- Gender and Relationships
4 Tools for Creating Lasting Love
Lasting love is not only possible. It is doable.
With the passing of time, even relationships that started out strong in the first couple of years can suffer the wear and tear due to the demands of material concerns such as the financial aspect of keeping the relationship going.
Even before you move into the challenges of the usual physical, emotional, social and other material concerns, it may be best to arm you and your partner with the necessary tools to create a lasting relationship. Before proceeding with the rest of this hub or article, it may be best to determine whether the relationship is open and has been started on a truly loving note, so as to be better able to adapt your own scenario to the suggestions below.
What we are suggesting as tools, which should be shared, would be as follows:
Vision. “Begin with the end in mind,” according to the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” of Stephen Covey. What vision do you have for your relationhip? What would you like for the two of you to have accomplished five years down the line? 10 years? 25 years? 50 years? And so on, down the line.
Notice that many tend to measure their worth in terms of material accumulations and accolades. If you have followed along with the previous articles by Quirinus, you would have noticed that money is not a priority but a side effect of the true happiness that we find. We are always provided for; what we need arrives at the exact time that it is needed. Taken to the extreme, accumulation of material possession can blind the owner to the immediate NOW (and the loving people surrounding us), where the only source of true joy can be derived.
A common goal would be to plan on building your nest, including planning on when and how many children you would like to have as a couple. In this plan, you need to make allowance for the time and opportunity to grow as a couple, develop the exclusive bond just between the two of you lovers, before the children actually come into the picture. Ideally, we’d like a fortified relationship between the couple before adding complexity to the relationship’s equation with the need to factor in the children in terms of needed time, effort and attention.
Your partner, first off, needs to be secure in your love for him/her in terms of the time, effort and attention you have provided before the children come into your life. As mentioned, there are always ways to adapt to contingencies, such as having children before being able to obtain exclusive for-the-spouse-only bonding time. Using the ideas in The Man (or Woman) We are Looking for ... , you can determine your personality type, how you tick and how your partner ticks, so that you get a rough idea of what type of synergy exists in the relationship between you, in turn determining what you as a couple tend to resort to as reflexive action and decide what you feel would be the preferred action instead of the tendency.
What we are preventing, when we provide for enough bonding time between partners, is the jealousy toward the parent-child bond, in case either of the partners, e.g. husband or wife, was not able to obtain sufficient nurturing or affection prior to the arrival of the children. This type of jealousy can lead to what we can call falling out of love for each other. Nonetheless, this can still be overcome if the partner you chose to spend your life with has a certain degree of maturity. If they are immature enough, in some cases, it can develop into a jealousy over a mother-child or father-child bonding that can have repercussions affecting the family way into future generations.
We want to build on solid ground.
Consider the story line behind the animated movie “Up”. The couple lived through thick and thin through and for a shared vision. The vision lived on in the man’s heart, through his memories, beyond the death due to woman’s old age that physically separated the lovers.
Focus. Be focused on whatever things are assigned to each of you. If you agreed to be a dual-family income in the beginning, then your focus during waking hours would be for your livelihood, a job well done, each day. As regards to getting the job done well, that could be the topics for an entire hub/article to itself, and thus the details of which will not be covered on this hub.
There will be separate tasks as well as joint tasks. As regards to seeking employment or a livelihood in the same place, it may or may not be conducive to making for a lasting relationship. The considerations would be up to you as a couple. You will need to weigh the pro’s and con’s. In some places of work, jealousy has caused for the couple not only to split up their relationship but on the extreme end, abandon their livelihood, whether this is from employment or from a business venture.
Trust, which will be the last topic on this hub, can be a good basis for running a joint venture, such as a business enterprise together.
When in the business of fulfilling the rigors of your separate livelihood, the rule of thumb to remember is to avoid dwelling on any issues affecting the relationship once one is already fulfilling the routine involved in pursuing the livelihood. When at work, have your mind at work. In case, you notice yourself drifting back to thoughts about a positive or negative situation about the relationship, gently bring yourself and your focus to the work at hand.
Be mentally, intellectually present wherever your body needs to be.
Once at home or back to your lover’s nest, leave your baggage from the day’s work at the doorstep before stepping into the threshold. Devote yourself fully mentally and physically to focus on the tasks that need to be accomplished for the necessities or the improvement of the relationship.
In my past experience, my partner sometimes asks me if it is okay to ask about a question he encountered at work. When I gave him my go-signal, we were both amazed where I could have possibly obtained the answer to a technical question. When in love, people automatically activate their intuitive faculties. What may have happened is that he knows the facts that I was not aware of and because of the intuition between us, he was able to explain these to my mind. Based on my personality type at that point of time, which is an INFJ (see The Man (or Woman) ... ), my mind was automatically on ‘deep think’-ing, making the connections between the facts that were presented intuitively.
