What makes a successful relationship? What sets you up for success in relationships and even marriage? Here are my thoughts on this. When you are truly content to be alone. Truly happy with your life. You know yourself, what you are and what you aren't. You have boundries and live by your values and principles. You know what you want and need, and where you are going in life. You have studied about relationships and how to have successful ones. You have learned that your success in any relationship has more to do with you than the other party by taking full responsibility in this area. You have chosen to make good decisions based on rational thought and not just feelings.
You then could possibly qualify for a successful relationship with another individual.
Yes, relationships can work without all this, but consider this. The divorce rate is over half. What's going to think you won't be another statistic? With all the eyes on divorce as the enemy, I see it differently. Divorce is not the enemy to a successful relationship. The enemy is the "lack of wisdom" in the first place. When you talk to someone who has gone through or is going through a divorce, you will usually always hear them discuss how the the other party in the relationship is the one with the problems. Even after the divorce is final and even many years after, some still blame the other individual for the divorce. You see this from both parties usually. It's always the other persons fault. Sure one party may have caused most of the problems in the relationship because of their lack of character or bad decisions, but It seems to me that the problem happened way earlier though. Much earlier than the divorce stage. In fact, it started when they married each other. Yes, it's true that you can't control another individual making them act right. Human beings have free will, and sometimes can change for the worst. They can make bad decisions that lead to divorce. I think it really comes down to making a better decision in the beginning though. This is where the focus should be. A well thought out plan and life can save you from so much heartache in the end. When you don't really know yourself, what you need or take time to really discover who the person of your interest is, you set yourself up for failure. In many relationships, it's almost like they were doomed from the start. Like divorce was already scheduled the day they said "I do"
So here are a few keys to consider in regards to having successful relationships
1. Are you truly content, happy and satisfied to be alone or are you desperate? If you are desperate or feel incomplete in some way, you are in danger of settling for the wrong person. The person that doesn't match with what you really need. Sure they may fill some emotional needs, but over time with the wrong person, you will probably end up wanting more from each other. Wanting what you both may not be able to give. I think the whole "you complete me" thing is a bunch of garbage. Although it sounds romantic, it implies that you aren't complete in some way when you are single. Two incomplete individuals don't equal a complete marriage.
2. Do you truly know yourself? This is quite possibly the most important thing. Knowing yourself allows you to make better decisions on who you allow into your life. You can better determine who qualifies for relationship.
3. Do you live with boundaries that line up with your values and principles? Having rules for yourself on what is acceptable in a relationships is so important. Having a well thought out plan for dating including what actions are acceptable is invaluable. Dating is great because it allows you to become better at relationships as well as realize better what is important to you. Dating several people is good but not with too much affection though. I think it only leads to heartbreak in the end.
4. Do you make good decisions based on rational thought rather than emotions? I heard a phrase that stuck with me. It goes "emotions are great to feel with but terrible to live by". So true! Do you jump into relationships too quickly? How bout touch, affection and sex? Do you develop the relationship slowly or go from 0 to 100 miles per hour on the passion highway? Affection too quickly ties you to a person emotionally too quickly. Before you've even really got to know who they are and if they qualify for relationship. When a couple has sex, certain brain chemicals are released giving the couple a feeling of emotional bonding. It's the way God designed us and that's why I think it should be reserved only for the lifelong commitment of marriage. I know this is not the case though in so many relationships and not having sex before marriage doesn't guarantee success either. There are so many other factors involved. It can set you up for heartbreak though if the relationship goes sour. Just because he says all the right words, brings you flowers romances you and makes you feel all loved and appreciated doesn't mean that he qualifies. Just because the earth stops, the birds sing and the clouds open up as you see her in that skirt, doesn't mean she qualifies. Hips, lips and finger tips are not a good determination guys. You can be very much attracted to someone that you aren't truly compatible with. Be led by your principles, and rational mind not your hormones and emotions.
5. Take full responsibility for success in relationships. Would you head out on a 7 day hike in the mountains without a plan? Without research? What about food, how much should you take? Did you check the weather reports? Plan for emergencies? If you wanted to have success you would be responsible. In the same way, taking full responsibility for success in relationships require you to plan and prepare. Success is intentional and it's up to you.
6. Do you prepare your mind by seeking wisdom through books etc? Do you listen to ideas from people who don't necessarily think exactly like you, looking for the nugget of wisdom they may bring? No one goes into marriage expecting divorce so what is the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful? Preparation. It's what you don't know and aren't prepared for that ends up hurting you. I heard another great quote that really applies to this "when preparation meets opportunity, success is born"
7. While you are waiting, while you are single, I'm truly convinced that the best way to set yourself up for future relationship success is to become the best person that you can right now. Develop your character. Develop a successful life while single. A successful happy well balanced person is quite attractive to other successful, happy well balanced persons. In fact they are quite attractive period.
I don't by any means think that this blog is all inclusive in what is necessary for a successful relationship, but I do hope that it provides you with some things to think about. Maybe imparts some wisdom, much of which I've learned through mistakes and study. Some of which I've learned through great pain.
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