You had gotten past the courtship stage of a relationship. However, relationships rarely work on cruise control.
To achieve a lasting relationship, you must constantly work at it lest relationship atrophy sets in.
“Relationship atrophy”, as if there is such a term. Well, atrophy means degeneration or decline from the lack of use. Hence, relationship atrophy is when you don’t keep the flame alive it would flame out and die.
No matter how good you are at wooing your woman and seducing her, it does not end when you guys become an item. It is just the beginning.
As in all relationships, whether it is friendship, work relationship or romantic relationship – it must be cultivated and worked on consistently.
Creating a lasting relationship goes beyond chemistry and attraction. Moving to the next phase is a whole new ballgame and requires a different skill set. And takes some amount of finesse.
Whether you have been married for 3 years or dating for 3 months, relationship requires some form of commitment. It is built on mutual trust, respect and consistent communication.
To enjoy a smooth and drama-free relationship, here are 10 strategies you can employ to keep your relationship engine moving and keep it up to speed.
I am sure that you have heard that there is nothing sexier than a man who knows what he wants. Because that exudes some kind of confidence. When you have a passion that you can relentlessly pursue, you emit an air of attractiveness about you.
Wishy-washiness and indecision, on the other hand, kills your sex appeal faster than anything else. A man who knows what he wants for himself will be able to provide for the woman he is with.
The personal fulfillment of something you are passionate about – a favorite hobby that could be turned into a dream job or a lifelong pursuit – is an indication to a woman that you can do the same for her.
To make a woman see you as a long-term prospect, you need to exhibit an aura that you will always be there in the long haul. And having a passion and working tirelessly towards it is one way to create an air of excitement about you.
What does mean to be authentic? Authenticity, according to Merriam-Webster, is a trait of being genuine and worthy of belief. When you are authentic, you act in a way that genuinely shows who you truly are and how you feel.
Being authentic will put your partner at ease when she is around you. When you are staying true to yourself, it will make her feel that you will be true to her as well. And it makes you an interesting person that people would want to hang around with.
Most people will find it challenging to be authentic. If someone has been under years of social conditioning as a child and molded by their parents, teachers and peers to “fit in”, being authentic can be quite challenging. If you are struggling in this area, you can begin by practicing self-acceptance and feel happy being around yourself.
This feeling is contagious because soon enough, others will feel happy being around you. When you are comfortable with yourself, that is a form of self-love and it signifies your authenticity.
Maintaining the spark in your relationship does not require grandiose statements of love. Sometimes, it’s the little gestures that make her feel the most cherished. In this digital age, the impact of an occasional handwritten note from you to her will do wonders to boost your relationship.
From time to time, perform random acts of thoughtfulness. You can’t go wrong with daily doses of thoughtful gestures. Over time, it will solidify your bond with her.
Acts that seem trivial and insignificant after being in a relationship for a while – hugs, kisses, compliments – are actually bids for emotional connection.
Bids for emotional connection are bids made by partners to develop, maintain, and reestablish emotional connection. This is a concept developed by Dr. John Gottman, a world-renowned expert on marital stability.
Probably the most important word in the vocabulary of relationship is TRUST. Without it there is no way you will be able to build a healthy relationship.
Trust breaks down boundaries and establishes a clear line of communication. Do things to create trust. Because trust takes time to build.
You can start by making and keeping small commitments. Always be true to your word.
Only make promises that you are able to keep. And do not make promises that you are unable to keep.
Establishing trust is no different from maintaining a bank account. In a relationship, we call this an “emotional bank account.” But instead of money, this is a “trust account.”
This powerful metaphor was created by the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen R. Covey. It’s a metric that measures how safe you feel around another person.
When you do things that build trust in a relationship, you are making “deposits.”
Breaking promises, cheating, and lying create feelings of mistrust. That is a “withdrawal” and may lead to anger and bitterness in a relationship.
Are you constantly in need of her attention and reassurance?
Do you text and/or call her on the phone whenever you are apart?
Do you constantly follow her around like a puppy tagging along with its master from one room to the next?
If your answer is “yes” to any of the three questions above, you are guilty of being too relationship-centered. Stop it or your relationship will soon take a serious nosedive.