As long as it is with the both of your consent, feel free to make an exception to the rule, every now and then. As long as your work worries are not something that you make as a daily burden to the relationship. Learn to set boundaries.
Joint activities need to include determining savings plans and determining how much will go to the joint saving, which is both the purpose of your need as a couple and the family, possibly still in the future tense.
Give time to sit down and create the draft of the list of joint and individual tasks and solicit feedback from your partner as regards to its completion and his/her possible additions.
Last step: Gain agreement on the final list.
Once settled, notice any energy or time leaks, e.g. activities not on the priority least and understand that time management is a necessity in this generation and that multi-tasking is not always the best way to go. Remember that focus is our key.
Awareness. If Focus is the more tangible counterpart or component of getting to the Vision, then Awareness puts quality into that focus.
If Quality is something that is of value in your life as a guiding principle, it is most likely that by now it is way of life for you; not just a word nor just a habit. There has been much written about Quality but no one can tell exactly what it is, especially not so through empirical means or quantifiable units. To a certain extent it is can be taken for the opposite of quantity, giving birth to such buzz words as ‘spending quality time’ with one’s children or partner, or loved ones.
Some have made a big business of trying to force quality and of course failed. Quality like creativity cannot be forced. The more you stress, the more quality suffers. The more you pressure people, the more demotivated they become, causing for a proportionate decrease in the experience of both quality and creativity.
A good read on quality would be Robert Pirzig’s book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
After all, a relationship should be approached from the perspective of quality such as that applied in zen and in the art of motorcycle maintenance.
Where does awareness factor in with quality? Awareness, with attention focused and being present in the NOW, gives birth to quality. In a way, awareness is at the microscopic level of focus and is the womb of quality. For example, each moment approached in the spirit of newness and adventure engaging your awareness, produces a quality response from you.
What are the other attributes that we could take into the NOW to become aware individuals?
… which are in common with the attitudes needed during approaching silent sitting meditation.
… Openness, taken with reverence and wonder can lead to intuitive communication. Reverence, although a high-sounding word, is not really something difficult to experience, if we understand that truly the humble pebble and the silent red wood have great lessons to teach:
“Respect the high but keep to the humility of the low. Honour thinking but keep to the thoughtless beginning.” – Tao Te Ching by Ray Grigg
If we can commit to bring awareness in our interaction, we will automatically become more in tune with our partner’s needs. We can notice subtle differences in their expression, so that we may be able to assist them with getting in touch with their feeling, for example, and realizing that feelings are valuable tools in understanding self and the world. Understanding self is
The deep and inner of self is the deep and inner of things, of others.
This is also the basis of empathy. All these myriad concepts are related to man’s innate function of nurturing self and others, in order to find fulfillment.
Trust. Unless we can trust God, we cannot make a commitment to Him. Unless we can trust our partner, we cannot make a commitment to him/her.
We cannot trust others unless we first learn to trust ourselves. We cannot trust ourselves if we only base our judgment on others’ and our own limited measuring stick for success, which is usually in terms of material or worldly considerations.
The beginning of trust comes from recognizing that the things that we already have did not happen to be just there by coincidence, that in fact, these are blessings sent to us by God, by virtue of our uniqueness as individuals. We have access to so much that to others are merely on a close-to-impossible wish list. Our blinders shut the view as soon as we start comparing ourselves with others, wanting things they have that we do not.
Each and every item in your physical reality was sent to you by God, for a reason. One of them is that He loves you. Every conversation, no matter how casual, every person no matter how difficult is a gift of insight if approached with awareness.
Others have found the traditions of their forefather helpful in discovering earthshaking truths. That is well and good. I myself have seen so many Bible promises come true in my life. The only downside will be when you follow religion blindly because it can be used for political purposes over the undiscerning. This is not to say that there are no noble souls among the ranks of the religious, but to point to the fact that no matter where we turn to for wisdom, what is important is to hold to the truth in your heart. If it rings true to your heart, trust there is wisdom in the information.
Once you have developed trust in your personal God and yourself, you will be ready to trust in a special someone. Once the special someone has been determined, together check out the first three items, vision, focus, awareness and work up your own couple action plan for strengthening trust such as emotional honestly and communicating reasonable expectations. The beginning of trust has to be from God, for having brought you together, among billions of other people in the world, in the first place.
Please post your comments so that we can grow this hub together. Thanks ahead!
*** The idea of grouping these values, vision, focus, awareness and trust, into one came from having read from a book by Sherron Mayes, "Supernatural Lover".