Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Do's And Don'ts Of A Great Relationship!

The other day I asked a couple I had coached to consciously model
a great relationship for his younger brother and girlfriend. I
realize a lot of us never knew what a great relationship looked
like. We didn't know what to do and not do. We only had in our
minds relationships we saw at home, our friend's relationships,
those we saw on TV or in the movies, or read about in books.

So what does a great relationship look like? What needs to be
present in order for it to be healthy, loving, joyful and
passionate? And what must NOT be present? What are the Do's and
the Don'ts?

Most people do at least two or three of these Don'ts. Which
Don't's do you do? Which one's are you willing to change for
the sake of a great relationship?

Don't:

* Whine, Pout or Act Pitiful to Get Your Way

* Attack, Blame, Demean, Belittle, Get Defensive or Hostile

* Refuse to Listen

* Become Remote or Cold

* Expect to be Entertained - instead get a hobby, read a book,
call friends

* Expect Them to Make You Happy - it's not up to them to behave
in a way to make you happy - that's your job

* Manipulate

* Expect Perfection

* Demand Attention

* Judge or Criticize

* Set Them Up to Fail

* Criticize the Person to Friends - this is a huge No-No

* Compare Them to Previous Partners

* Get Protective and Shut Down - that's ego stuff, you need
boundaries, not protection

* Cheat or Lie - including seemingly harmless email connections

So what works better in order to have a healthy, fun, loving and
joyful relationship? What do you need to do instead?

Do:

* Love them and yourself

* Listen and Be Supportive

* Cut them some slack

* Forgive

* Maintain your Sense of Humor

* Pitch in with Chores

* Make Time for Fun; take vacations - with and without kids

* Communicate Lovingly and Honestly about what you need and
want, what's working and not working

* Be Passionate

* Take Care of yourself Physically, Spiritually and Emotionally

* Respect them

* Have Healthy, Firm Boundaries

* Give them space to work things out on their own - if that's
what they want

* Treat them as the unique individual they are

* Spend Time with your Friends - without your partner

When you treat another person in those ways, you create a space
where the relationship has a chance to thrive and love can grow.

I'm going to expand on some of the Do's so you can have a
clearer picture. Also I'll include some valuable relationship
books in the Resource Section.

Communication

Both people need to communicate lovingly, honestly and clearly -
all the time. Think about what you're going to say and look to
see whether it's clear. So many people just speak without asking
specifically for what they need and want. Both people need to
listen to themselves and to their partner. I mean sit down, look
each other in the eye and talk about what's working and not
working.

Listen without getting defensive. No attacking or blaming
allowed.

Love

You need to feel like this is the most incredible person you've
ever met and are thrilled to be with them. Do your eyes light up
when you see them? Does your heart skip a beat? If you're
settling because you're scared you won't meet anyone else, do
them a favor and get out of the relationship. Then go work on
your self-esteem, but let them go be with someone that sees them
as their true love.

Support

You need to support each other - have each other's back and
believe in the other person. The line "For better or for worse"
in most marriage ceremonies was written for a reason. Our
partners are going to go through rough times in life. They might
not handle it with grace and ease. So be kind when your partner
has a hard time. Cut them some slack and see them being healthy,
happy and on top again.

Maintain A Sense of Humor

This is as important as all the others. It will see you through
so many difficult times and will help you put things in
perspective. Not having the new furniture for Thanksgiving is not
a reason for being angry. Your husband spilling red wine on the
white sofa isn't cause for World War III. (My personal
challenge! He's alive today thanks to Scotchguard and paper
towels!!) Your wife deciding she doesn't want to spend the
weekend with your in-laws isn't a reason to be cranky or pouty.

Take Care of Yourself

This is crucial for a healthy relationship. That might mean
spending time with your friends, getting a massage, taking a
weekend and getting away from your partner.

And you need to maintain your health and fitness. Don't think
that now that you are in a relationship that you can let yourself
go. If the man met you and fell in love with a woman who wore
clothes that showed her curves, lipstick, perfume, etc. he's
going to probably want you to maintain that. Guys if you were
fit, dressed nicely and opened the door for her - keep it up.

Respect

You have to respect the person or you will not have a partner for
long. If you talk down to the other person or talk negatively
about them to your friends, then you aren't respecting them. You
need to respect that they are different from you and they think
differently than you do. Also you need to respect how the other
person feels. So don't belittle them for feeling hurt or
sensitive when something happens.

Helping Each Other

I grew up in a home, and thankfully so did my husband, where the
men help with the household chores. My father always helped my
mother with the dishes, laundry, shopping, whatever needed to be
done. My husband does also. My father-in-law, husband and his
brothers all do the dishes if the women cook and vice versa.
It's called sharing chores.

Guys, the days of being waited on are over. Get up off your butts
and help out. And don't whine about it.

And Goddesses, you need to help out with whatever your man needs
help with - paying bills, getting receipts together for the
accountant, being organized. You know what he needs you to do to
make his life easier. Don't say to him, "we need to talk" the
minute he comes home from work. Give him a little time to
destress.

Not Their Job To Make You Happy

It is not your partners' job to make you happy!! That's your
responsibility.

Entertain Yourself

Get a hobby!

I'm always blown away when people tell me they don't have any
hobbies. If you don't then you will look to another person to
entertain you. That will drain them, they'll get fed up with you
and leave. Find something that interests you and develop it.

Have Fun and Take Vacations

You need to have dates and date nights. You need to do fun things
every week. Otherwise life becomes all about work and routine.
Vacations and getting away are crucial to maintaining a healthy,
passionate, joyful relationship.

Kids

If you're in a blended family, Dr. Phil says not to parent your
partner's kids. Just support your partner in their parenting
job.

Create A Winning Space

If you adhere to the list of do's and don'ts, you are creating
a joyful space where the relationship can thrive, each individual
will thrive and love can grow.

Be willing to work a little to have a loving, joyful and healthy
relationship. The results far outweigh the effort.

Choose to be positive. Choose to have a healthy, fun, loving
relationship. Choose to do a little work.

Imagine the possibilities...

(c) Carol C. Chanel

Carol Chanel is a Certified Life Coach who works with people to
create new, meaningful and FUN lives. You can learn more about
how to create loving and healthy relationships, draw boundaries,
not take things personally, be happy to be who you are, and
make time for fun by going to her free ezine archive.
http://www.carolchanel.com/rockin_relationships.html