By: Alexis Meads, Regular Contributor
Getting married recently, a lot of people want to give you advice. Some of it is unsolicited. Some of it is just plain bad. And some I will cherish always.
Ever since I was young, I've always wondered what makes long-term relationships and marriages work? With the divorce rate over 50%, what makes some relationships great while others fail? My grandparents were married for over 60 years and still totally in love. So I started asking around...what does it take? What's the best relationship advice that you have?
Here's a list of the 5 best tips I've ever gotten:
1. Think of your relationship like an empty box
Love this one! A woman I met was about to renew her vows for their 25th wedding anniversary. When I asked what makes her marriage work, she said that she thinks of her relationship like an empty box. If all you want to do is take from the box, there won't be anything left. But if you think about giving to the box, then the box fills up and overflows with love.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
I'm sure we've all heard how important communication is in any relationship. But how many times have you swallowed your feelings, or gone to bed angry, or acted passive aggressively? This might not seem like a big deal, but over time it adds up. Next time you're feeling upset or have a disagreement, talk about it! Be as honest and loving as you can.
3. Put both feet in
If you find yourself complaining about your relationship a lot, nagging, or constantly finding fault with your partner ask yourself: Do I have both feet in? Not just a pinky toe? When we're in a relationship with one foot out the door, thinking “well if this doesn't work...,” the relationship won't improve. When you make the decision to be there, fully there, miracles happen.
4. When it gets hard, go deeper
While this is a relatively simple mantra, the follow through can be damn hard! It's a practice. Next time you feel unheard or under attack, and your fear-based thoughts are moving in, go deeper and look at what is really happening inside you.
5. Guess it's just love
Got this gem from a woman I met in Hawaii. She and her partner weren't married, but had been together for almost 20 years. When I asked her what's kept them together, she kind of shrugged and said “Guess it's just love.”
Try one of these tips for a week and just see what happens. What've you got to lose?
Relationships-romantic or platonic- take time, patience, and attention.
- What are some words of wisdom or advice that shape the way you approach and maintain relationships? Share them here!
Alexis Meads received her M.A. at Harvard University. She is a Certified Wellness Coach and Self-Love Expert. She helps women to fall madly in love, feel sexy and confident every day and create a life full of adventure. For more articles, visit www.AlexisMeads.com or download her Free Video Training here.