When singles dream about being in a relationship, they seldom dream of
getting together with a partner for a few months or years, only to break
up and go on to find another partner. Most singles dream of meeting the
one person with whom they can be in a relationship for a lifetime.
Those of us in relationships, even in relationships that may be
experiencing turbulence, hope we can be in our relationship for a
lifetime as well. We hope we can find a way to work out our difficulties
and make our love last.
People want and crave lifetime partnerships, but with one caveat -- they
want to be happy with the relationship.
Yet many of us have the same images stuck in our heads of what lifetime
relationships are really like -- distant, passionless couples who live
separate lives under the same roof.
These two images are at odds -- what we think we can get and yet what we
hope for when we embark on the journey of love. Could there be a way to
have what we want, a lifetime of love?
I believe there is a way to have love and passion that lasts a lifetime,
but the road there is not easy and requires courage and perseverance.
Actually, the road to a lifetime of love requires many things and many
ways of being that are extraordinary. Let me tell you about them.
In Order to Have Lasting Love You Must...
1. Reframe how you look
Most of us think a relationship is ok when it is working and we are
happy. Once the relationship encounters difficulties, however, we think
we are in the wrong relationship. The truth is that sometimes
insurmountable difficulties do mean we are in the wrong relationship.
But relationship difficulties are a normal part of being in a
relationship. In fact, when you begin to have a hard time some of the
time, you know your relationship is reaching a deeper level.
2. Learn to speak up
We are not trained to speak up when our feelings are hurt, when we are
angry or when we don't like what's going on. We are trained to look the
other way, to suppress our feelings, to let the situation blow over. Yet
if we don't speak up when our feelings arise, the feelings will fester
inside and cause resentments. These resentments in turn will cause us to
distance and shut out our partner. There is no way around this -- you
must deal with your feelings, no matter how subtle, or they will eat
away at the relationship.
3. Learn to be your own person
Many people surrender who they are when they enter a relationship. They
surrender their hobbies, friends, wants, needs, sometimes thoughts, likes, and
dislikes. The idea is that the more like their partner they become, the more
harmony there will be in the relationship and this will make love last.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Either you maintain and enhance who you
are, or the relationship will get stale, boring, and angry.
4. Learn to grow and develop willingly, even eagerly
A relationship must be a dynamic entity in order to stay viable. This means
the two partners need to grow and develop, growing their capacity to deal with
more emotions, to deal with deeper conversations, to look inside themselves
more effectively, etc. This is the one key behavior, or set of behaviors, that
will absolutely keep your relationship alive and happy.
5. Learn how to create good feelings
We often think that good feelings in the relationship are something that
happens naturally if the relationship is working. This is true some of the
time. At other times, the way to deal with relationship difficulties is to
bring generosity, love, compassion, trust, and understanding to bare on what's
happening between the two people. This is not the same as swallowing your
feelings or pretending they are not there. The process is one of feeling your
feelings, then rising up above them to also feel for your partner. This
creates a connection instead of distance and keeps the relationship growing,
rather than falling apart.
6. Learn how to maintain and deepen passion
Passion is both a reflection of how well the relationship is doing, as well as
the glue that keeps the two people together. Without passion, a relationship
is guaranteed to disintegrate. How do you deepen passion? Keeping things
lively and interesting, innovation is certainly one way. Romance is another.
Generosity toward your partner in all aspects of life is yet another. One
important way to keep passion alive is to reveal rather than hide what is
inside of you to your partner, both in and out of the bedroom.