Your initial pull toward another person is based on physical attraction. Being “eye candy” in the lens of another will make you popular. Marilyn Monroe had no problem finding dates — her calendar was always booked. Yet being eye candy is not enough. Eye candy launches the relationship, but if the love is not fed with positive emotional feelings, like a plant without water the relationship will die. Don’t let this happen to your love!
After you and your partner have established a loving and caring relationship, you need to shift from a relationship built by physical attractiveness to a relationship based on emotional attractiveness.
Don’t let your physical attractiveness become unimportant. It will always be important. However, in the long run, what will be more important is that your partner feels loved, cared for, and respected by you and that you have the same feelings coming from your partner.
You need to be bonded to your partner intimately; a closeness that the two of you have together that is shared with no one else.
Words are the means to bind the two of you together. Words carry your feelings, desires, fears, needs, and dreams.
The quality of your communication (your words) as a couple will determine whether you stay together in love or your love disintegrates leaving you angry, bored, and resentful. Sadly, far too many people have emotionally painful or unsatisfying relationships, or they end up separated and divorced which has its own set of problems.
Living as a married couple or in a committed relationship involves a substantial investment of time, money, and most of all emotional vulnerability. You have ‘opened-up’ to your partner in ways you would not do with another. You each know things about each other that are private to the rest of the world — this is what it means to be intimate.
Should you and your partner break up, there is a massive loss of everything you have invested as well as emotional pain that remains long after you have physically moved on.
As a marriage therapist for many years, I can honestly tell you it is possible to stay comfortably together with your partner if both of you communicate correctly. Yes, there are other essential parts to a relationship such as parenting, contributing financially, and being loyal. However, the words you two exchange and the feelings these words generate will define your experience together.
Relationship harmony is a science — when you know how, you can generate positive feelings between each other and live happily together, forever. The most crucial positive feeling generator to a happy partnership is how you talk to each other.
- Be like an editor (Be selective about what you say): As an editor, you would be careful regarding what you are going to print in your newspaper. Think about how your readers will respond when they see your words in print. Once published, you cannot take your words back. The same focus is necessary when you prepare to speak with your partner. Don’t just impulsively speak what is on your mind. Consider how your words will impact on your partner; how he or she will feel upon hearing your comments. When you do this, and you generate positive feelings. Then your partner will enjoy your company. If you complain too much, are too cynical, or talk too much about things that do not interest your partner, you will lose a valuable opportunity to connect and build your bond.
- If it is not broken, don’t fix it! (Be easy-going and pleasant): Do not give opinions unless asked. Spend most of your time describing experiences that you are currently having or have had in the past. Talk about your dreams for the future. Turning every communication opportunity with your partner into a tirade about one thing or another is sure to lead to a disconnect; like hanging-up on a telemarketer. Opinions are like pepper in a bowl of soup. Too much, and the soup is bitter.
- When the toilet leaks, call a plumber (Consensus is the key to problem-solving): Sometimes you do need to solve problems. And when you do, you need to express your opinion as well as encourage your partner to share with you his or hers. Start by arranging a specific time when both of you agreed to talk. Find a time when you will not be interrupted by others. As important as it is to tell your partner what you think needs to change, equally important is listening to what your partner has to say on the same topic. Take turns talking and listening, and negotiate a mutually agreed upon solution.
- Say cheese as you do when you have your picture taken (Use your emotional smiles): When it is time to have your picture taken, regardless of how you feel, you smile. The same should be true when speaking with your partner (there are exceptions — but they are rare. Be agreeable. When your partner says something, extract the one or two items that you most agree with, and talk about that. Too many people listen to their partner and then talk about what they don’t agree with souring the interaction. Too many “sour conversations” and your partner will not want to be around you.
- Be like ice cream (Stay calm): Do not let the heat of anger cook your relationship. If you do, your partner will most definitely avoid you and your romantic love will evaporate. No one likes to be around angry people. Anger is the cause of more relationship breakdowns than any other single issue. Be like ice cream, stay cool.
Pleasant communication between you and your partner is a gateway interaction. When you and your partner speak and listen in a way that both of you feel comfortable, understood, and respected, then every type of intimacy will be available. Couples that communicate well have better sex, solve problems easier, deal with challenges in life more successfully, feel satisfied that their lives have a purpose, and are more optimistic for the future. Individuals in a relationship that is happy are healthier, live longer, and produce more children that enrich their lives.
Pleasant conversations create treasured moments together. Treasured moments accumulate making you attractive to each other and wanting to spend time together. Use the five communication tools described above to share your positive thoughts and feelings so your love will remain alive.
Real wealth cannot be measured in dollars. Instead, wealth should be measured by the quality of a one’s relationships.
Abe Kass, M. A., R. S. W., R. M. F. T., is a registered Social Worker, registered Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, an award-winning educator, and writer. He has a clinical practice working with individuals, couples, and their families in his office in Thornhill, Ontario (near Toronto), Canada. As well, he works with numerous individuals and couples around the world using the phone and Skype. Abe has authored eighteen self-help books and hundreds of self-help articles. Check out Abe’s website is dedicated to helping couples prevent relationship conflict and divorce.