding imperfections.

Instead of trying to make sure everything is perfect—just do a perfect job of being yourself. The right one for you wouldn’t have it any other way. If you hate that he smokes, don’t hold your breath and act as if it’s okay.  If she adores cats as much as you hate them; don’t pretend to fall in love with her little FeFe.  Don’t dance to his favorite music while secretly hating it; don’t deny your desire to socialize because she’s into the homebody type.

After expressing your true thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes; you may or may not end up in a relationship with the person who’s caught your eye. More importantly, however, you will save yourself from a miserable relationship and a broken heart down the road.

The one who falls in love with the fake you may not stick around when the real you surfaces. So, find the guy who likes your dog and (at least) finds your taste in music tolerable.  He’s the same guy who accepts your moody ways and thinks you’re beautiful without your make-up on.

Find the girl who doesn’t mind spending her Friday nights drinking beer at your junky bachelor pad. She’s the same girl who laughs at your jokes because they’re corny, not because she’s acting.

You can waste your time doing things you don’t like, pretending to be someone you are not; but this is not the stuff that loving, healthy relationships are made of.  If you want true love, first allow yourself to be discovered.  That means being comfortable enough with whom you are to be yourself with everyone you meet.  You’ll quickly find out that there was no reason to hide in the first place.

What is True Love?

“The best thing about loving and being hurt is that you get to know what true love really is. For as gold is tested in fire, and so will love be perfected in pain.”
~Marvin Jay M. Torres

true love

What is True Love?

Many optimistic lovers expect to live happily ever after in the pure bliss of infatuation disguised as new love.  What a marvelous flight of fantasy—obstructed only by reality.  Love is bliss and that joy should be a part of every relationship.  But that’s definitely not all there is.

“What is True Love?” you ask

True love is about more than romantic gestures and having someone to cuddle up with at night.  It’s not just butterflies in your stomach and waiting by the phone for your lover’s call.  True love is something even greater than every dreamy date, passionate kiss and happy moment you can see in your mind’s eye.  It is what’s left over when they are gone.

Where can you find true love?  The answers to that question are infinite.  True love can be found in the silent pause that holds back a hurtful truth.  It’s in the strength that it takes to choose what’s best for someone else, even if it’s not what you want for yourself.  It’s in the beauty still seen when every trace of what’s accepted as beautiful has ceased to exist.

True love is in the comfort of a touch when the right words just can’t be found.  It’s in the willingness to forgive and the effort to forget. It’s in the support, understanding and commitment that keeps two people holding on when it’s much easier to let go.  And then there are times when true love is found behind the tear-filled eyes that walk away when every selfish desire wants desperately to stay.

The next time you stage your lips to utter the words, “I love you,” remember to show that love in every choice you make.

To give your beloved beautiful flowers is amazing, but it will never compare to treating them as a beautiful flower.  The same is true of diamonds, gold and anything you may treasure.  To love someone is to recognize their immeasurable value and the fragility of their heart.  Even on the darkest days, when facing the toughest decisions, let love guide you in the right direction.

Playing Fair: Your Way Is Not the Only Way

love advice

Love Advice on Playing Fair, Change, and Expectations

In case you haven’t yet found out the hard way, expecting your significant other to do or say things the way you would is a recipe for disaster. You try and you try and you try; but for some odd reason there is no real change.

Truthfully, the reason isn’t that odd at all. The reason is because she or he is not you.  Each person in a healthy relationship is a separate but equal individual.

A lifetime of influences have shaped you into the person you are today—outgoing or introverted, ultra-sensitive or thick-skinned, stubborn or submissive, expressive or composed.  However, unless you only want a healthy relationship with yourself, you’ll need to accept that your way is not necessarily the right way and it’s definitely not the only way.

Various elements of your personality drive your expectations; and, if you’re not careful, your expectations can drive your mate right out of your arms.

If your boyfriend doesn’t hold you or say “I love you” enough, there are a few ways to look at it.  You can assume that he’s not that into you, he’s negligent, he’s not ready for love, he’s emotionally unavailable, etc.  With such an outlook, you likely do one or more of the following:

  1. Breakup  the relationship
  2. Try to change him
  3. Nag him until he really does fall out of love with you
  4. Feel miserable and unloved
  5. Cause constant arguments
  6. Lead him to feel unaccepted

But why not consider that the reasons for his actions (or inactions) are a lot less personal.  Maybe he’s just not the touchy feely or lovey dovey type.  Maybe it’s difficult for him to show affection because of his upbringing.  Maybe he’s worried that you’ll think he’s too soft.

