The movies, the books, the media and especially the fairy tales all express a formula of hope and simplicity when it comes to falling in love, but what they NEVER disclose is the STAYING IN LOVE part.
And if you’ve ever been IN love you know this is the most challenging of all.
Why is it we work so hard to FIND love but rarely work so hard to STAY in love?
I can’t even speculate on that answer. The truth is no one really knows. Many will give insight and conjecture, but there truly is no magic answer that if you follow you’ll STAY in love and live happily ever after.
Now that’s not to say that MOST of us don’t want to find and remain in an ever dreamy state of bliss with another perfect, wonderful human being. The challenge is we really are looking for someone to do exactly WHAT WE WANT, isn’t that the truth?
(Oh, I’m going to get a lot of blowback on this one 😉 But what we ultimately desire is to have someone that will cater to our every whim…. wouldn’t THAT be nice?
And of course we know LOGICALLY that will never really happen because they desire the same thing from us. So now you have two human im-perfect beings seeking out perfection in another imperfect person… HUMM!
Ok, enough of reality. Life would cease to exist on this blue spinning ball if we all held out for a perfect human being that would cater to us unconditionally. Want we ultimately need is someone who GETS US, someone who RESPECTS US, someone who wants to be with us regardless of our flaws, YES? Someone who is perfect for US, YES? Ok so, how do you stay IN LOVE with this ‘perfect person for you’ then?
Well the answer is quite simple, usually overlooked as TOO SIMPLISTIC or even unrealistic…
Ready for it???
You must LIKE the person you fall in love with!
I told you it was too simple. But it is the glue that holds all relationships together. All too often we choose individuals based upon our chemicals, and trust me, its hard not to. You cannot fight your chemicals. They are hard-wired into our system to do only one thing… PROCREATE!
Without these wicked chemicals that make us do crazy things for love, we would never, EVER bother to fall in love again after such nightmares we’ve all experienced. RIGHT? Why would anyone want to go through a devastating rollercoaster ride with their emotions, TWICE?
Why? For what reason? Ready for it?
HOPE! Pure and simple. The hope we find THE ONE!
Hope is what keeps love alive and propagates human existence. It’s what drives the human spirit and allows us to reach out to other human beings in need. It’s what ultimately keeps us alive in desperate life-challenging situations. HOPE is the quintessential reason for living!
Now with that in mind, lets get to the good stuff… and remember these are just my interpretations of what staying in love is all about. FINDING someone to fall in love with is not going to be discussed here because there are too many ways, approaches and methods to do that.
So, here are the 7 keys to staying in love. These are meant to help you strengthen your relationship. And if you have a good partnership, you can use these strategies to build an even greater relationship.
#1 – NEVER stop dating!
Do you remember how you felt during the first months of your relationship? Its all about the attention and fun you had with them, how you feel , so happy and energized. As time goes by, the butterflies sadly get replaced by boredom and a mutual distance. It happens because the newness of your relationship is wears off. T\But it doesn’t have to. You want to keep it fresh and exciting. It’s important to find time for each other so you can relive all these amazing feelings.
Try doing the same activities that you both enjoyed in the past. Or try something new that makes you both laugh and feel loved and appreciated. Visit your special places that bring back good memories from your early relationship. If you have children or a busy work schedule arranging time can be simply planning ahead. These special moments can definitely bring you closer together again.
#2 – Communicate, talk, discuss things!
When was the last time the two of you just talked? And I don’t mean exchanging information about kids, cooked dinner or a grocery list. If you want to have a happy, growing relationship, find time during the day when you can sit down with each other (with your cell phones and TV off) and heartfully listen and respond to your partner. Remember to always say kind and nice things to your loved one. And yes there will be times when you might feel tired, busy or distracted about work or home, but remember that in a healthy relationship your partner is always the priority. Make them feel important and understood.
#3 – Find each others pleasure points!
Meaning what makes them happy? It’s not the same for everyone. And if you just thought to yourself; but what about ME… you’re the problem! As my sister always says; Love is a VERB! It’s what you DO, not so much what you GET. Seek out what makes the other person happy and usually they will reciprocate the gestures.
Show them you truly care for them. Allow them to feel needed, wanted and loved by you. Never assume they know. Different people like to receive love differently. Some feel loved when they SEE things, IE; bought things, do things for them, shown them things, take them to beautiful places, or look at them in that special way.
While others need to HEAR things; told they’re important, hear those special words, that loving TONE of voice. Then there are the ways we FEEL things; touched, caressed and held by our lover. Touched in that special way, in that special place and made love to. We all FAVOR one of these ways more than the other to receive love. And unconsciously we assume, because we favor one way, our partner likes to receive it the same way, NOT TRUE! We give love in OUR particular style but need to remember THEY may not like to receive it the same way.
