Falling in love is the easy part. Sustaining, nurturing, creating and maintaining a relationship in which love cannot just survive but thrive; that’s what creating extraordinary relationships is all about.
The first step towards creating happy relationships is to re-look at our understanding of what is relationship.
#Relationships are like business transactions, wherein giving and receiving needs to be balanced to sustain harmony. The moment it goes off balance; issues surface.
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Honestly, it is impossible to maintain a steady count on your relationship balance 24×7. There will be times where knowingly unknowingly, problems will arise.
For a couple to not have any issues in their relationship is a concept which does not exist; not in the long term at least. After all they are two different individuals with different likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness among other things.
So, it is fair to say that even the most successful and happy relationships go through stormy circumstances and their shares of ups and downs, isn’t it?
A simple and short answer to this is. YES!
However, they are still called happy relationships because the partners put efforts, engage in team work, agree to disagree respectfully (when required) which allows them to not only sail through the tough tides relatively comfortably but also create a melodious harmony in relationships which can only happen when the cords are attuned to play in sync.
In order to understand how one can create this harmony, let us take a look at the key ingredients of a happy relationships.
Key ingredients / Tips for Happy Relationships
Goals: For a relationship to succeed it is essential that both the partners understand that they may have different goals. As far as possible they can work with their personal goals in collaboration with one another. If partners live in completely different worlds (which we do most of the times) and refuse to see or understand the other persons world; we are digging our own grave.
Communication: This is to an extent an extension of the previous ingredient. Communicating (actually effectively communicating) our goals, likes, dislikes…serves the purpose of a primary building block to our castle called relationship.
To make communication easy, understanding concepts like Suggestibility, Sexuality and 5 Love Languages can be extremely useful. These concepts bring a lot of insight and add to our understanding of ourselves as well as our partners. They act as helpful guidelines enabling us to enhance the quality of our relationship.
Suggestibility is how one receives and interprets information. This concept helps us understand factors that influence our understanding of a message and how can we deal with it.
Sexuality is our output. All of us behave differently and have varied preferences. Multiple reasons behind certain traits and questions about relationships get answered here.
5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is an incredible contribution to the understanding of relationships! This is a must read for anyone who is interested to get a hang on ways of expressing love and how people generally misunderstand each other. This book talks about how we fail to grasp that the other partner is actually expressing love because they are expressing love using a love language that is different from ours.
Representation system: Visual (V), Auditory (A), Kinaesthetic (K), gustatory (G) and Olfactory (O) are the five primary sensory modalities that we use to experience the world around us. These modalities are also known as representational systems (rep systems) as they are the primary ways we represent, code, store and give meaning or language (linguistic) to our experiences. Most of us prefer receiving information more through some senses as compared to other.
Differences in the way we use these representation system during a conversation with our partner can influence the (lack of) effectiveness of communication. Take the scenario where your partner is describing her problem as “my life as become tasteless” and you respond to it by saying “let us make it brighter”. (you realise.tasteless – brighter doesn’t gel?)
Past experiences: Most of the times people are responding to their maps and not reality. This means that when there is a conflict, it is not necessarily because of what is happening right now, but many a times because of previous experiences we are reminded as a result of the current situation. Primary cause for this is that many of us are consciously or unconsciously holding on to the negative imprints of earlier experiences.
Inability to handle emotions:Your partner doesn’t make you happy or unhappy. You have the power to decide how you feel, regardless of what your partner does!
Simply put, our emotional state affects our decisions and behaviour. Therefore if someone is not in a suitable emotional state during a situation or can’t handle his/her emotions well; it can lead to an undesired output.
Using the understanding of these ingredients to create Happy Relationships:
As we begin to understand these ingredients, we start learning ways to relate to ourselves and others more meaningfully. This meaningful ‘Relating’ to any relation can bring a huge shift in our lives.
Understanding these ingredients can help you:
acquire knowledge and skills to talk and listen to others with empathy and compassion
to understand emotions in themselves and others,
to deal with conflict and differences in ways that strengthen — rather than destroy — relationships,
Take ownership of your actions and feelings
Plus much, much more.
In short, no matter where your relationship is, there is a possibility to make it happier, richer, more loving and more rewarding.
A healthy and happy relationship, with yourself and others will take you on an incredible personal journey of self-discovery and learning that will enable you to truly connect with the most important people in your life — including spouses, children, friends and even co-workers.
In the end remember, when partners take ownership of their own feelings and experiences, the door swings open for limitless expressions of happiness, love and affection – without conditions, without blame and without manipulation!
CEO of the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis And Related Sciences, currently working on spreading awareness about the application of Hypnosis as an effective tool to create a behavioural change (both internal & external).
I am a Counselling Psychologist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and a HypnoBirthing Practitioner. I was a Teaching Assistant at Mumbai University, for MA II Counselling Psychology (2012-2013). I now have a private practice and I conduct training programs for ICHARS. I am designing specialized modules for actors, relationship management, organisational skills and adolescents.