Furthermore, women are socially conditioned to believe that men want their personal space. Clinging to her like a koala to a tree trunk won’t help your relationship thrive.
When you are just starting out in a relationship, this may seem like fun and appealing to her. When a relationship advances to a new level, however, this conduct is a big no-no and a sign of insecurity.
Your daily activities must be a balance of work, spirituality, physical activities, self-improvement, and relationships (friends, colleagues, family, etc.).
If all you think about is your relationship with her, you’ll become a one-dimensional person. And clingy.
If that is the case, please go back to #1 above and start over.
You must be the excitement that keeps her coming back to you. Once you lose that, the relationship is gone. Never take her for granted and never stop courting her.
Take a lesson from an old school romantic, the 40th insecurity, Ronald Reagan. His devotion to his wife, Nancy, is legendary.
Reagan had written countless letters to his wife throughout their time together. In a letter to Nancy on their 31st wedding anniversary, he wrote:
“I more than love you, I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone, I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.”
After 31 years of marriage, I must say that he is one hell of a dedicated man. It is also a reminder to all of us that relationships are works in progress.
If you are really serious about creating a relationship that lasts, then be serious about creating some enjoyable “together” time. Try a variety of activities that you have never done before as a couple.
Getting into new hobbies together can inject some novelty into your relationship.
Having common interests or hobbies means you can spend more quality time together. You will also be happier in each other’s company and have more constructive conversations.
It also creates a strong emotional connection and makes memories that can last a lifetime.
Plan trips, sign up for a Pilates class, learn how to scuba dive or find interesting places to hike every fortnight.
The battle is half won if you have established trust early in the relationship.
Most insecurities faced by women are triggered by doubts, miscommunication, or lies.
Women are insecure because society has made them believe that all men are lying, cheating bastards.
So, most men enter into a relationship “guilty until proven innocent.” It’s a harsh fact. The onus is on you to prove that you are a fine, loyal man of integrity.
Provide reassurance that you care and utter the three magic words often so that she feels secure and wanted. When she needs someone to lean on and talk to, be there for her and give her your undivided attention.
The main cause for a man’s insecurity it a low self-esteem. But being insecure is different from being vulnerable. Vulnerability is being honest about your feelings, fears, and needs.
According to vulnerability expert Brene Brown, vulnerability is the key to intimacy.
Being vulnerable requires the courage to be open to another human. When you are vulnerable, you allow your partner to see you for what you are.
As for your insecurities, work on them before you begin a relationship. But being insecure is different from being vulnerable. Vulnerability is being honest about your feelings, fears and needs.
While displaying your vulnerable side might be charming, nothing turns women off more than a wimpy, insecure man.
So, take your insecurities to Dr. Phil if necessary. In short, please deal with it before it ruins your relationship.
While spending time together enhances your relationship with her, it’s also essential to give her some “alone” time. Relationships are a two-way street where couples share a lot of activities together as well as experience things separately.
The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer provided a beautiful metaphor of porcupines huddling together during winter to avoid getting frozen.
But being the prickly creatures they are, they are stuck in what is famously known as the porcupine’s paradox.
If they are too far apart, they’ll be frozen to death. But if they get too close to one another, they will stab each other to death.
What a dilemma! In any human relationship, we are faced with the porcupine’s paradox. We crave closeness, but we also need space, or else the relationship will suffer from death by suffocation.
Giving space is healthy. It enhances trust and understanding and keeps the relationship fresh and exciting.
The space allows her room for personal growth, quiet contemplation, and the opportunity to maintain her own social circle.
Of course, being willing to give her space reflects on you as a cool and confident guy. Rather than being a wuss.
It’s all about the little things, really.
It’s always prudent to remember that nothing should be taken for granted, regardless of where you are in your relationship. Or how strongly connected you are as a couple.
That is why the small stuff matters. Loving, kind gestures, no matter how small, speak volumes and go a long way in a relationship.
You don’t have to wait for those once-a-year occasions to do something special.
During those seemingly little moments, small thoughtful gestures can make all the difference in keeping the fire blazing for years.
Sending emojis, texting, or sticking a few thoughtfully written post-it notes can earn you lots of relationship mileage.
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