Romance In Action: Re-read your lists

Take five minutes to re-read your list of the reasons why you want to improve your current or future relationships to motivate and inspire you to continue in this journey. Then put on some relaxing or uplifting music and visualize your dream relationship with your dream man! If you have a dream board consider placing your ‘shopping list and ideal dynamic’ on there (written from the exercises we did earlier this month).

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Romance In Action: List the healthy relationship behaviors covered in Mondays series post that you don’t often do

Today is the exciting bit! Take five minutes to write down the healthy relationship behaviors covered in Mondays series post that you don’t often do and write down an idea for each as to how you can better adopt these behaviors in future. For example, could you show your appreciation by words of affirmation to your partner more?

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Romance central; How to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life Part Four

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Last week we finished looking at the unhealthy relationship behaviors, this week we begin exploring how to cultivate healthy relationships.

 

How to cultivate healthy relationships

 

Cultivating a healthy relationship is not complex but it does take effort and ideally commitment from both partners to want to actively work on the relationship. This isn’t to say that by adopting these behaviors yourself you can’t improve things, but rather that for the best results both partners should be willing to work together – with shared responsibility – for making the relationship the healthiest it can be.

 

Health Relationship Model

Unsurprisingly the healthy relationship model is very balanced, with equal times spend both together and apart. This works to promote a sense of identity and independence outside of the relationship whilst the shared contact encourages inter-connectedness and provides sufficient emotional and mental support to the other.

 

Healthy relationship behaviors

 

The good news is that there are also many relationship behaviors that we can adopt to foster a more healthy, happy and balanced relationship.

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Why true love is selfless – when the others happiness means more to you than anything

I thought I was in love once before meeting my now boyfriend but looking back I now know it wasn’t true love. How do I know? It wasn’t selfless, in many ways it felt like love, but it was immature – it wanted what it wanted. Since meeting my boyfriend, I can now see that the old cliché that true love is selfless really is true. I want him to be happy no matter what, and finding ways of making him happy brings me more happiness than I ever could have imagined.

 

When you want the person you love to be happy beyond anything else, it is a good indicator that you share the selfless love many seek. But what if you’re not quite there yet? Try to find ways of making your partner happy and see how happy it makes you in turn – it’s a great exercise and often develops the kind of selfless thinking true love inspires, at the very least you will put a smile on your partners face.

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How to preserve the romance in a relationship

One of the best ways to preserve the romance in any relationship is to let your partner know how much you appreciate them. Do thoughtful things that let them know you are thinking of them. If you are married with kids have designated date nights when it is just you in a romantic setting. Show each other your love in practical ways by doing the chores the other hates. Never ever forget to tell the other how much you love them, often and sincerely. And always remember their likes and dislikes.

 

For example, my boyfriend knows I find it hard to wake up in the morning so he keeps some galaxy chocolate beside my bed because he knows once he points to it in the morning I will wake up. Funny I know, but very thoughtful and sweet too.

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How to use humor to test the waters with burning issues

Laughter really is the best cure, and also quite revealing too! Have you ever heard the expression ‘never a truer word is spoken in jest’? Well one of the best ways to find out if something is going to be a contentious issue or to find out if you are both on the same page is to bring up the issue in the guise of a joke. I often joked I would move to be closer to my boyfriend and he seemed receptive to the idea whenever I joked about it, after a few jokes we both felt comfortable enough to talk about it seriously. Thankfully – as his reaction to my jokes suggested – he was in favor of the idea!

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Romance In Action: Learn Assertiveness Skills to Improve Your Relationship

Read ‘Assertiveness: A Journey Worth Taking’ to explore how to better assert your rights whilst also protecting your partners rights in future – remember true assertiveness is not about winning, it’s about finding a mutually agreeable compromise and respecting one another.

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Romance In Action: Discover What Rights Have Been Violated

Read ‘How to free yourself and assert your rights’. List if any of the rights covered in the article either you have violated to your partner or they have violated to you. It’s important to be honest so that you can then think of ways, invariably by using assertiveness, to avoid violating your partners rights whilst also protecting your own.

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Romance In Action: List the unhealthy relationship behaviors you have engaged with in the past

Read through this Monday’s Romance Central Part Three post and write down which of the unhealthy relationship behaviors you have engaged with in the past. List an idea as to how you can change each of these behaviors in future. For example, do you let resentment build by bottling things up? One of the ways you can avoid doing this is by learning assertiveness so that when things crop up that irritate you, you can bring them up in a calm way rather than exploding later on down the line.

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Romance central; How to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life Part Three

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Last week we looked at the unhealthy relationship dynamic models and looked at several unhealthy relationship behaviors. This week we continue to examine the remaining unhealthy relationship behaviors which we can change with just a little effort.

 

Trying to change your partner

 

Girls, we all know this one. When we think we can change that bad boy or commitment phobe into the perfect boyfriend. Guys, I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. This never works for several reasons.

 

Usually the person doesn’t want to change because they perceive there to be distinct advantages to them being how they are. Also, when someone tries to change their partner, the person in question may feel trapped or begin to resent the partner who has tried to initiate change. Lastly, by trying to change someone it inadvertently (and often unintentionally) communicates the partner doesn’t unconditionally love the other, or that in some way they are viewed as unacceptable.

 

As you can see not only does this strategy often fail but it usually has a detrimental impact upon the relationship.

 

Carrying past hurt into the relationship (overreacting to things due to your past hurts)

 

I was very lucky in that I allowed myself ample time to heal from my past hurt before entering into another relationship. But love doesn’t know our timeframe and often hits when we least expect it.

 

If you still have past pain that is unresolved it is worth remembering that our memory is historical. By historical I mean that when a situation arises our brains look for a time in the past when something similar happened.

 

What tends to go awry is that when we have unresolved pain our current partner may do something relatively benign but it will trigger a painful memory which may cause us to react disproportionately to the current situation, or trigger.

 

If you keep this in mind it may well protect you from disproportionately reacting to things however what I would recommend is to seek out therapy, as in my experience, this is the best and by far the most constructive way to heal from pain.

 

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