Love in a relationship is different from anything else, and you can't treat it like something you might have "accomplished" before. Love is pure, it is accepting, it is forgiving, and it is open to the lover's thoughts and needs at all times. Anything else is not love, but only a distortion. Anything not love is simply a relationship of another sort, i.e., a living arrangement, roommate agreement, or work relationship designed to complete a given task, such as raising kids.
If you would like to thrive on finding new ways to love your partner, you need to prepare each aspect of yourself for the rare challenge that building a loving relationship presents.
Since you are reading this article, and are open to building a loving relationship, let's examine some things that those committed to building a loving relationship might already be doing. Use this opportunity to put these practices into your routine those actions that make a loving relationship easier.
Following are some exercises to help you get started:
See that relationship problems are not really your partner's fault.
The most critical error that people make when building a loving relationship is failing to take full responsibility for its success. If your sense of fair play kicks in and you see all the faults in your partner that strike you as "not fair," it is very difficult to love anyone under those circumstances.
Try instead to imagine that relationship problems are not really your partner's fault. This doesn't mean ignoring willful abuse, just overlooking any argument that could be construed multiple ways. This will be challenging, but the rewards are simply too good to pass up!
Find new ways to love your partner.
Finding new ways to love your partner - every day - is something that everyone trying to build a loving relationship should aim for. Do they smile a particular way? Are they loving in bed? Do they walk the dog? Wash the dishes? Dress in the presence of others in a way that makes you look good? Always look for new ways to love your partner until it becomes habitual.
Get consistent feedback on your partner's fears and concerns.
Building a loving relationship is both mental as well as emotional. Mentally, you need to be forgiving and find ways to be grateful. Getting consistent feedback on your partner's fears and concerns every day would help you connect more and love easier. Carve time out of your daily routine to get consistent feedback on your partner's fears and concerns. This guarantees that you will be building a loving relationship over time.
One of the best ways to determine if you are capable of building a loving relationship is to study the habits of other successful couples. You don't need to copy their success all at once, but you can look at their habits and methods in order to utilize these in your own marriage or relationship.
Consider the following questions:
Can you forgive your partner - both consciously and subconsciously - for perceived injustices or slights?
If not, you are holding onto resentments that will kill your love... and your sense of fair play will even be the spear that kills it! You may be experiencing anger or resentment, and you justify that with perceived injustices. Better to release the emotion in a safe way, and simply accept that life is not fair!
Learn methods to forgive - I like the technique of screaming into a pillow and mentally shredding the other person to pieces in my mind while doing it. By releasing the emotional energy tied up in the so-called "unfairness" you allow the anger to dissipate while providing your mind with the "fairness" it seeks, i.e., not letting the offending person off the hook!
This process, by the way, is both powerful and safe. My wife and I have actually come to the point where we beg each other to go use it when resentments arise!
Can you convince yourself that you have "the better deal" in the relationship?
This is a powerful attitude - and one that requires a decision up front to embrace. My wife and I both see the other as the "better half" - really! This feeling that I'm "getting by with something" allows me to embrace the idea of giving to her even more. Since I'm, in fact, "getting the better deal," then giving and loving becomes easier since it is also in accordance with my sense of fairness.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make the relationship work?
Building a loving relationship takes considerably more than waking up one afternoon to say, "hey, I need to build a loving relationship." It might start out that way, but the real decision has to do with longevity. You should first prepare yourself both mentally and emotionally to accept things as they come to you over time, and not give up... no matter what!
This, by the way, is the hardest step you will take. It's easy enough to get over short-term conflicts if you know there will be smooth sailing after that. But loving relationships are different; they take a lifetime of commitment.
Everybody has personal problems - some more than others - and real loving relationships are not always possible. Just know that going in.
If you have gotten into an abusive relationship, for example, you may want to re-evaluate before committing to the steps being offered here. Your best bet, in fact, may be to leave the relationship and start over with the right partner later.
A real bond with another person cannot be based on self-deception or denial. There must be safe opportunities for you to say what you really think and express how you really feel; otherwise it's a one-sided affair. If that's OK with you, then you don't need this article. Carry on.
If you know it's for real, however, and you have the opportunity to express yourself, then the points in this article will give you the tools you need to make it work, both now and in the future. But rest assured that everything is not going to be rosy.
Love does not always manifest itself as a loving nature or beauty. In fact, everything that appears to be NOT love will come up between the two of you over time! It's up to you to look past the ugliness to the Holy Grail on the other side!
True love will always last. The question is, will both of you be there with it?