Congratulations! You have found someone with whom you want to share your time, your feelings, your love; your life. You have been given a precious gift. A loving relationship is something to treasure, to nurture and cultivate. Your connection should deepen with time and allow you to evolve as a couple as well as individually. While there are many ways to foster the best in your relationship, one approach is to encourage the best in your partner. Below are six basic principles to help guide you along the way.
1. See the Best
What do you love about your partner? In order to bring out the BEST qualities in someone, you have to know what they are. Often, the qualities we resonate with are those that pair with our own core values. Define what these values are for you. How do you see these manifesting in your partner? Perhaps you recognize kindness, compassion, generosity, integrity, or peace. These are the types of qualities that serve to enhance relationships. Remember those times when you first discovered these great qualities in them? It felt great! It felt like a warm hug expanding from the inside out.
2. Judge Not
Too often we forget about that warm hug feeling. Instead of remembering all of the wonderful qualities that brought us together, we tend to focus on the little things (read — unimportant) from day to day that tend to agitate us. At the time (or even time after time), these may seem like a big deal, but are they in conflict with your core values? Or are they minor annoyances that may inconvenience you or may seem thoughtless? Do these things change the essence of the human being you have come to love? Also bear in mind that we all have the ability to annoy one another. Remember the old saying, “When one finger is pointing at someone else, the other three are pointing back at you.” Try to take a look at those three fingers before you let those little annoyances get to you.
3. Communicate with Compassion and Honesty
Find ways to express to your loved one all of these things that make him important to you. When the small ordinary things do get the best of you, choose your words wisely and with love. Remember that words have power. Words have the ability to raise her up or wound her for a lifetime. Chose your words with kindness and care. Come from a place of love. Taking tips from Newberg and Waldman’s Words Can Change Your Brain: Take deep breaths, relax, begin with a compliment, and speak slowly and briefly.
4. Pay Attention and Show Appreciation
Today’s world spins so quickly. Days come and go, filled with work, family, activities — life! Before you know it, weeks, months or even years have passed. Were you paying attention? Did you notice the special moments in the day when he exemplified that quality that endeared him to you? Did you recognize the deeds that demonstrated she really is the one for you? It doesn’t take time. It doesn’t cost a dime to simply notice — and say thank you. Simply offer your partner a sincere thank you from the heart for being the person with whom you fell in love. Don’t let a day pass without noticing, recognizing and appreciating.
Too often when we are hoping to bring out the BEST in a person or situation, we focus on action items such as doing a favor, giving a gift, going out on a special date or an act of service. Perhaps before we think about “doing” we need to practice “feeling.” When we empathize with our loved one, we feel situations and life the same way she does. He feels listened to, respected and understood. This helps build trust in the relationship. When we establish that deep level of trust and understanding, each person in the relationship can feel safe to allow their innermost “best” to shine through.
6. Be the Best You Can Be
Be happy…the only things we have control over are our own feelings and behavior. Happiness and positive actions and attitudes are contagious. Remember your core values? Personify them. It’s certain they will be mirrored back to you. Happiness and contentment are yours. You and your partner flourish. Your relationship thrives.