If you didn’t read the first part to this two-part series, go back and read it now. That post covers the first three keys to building satisfying relationships that support the amazing life you want to lead. The remaining four keys are featured here, so let’s jump right in.
4. It is possible to build and maintain amazingly supportive relationships. It is not just a dream.
If almost every personal relationship you have right now is riddled with confusion, games and heartache, it may be difficult to trust me on this one. Try to do it anyway, because I am telling you that spectacularly rewarding relationships can be built. “Built” is the key in that sentence because these relationships don’t materialize out of thin air. You have to build them, and that takes lots of hard work, dedication and commitment.
Yes, relationship work will drain you. It is frustrating and can be heartbreaking at times. A broken relationship will affect all aspects of your life, including your spiritual life. Thinking about the amount of love and effort you have to put into this is enough to make you hide under the covers, but you must do it anyway.
You can think about small problems that occur in your daily life or major problems facing the entire world and you will trace it all back to breakdowns within personal relationships. Sometimes it is petty interactions between schoolchildren, and other times it is serious relationships between world leaders.
If you pay attention, you will see the devastation caused by broken relationships all around you. It happens between family members, best friends, colleagues and business owners. Each broken relationship affects the people directly involved and countless people indirectly associated with the problem.
How many people do you know who are settling for less than the emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy that they crave and deserve in their personal relationships? Maybe it is you settling for less than what you deserve, but know that you are not alone. What you need to know is that amazing relationships can happen if you put in the work and commit to make it happen. You don’t have to settle.
5. Relationships naturally move through stages and all have ups and downs.
Every relationship of importance in your life will have its ups and downs. There are no perfect people, so relationships cannot be perfect at all times. Yet, all relationships move through the following stages:
- You learn about and start to understand one another.
- You accept one another for who you really are, flaws and all.
- You start to feel compassion and love for one another.
- You trust and depend on one another for your emotional and spiritual needs.
Notice that the process includes acceptance. This is important because you won’t always have everything in common with someone you build a relationship with. There will be things you have in common, but you also have to accept what is different about one another or the relationship breaks down.
These stages are experienced in a growing relationship whether it is in love or business. You build partnerships so you both feel respected and appreciated.
6. You have the choice to commit to or walk away from challenging relationships.
I know what it is like to flee from someone who is difficult. I have a history of staying far away from difficult relationships, but I have started to challenge myself to stick around a bit longer. I want you to know that you have the choice to make even the most difficult relationships work. Ditching the problem is not your only option.
Some relationships are forced upon you at birth. You cannot control who your family is, but you can make friends as close as family later in life. Relationships are there whether you like it or not, but you get to choose which ones are healthy for you to work and fight for, and which ones are only healthy when pushed into the past.
You are participating in relationships even if you walk away from them. Participation is no longer optional once someone comes into your life. Even pushing them away and never speaking to them again is participation. You just choose whether you want to nurture and grow a relationship or leave it broken.
7. No two relationships are exactly alike.
Since no two people are exactly the same, no two relationships will ever be the exact same. You bring certain qualities, attitudes and beliefs into your relationships, and each person you interact with brings their own. This is why you have to be so attentive to your relationships and remain conscious of how you are building them up or tearing them down. What you have to do to fight for each relationship will be different, so pay attention and never take your loved ones for granted.
Everyone Needs Help Sometimes
I don’t want you to get the impression that relationships are perfect. There are always those ups and downs, which is why relationships can be so heartbreaking, frustrating and exhausting. This is why it is so important to reach out to others and talk about your relationship problems. We all struggle at times, and we all have weaknesses that we need to improve.
Once you have the fundamental truths presented in this two-part series in mind, you can pay more attention to how you handle relationships. When you start improving your relationship with yourself, with others and with God, you will see amazing things happen in your life. You will be well on your way to living the dream; whatever that dream is for your life.
Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope your day is special, just like you!
Do you have questions, comments or thoughts about personal relationships and life? Leave your comments, and let’s discuss this together. Let’s build healthy interactions right here on this page.