In our NLP practitioner courses we teach our students HOW they need to be deeply loved by asking 3 simple questions of your mate. (email me directly I’ll send you the DEEP LOVE STRATEGY process.)
#4 – Stay attractive to your mate. healthy, ALIVE!
Why the hell did you get involved ORIGINALLY? It wasn’t because they were nice, TRUST ME. It’s your chemicals at work again; the IDEAL MATE selection process. Maybe following your initial attraction you found them to be wonderful, kind and nice, but it’s not what drew you to them in the beginning. And yes, I do believe there is someone for everyone, even the craziest among us!
Ladies, are you paying attention to this? If you’ve EVER listened to Dr. Laura, (and whether you like her or not), she always says that men are simple, stupid creatures. They want to be attracted to their mate, and want to be fed! SIMPLE, right guys? ( here’s another point I’ll hear about. ;- )
I see so many ladies AND men that just let themselves go AFTER they find their significant other. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT? You dress yourselves up, go out hunting for someone and once you’ve found them, IT”S OVER! URG… ( here come the excuses) Again, this is about SELF-RESPECT. This is for BOTH of you, this is HUGE!
I don’t mean have a treadmill in the bedroom, but eat healthy, walk, do yoga, exercise of some sort. Keep up your appearance, your outer beauty, your bodies health and vitality. The SEX is so much better!
#5 – Honor yourself FIRST!
RESPECT is everything, especially for yourself. If you respect yourself you are more willing to respect and give affection to the another person. If not… well you’ve been on the other side of that equation; denial, mistrust, love withheld, fear, anger and guilt. All signs of someone who does not care nor respect themselves. Learn, and I mean LEARN to love yourself. All of our challenges in life stem from our self-esteem, our self-evaluation… our self-love!
#6 – Be patient, give yourself and them TIME!
Wow, if I could pick out one thing that is easy to work inside of relationships, it would be the ability to WAIT, to be a little more patient in every disagreement. Sometimes all it takes is ONE MOMENT of holding your tongue, holding that thought and not lashing out defensively. Sometimes being patient is the most kind thing you can do for yourself. Maybe even ask yourself a question in that moment; “Did she say that to be mean, or say that to be protective?” A little empathy goes a long way. This is the one thing I’ve worked on my entire life. Hold my thoughts until I’ve had a chance to evaluate the other’s perspective, even if it’s waiting 2 seconds. That’s a lifetime when you’re angry. ;- )
#7 – FIGHT FAIRLY… Geez, this is so simple yet we rarely achieve.
When we disagree in a relationship we usually (unconsciously) want to win the argument. True?
We all want to win, right? And you’re an idiot if you say No. Or you are so self-righteous that you believe you’re above all this. Either way you’ve got a lot of learning to do… PAY ATTENTION HERE!
It asks in the book ‘Course in Miracles’ – “Would you rather be right, or be HAPPY?” You cant have both, why? Because IN that moment if you want to WIN you are going to unconsciously make the other person wrong. And the EGO never wants to lose.
I was with Dr. Phil at his last LIVE workshop the night before he went on the air for his first time without Oprah, The Dr. Phil Show, and I’ll never forget something he said that shifted my entire perspective on fighting…
He asked the audience; “do you know what is the #1 precursor to divorce?”
Now, me being such a smart aleck yelled out… MARRIAGE?”
Well, that wasn’t the answer he was looking for but it did get a huge laugh from the audience.
He said RESENTMENT! Huh? What? Means what?
He stated that when you leave an argument with resentment rather than resolution of some sort, IT BUILDS UP! You carry that resentment around with you unknowingly into the next argument and it continues its cycle until you can no longer even look at the other person because of this deep rooted bitterness, which leads to hatred, which he said leads to an overwhelming sense of ‘I don’t give a shit about you anymore’ – DIVORCE!
Now not all relationships take this route but they can if you do not learn how to fight fairly and communicate your way through the challenges all relationships come with. Here’s the conundrum though, YOU BOTH HAVE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER! Most people can’t, or won’t, or don’t want to speak their mind. (another lesson to be learned.)
Having disagreements in your relationship is natural and even necessary for you to grow and understand one another. The problem starts when it becomes all about you. You’ve got to remember it’s all about the relationship, not each other. That is called empathy. Now I’m not going to lecture anyone as how to fight fairly, that is up to you and your other half. I will say this though, it’s for you to learn how the other handles confrontation and conflict. Then be able to deliver the goods, YEE HAW!
If you accept and respect yourself, you will be able to give acceptance and respect more easily to others. By remembering who you are and respecting your own needs you will be more pleasing, agreeable and SAFE for your partner to communicate with.
Yes, it all begins with YOU!
Ok, enough? Was I close? Am I right? (I always am, LOL) Or am I so far off?
What have YOU experienced, because I’d love to hear your thoughts below, good and bad.
Now go out and seize the world… communicating with others is the secret to success!
Love and peace, John