If you are in an intense emotional relationship and it begins to deteriorate, it can have a devastating effect both on your work and on other aspects of your personal life. Also, if you are someone who needs that type of relationship to feel personally fulfilled, then you need to take the steps to make sure that it’s a healthy one.
These seven steps are valuable to you whether you are married or single. If you are married, perhaps one or more of the steps may or may not pertain to you and similarly so if you are single. Never- theless, if you are a man or woman, married or single, read this article carefully and use what applies to you.
1. Learn about the Values and Lifestyle of the Other Person
Your rules of your life are your values. Determine if your values and the other person’s are compatible. Ask yourself constantly, “What is the right thing to do?” Consider what changes you would have to make. And, remember that one change makes way for the next and gives you the opportunity to grow. If you are a woman and are serious about establishing a quality relationship with a man, offer to share his interests, and go with him to places he likes to go. Do it actively and enthusiastically. If you think that the places he likes to go are too way out and would require too much of an adjustment for you, but his other qualities make him worthwhile, then discuss it with him and work out a compromise.
2. Get to know his Friends, Relatives, and Acquaintances.
There is an old saying; by your friends you shall know them. If your man is one who is upwardly mobile, you can quickly tell that by his choice of friends.
Look for such qualities as stability, industriousness, self-discipline, and honesty. An upwardly mobile man will immediately demonstrate these qualities. Don’t let yourself be swayed by others opinion. Do not discuss your boyfriend with your female friend. And if you are a man, do not discuss your girlfriend with your male friend. Don’t push obligations early and never ask to borrow money even if you really need it and feel certain that she would loan it to you.
3. Clarify Sex Roles and Responsibilities
Eliminate role conflict. Each family, knowingly or unknowingly, maintains a system in which members fulfill certain roles or functions. Family members are most comfortable when these roles are carefully spelled out. Develop clear division of labor and capacity. God made women and men different and we should appreciate and respect the differences instead of trying to act as if there are no differences. Acquire flexibility to adjust to different sex roles. Each of us in the course of a day, occupy different roles, but not the least in importance are the roles of husband, wife, father, and mother. Seek to grow in the different roles. We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.
Provide mutual support and encouragement in meeting responsibilities. We live by encouragement, and we die without it—slowly, sadly, and angrily. Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. Smile and offer a word of optimism and hope. Say “you can do it” when things are tough.
No dominant role should be the woman’s and no submissive role should be the man’s. Each family, knowingly or unknowingly, maintains a system in which members fulfill certain roles or functions. Whenever possible, the man should always be the primary breadwinner.
Make sex a part of the overall relationship, but never build your relationship solely on sex. Moreover, sex should never be withheld as punishment. Marriage is a union between two adults, not between a parent and a child. The idea of punishing one or the other in a marital relationship is silly and childish. A woman should never refuse to have sex with her man and vice versa unless there is a physical reason or a legitimate illness.
Infidelity should never be accepted by either party, if based on a prior understanding. If both the man and the woman sincerely desire to make each other happy, then there’s no such thing as boring sex. Don’t make getting an orgasm the essence of a sexual relationship. Foreplay is whatever makes both individuals look forward to sexual intercourse. Always make time for sex whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
4. Be Flexible in How You Can Meet Your Mate.
Be open to the possibilities of meeting someone any place, anywhere. Every lonely person should remember that meeting a suitable partner to build abiding love and happiness needs only one connection, one meeting, one social function, one planned effort…and any time could be that one time. Possibilities for contacting potential, romantic-love partners increase proportionately with the number of approaches made towards potential partners.
Don’t be turned off by the other’s approach. Stop letting age be a factor. Get beyond the superficial, discover each other’s values and interests. Sex can be on the first night, the second night, or any other night. Don’t let others determine the quality of your sexual relationship. And, don’t discuss your sexual relationship with others
5. Work on Your own Level of Emotional Maturity.
Strive to become emotionally self-reliant. It is estimated that only about ten percent of the population has developed emotional self-reliance. The ability to think and act independently is the essence of being emotionally self-reliant. It begins when we are determined to do everything we can possibly do for ourselves, emotionally and physically, in preference to seeking someone to do it for us.
Balance your relationship with other friends. Consider this definition of a friend — a friend is a person who listens attentively while you are saying nothing. Or try this one — a friend is someone who knows you well and still likes you. Remember who is the most important person in your life, but don’t neglect your own personal growth.
Dwell on the best qualities in the other person, rather than the worst. Accept stress as a normal consequence of being alive, and use it to your advantage. Learn to appreciate your own company. By itself, marriage has little or no relationship to happiness. It is a by-product of a self-reliant, productive, and creative way of life. The individual who has not learned to be happy while single has just as little chance of being happy in marriage.
6. Develop Interests and Hobbies, but Don’t Let it Affect your Commitment.
Continue to learn and to develop your mind. Remember, the mind is like the stomach. It’s not how much you put into it that counts, but how much it digests. Keep in mind that doing interesting things makes you an interesting person.
Take time for everything. a. Take time to work. It’s the price of success. b. Take time to think. It’s the source of power. c. Take time to read. It’s the fountain of wisdom. d. Take Time to Dream. It’s hitching your wagon to a star. e. Take Time to be friendly. It’s the road to happiness. f. Take time to love and be loved. It’s the privilege of the gods. g. Take time to play. It’s the secret of perpetual youth. h. Take time to look around. It’s too short a day to be selfish. i. Take time to laugh. It is the music of the soul.
Develop knowledge of the things that interest your partner. Check different sources for continuing learning. Keep up with current events and build your vocabulary. To relax the mind is to lose it. If you are not working at a regular job, become involved in community activities. Discover if your hobby can be developed into a money- making activity.
7. Be Willing to Converse and Discuss, but Never Argue.
Resolve any differences before going to bed. Communication does not begin with being understood, but with understanding others. Always keep open lines of communication. The real art of conversation is not to say the right thing, in the right moment, in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing. As long as at the tempting word remains unspoken, you are its master; once you utter it, you are its slave.
Always look to give praise and compliments, rather than criticism. The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Reinforce the good things that your mate does, you’ll make sure those get repeated.
Recognize the difference between a discussion and an argument and choose discussion. Arguments are attempts to manipulate and subordinate others. We argue only if we feel weak. If we feel we are in the dominating position, we do not bother to argue. Arguing is a form of nagging and is always a clear sign of dependency. When we give up trying to influence others, we have no further need to argue with them.
Discussion is the anvil on which the spark of truth is struck. When arguing with a difficult person, make sure that you try to look at matters from the other’s point of view. Realize that the other’s point of is a result of their personality, education, and experiences.
It’s important for your mental health and well-being that your relationships are healthy ones. Become more self-reliant and make sure that your relationships are mutually beneficial. You’ll be a much happier person.
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