January 25, 2011

The grass is never Greener: Tips on How to Make Relationships Work.

Relationship 101.

When I say the grass is never greener “somewhere else,” it’s because certain things might be better somewhere else…but other things not so much. It’s never green all over!

Being in a relationship is not as easy as it looks like in the movies. In my grandparents and great grandparent’s days people stayed together for life, which was very beautiful on the outside for most couples but not so pretty in their everyday lives. They would find someone, settle and be unhappy (sometimes), raise a family and have an “okay” life.

Today, the idea of being happy has changed enormously. We allow ourselves much more to have in our life the things that make us smile each day and feel satisfied. We allow ourselves to have wonderful dreams and make those dreams happen which is quite wonderful in my opinion, as long as we are not always telling ourselves that the grass is greener somewhere else. Today if we want to spend our life with someone it takes work, because we don’t want to allow ourselves to be unhappy but we also don’t want to take a run for it every time things aren’t going the way we hoped.

Most important tips on making a relationship work.

I am often saddened to see so many relationships end quickly and it makes me wonder what are we really looking for in a mate? Are we basing our decisions on things that might not be so important in life, that are nitty gritty details that won’t really make a difference in our happiness? I most certainly don’t want to encourage anyone to stay in a unhealthy relationship but what I do want is to encourage you to see the good in the other person no matter how much your ego is screaming out to you and see if a little effort an intentions can maybe make the relationship stronger and richer in love!

1) Don’t expect the other person to be, think and act exactly like you:

In relationships we often get frustrated by the way the other person folds their clothes, or washed the dishes because they are not doing it the way we would. Let go…as long as the person is involved and helping it doesn’t matter how things get done.

2) Be patient:

We all have our baggage and if you are going to spend you life with someone, chances are each of you will go through at least one hard phase in your lifetime. Be patient. Allow the person time to heal and make changes. Things don’t happen overnight and patterns take time to change.

3) Tame your ego:

Often we get angry at the other person for something he/she did, the way he/she said something, etc, etc. There can be millions of reasons. Ask yourself the question is it really about the other person or is it about ME. Our reactions to certain things can tell us a lot about changes that need to be made in ourselves.

4) It’s not about who wins:

If there is a disagreement about something never forget that it’s not about who wins! It’s about making sure that both opinions are heard and understood and that both can make efforts to give a little to each other. You are both completely different people, chances are you won’t always agree on everything.

5) Listen!

When we want to be right about something or express ourselves, do we ever block out the world. I have learnt from experience, if you just stop for a moment and listen to what the other person has to say, there are much less misunderstandings and frustrations.

6) The spark does go out:

Love in my opinion is not necessarily that spark that is in the beginning of the relationship. Love is getting to know the person more and more every day and being reminded of the wonderful things about that person. That spark will light back up once in a while but the real spark is the warmth that the other person brings into your life. Bad days make the other days better and you might notice yourself falling in love all over again after a challenging day

7) Break patterns:

Of course if you spend your life with someone and do the same thing every day in the same way, you will get bored! Don’t be scared to break patterns, even though it’s hard to get out of our routines. Do something different a few times per month. Make yourself a 5 course dinner one week night. Make breakfast in bed one week morning. Just change things, you’ll see it’s fun!

8) Trust in life:

Don’t be jealous.  Trust life and what it will bring you. The less you are attached to the futur, the easier change will be and the better you will adapt. No one wants to loose a loved one but the truth is, we don’t always have control over life. And know that the universe brings into your life what you focus most on. I always tell myself if I keep thinking and imagining something I don’t want in my life,  I am putting all my attention on that rather than what I want. Life will bring you what you need most.

9) Spend time apart:

My friends could tell you that, that was my weak side. Being with the other person day and night, night and day and so on. You learn in life and I have been really applying this. Take time without the person (they won’t disappear I promise ). Go out with friends or even spend a night alone. My favorite thing is to be alone at home with a bottle of wine, a pizza and watching ‘Friends’ all night, just me :). Give yourself time to miss the other person, that is when you fall in love all over again!

10) Don’t think that the grass is always greener somewhere else:

It’s so easy to say, I can find better or another person would give me this, etc, etc. The truth is, we all have our baggage and life is not meant to be easy. Maybe the next person will give you something you wanted but they will also have parts of themselves that won’t always be easy to deal with. Weigh things out. What is the person offering you right now compared to what is making you unhappy about him/her. You don’t want to spend your life unhappy but you also don’t want to spend your life chasing after the perfect person that doesn’t exist.Even though the effort to be put into a relationship feels challenging sometimes, it just makes your relationship stronger after.

I could go on and on.

This summer I am so exited to going to some close friends of the family’s 50th wedding anniversary. They have been together since high school and still so so in love. So inspiring. Congratulations John and Mary Fay!

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