The list of maybes could go on forever, but your best bet is to openly communicate. Be careful though.  There is a huge difference between talking with someone and talking to someone.  So, don’t substitute “communication” with verbal assaults or insults to your mate’s “flawed” personality.  What seems to you like a flaw in your mate may actually be a reflection of what you need to improve in yourself.

Maybe you’re more emotionally needy and touchy-feely than he’s comfortable with.  Maybe you don’t recognize the many ways that he tries to show his love for you.  Maybe you’re being too demanding by trying to turn him into you.  Maybe you could be more understanding.  Again, the list of maybes could go on forever; but the bottom line is to alter (not lower) your expectations and to take responsibility for your role in the relationship’s issues.

If you love someone, don’t give up hope just because you have differences.  Treat each other with compassion and patience rather than judgment and intolerance.  Look for the opportunity to better yourself before you try to change someone else. Change is hard and sometimes the only thing that really needs to change is your attitude.

10 Ways to Save Your Relationship

save your relationshipDo you know how to save your relationship from the wrong side of the increasingly dismal statistics that keep divorce courts busier than wedding chapels?  It may be simpler than you think.

Most relationships start off in the clouds. Butterflies in your stomach, romance, fairy tale notions. But we all know that things can change when you least expect it.  Building a healthy relationship and making it last takes planning, commitment and work.  If you really want to save your relationship from unhappiness, breakup or divorce; implement these 10 tips on a consistent basis.

Ways to Save Your Relationship

  1. Respect the differences. A healthy relationship is a bond between two people who allow their individuality to remain intact. Remember this before setting demands and expectations that might seem reasonable to you but unfair to the one you love.
  2. Be gentle. Choose your words and actions carefully, remembering that the heart is fragile. This may help an apprehensive partner to feel safe enough to let down their guard. But don’t stop there. Their guard can go back up if you begin to take that vulnerability for granted.
  3. Take care of yourself. Once you’ve found that special someone who you expect to love you for life, don’t let yourself go. By always doing what it takes to look and feel good about yourself, you’re telling your partner that they deserve your best. Even more importantly, you keep your self-esteem high so that you are proud of yourself and not dependent upon the relationship for your sense of worth.
  4. Offer encouragement. Your relationship should be a safe space, even when everything seems wrong with the world. Make sure to provide this safety net for the one you love by encouraging the pursuit of dreams and successes that matter to him/her. A simple, “I believe in you,” goes a long way.
  5. Deal with your own demons. It’s much easier to focus on the changes your partner needs to make than to change yourself, but the latter is where your efforts are best spent. Choose to work through your own areas of improvement. By doing so, you take responsibility for your role in the relationship. You’ll also see how difficult change can be and you may feel more compassion for your partner’s struggles.
  6. Do more than you must do. A person who loves you may remain committed even if you don’t go the extra mile, but a truly healthy relationship is about more than just hanging in there. Show your love by going above and beyond what you absolutely must do in order to keep your mate.
  7. Ask more questions. When you’re having a difficult time relating to the one you love, ask questions rather than reacting based on the understanding (or lack thereof) that you have. In addition to gaining more insight on your partner’s perspective, you’ll show them that you care enough to try to understand.
  8. Practice acceptance. Many times in relationships, you face an obstacle that you just can’t change. Your partner may make a choice that you don’t agree with or s/he may lack interest in something that’s important to you. Rather than nagging or building resentment, practice the art of acceptance. A healthy relationship is not a perfect relationship because such a thing doesn’t exist. Take responsibility for accepting some things that you’d change in a perfect world.
  9. Assert yourself. Nothing worthwhile results from passive aggressive behavior like slamming doors, making sarcastic remarks and withholding sex. The same is true of aggressive behavior like demanding, judging and name calling. To save your relationship, you need to be able to communicate assertively. State the facts, own your feelings and focus on the behavior rather than the person.
  10. Create a vision board. Vision boards are usually used to plan for career success, weight loss or financial gain; but they are just as powerful as a tool for achieving your relationship goals. Consider creating one together and reviewing it everyday so that you know where you’re going as a couple.

Which of these tips have you (or will you) use to save your relationship? Would you say that you have a healthy relationship? Why or why not? Please respond in the comment box below.