- Why do you want to stay with each other for another year?
- What new qualities will you bring to each other?
- What new mindsets will you overcome to help the relationship grow?
I’ve been with one woman for a very long time. She is my lover, helper and teacher. My greatest spiritual lessons have come through interactions with my life mate. As I ponder on this marriage and the effect it’s had on me, I marvel at how interrelated we’ve become. We know exactly what each other is thinking and feeling. Her reality is my reality. We spend long hours talking about social, psychological and spiritual issues and what it means to be together. This intimacy and honesty has brought us deep trust and understanding. We agree that our need for an intimate relationship doesn’t have much to do with love. We are aware that humans are essentially selfish – and what most of us call love is primarily a neediness and concern for our survival. Maybe it’s an old script that plays out in our sub-conscious minds believing that our survival depends upon someone that will take care of us. We are not in this neediness state – we have grown up. We see that true love doesn’t need anything from without – it is complete unto itself. We are lucky to be free of many of the emotional and psychological baggage that plague and sabotage many relationships. Our ego needs are few and we view life from similar perspectives. In our ups and downs we recognize the importance of continuing to build the conditions required for a happy relationship. This takes practice, awareness and creativity. Here are a couple of tips I’ve learned through the years to help build and maintain your long-term relationship. 1- Give Give Give It’s easy to give. Just decide to adopt an attitude of giving and make it your lifestyle. Practice asking: “What can I do for you?” Here’s a big one! Take your partner by the hand, sit her down and rub her feet for 10 minutes on each foot. For extra bonus: use lotion. This one action will pay huge dividends – think of it as an unconditional act of love. Take time to do this every now and then. How about right after you read this? 2 – The Power of Full Engagement We live in an increasingly complex world. Too much information only serves to overwhelm and overburden your mind. Multitasking lowers your IQ. Focus on one thing at one time. When you slow down with your loved one, your relationship wins. Women crave your attention. When you give her your attention – she’ll give you her life. Think about this. If you are in fact God-embodied, or a spark of God is indeed in you, then you must be love-embodied. What better attracts love than love? Isn’t the real true nature of all relationship – love? Practice using your attention and power of full engagement to bring one-pointed focus and awareness to every passing moment. This is the essence of mindfulness. When you give the gift of patient attention – you get to love and be loved – it’s why were on the planet. 3 – Master Your Inner Game Do a little soul searching and take an honest look at yourself. Developing a relationship with yourself through self-reflection and mindfulness meditation helps you master your psychology. Working on your inner game makes you the champion of your outer game. When you gain clarity of the sub-conscious mind – all relationships become more fulfilling. Inward-looking time alone reveals the illusory nature of the ego. If you can’t find your ego, ask: “How am I resisting life?” If you notice yourself feeling like a jerk around her – your ego is acting up. Break up the ego or it will break you up. 4 – Sexy Loves Sexy: Get Buff We are human animals. Your body and brain need a continual supply of fresh blood and oxygen in order to stay healthy. If you sit too long, you become ill at ease. If you don’t attend to the body – your mind becomes corrupted – and you begin to lose your sanity. You become the proverbial bull in a china shop. This dis-ease infiltrates the relationship you have with yourself and others. How can you view yourself and others in a loving and caring light if you have lost your sanity? Start a new habit and get buff. Without missing a day, take 30 days and begin an exercise regime – your love life will shine. 5 – Mucho Respeto I was in a taxi cab in San Jose, Costa Rica – the driver spoke very little English. We somehow understood each other and managed a conversation. I asked him if he was married. He said, “Si.” He asked me if I was married, I said, “Si – 33 anos” He replied, “Mucho respeto.” Translation: That’s a lot of respect! Building the conditions for a successful relationship requires ongoing respect. One of the ways you build that respect is by minding your manners. Saying, “Thank You, Excuse Me, I’m sorry,” sends your mind a message. It tells you that you value your relationship and you give it mucho respeto. 6 – Dudes Do Dishes Women experience more stress than men. They are hardwired to nurture and take care of their family. When a career woman comes home after a hard days work, she naturally begins to take care of the household duties. The singularly-focused man comes home, satisfied from work, kicks off his shoes, and guiltless-y relaxes. Ask yourself, “How can I chip in to alleviate my partner’s stress?” This requires a thoughtful and giving mindset that needs cultivation – it can be learned. Do the dishes, take out the trash, make a bed and vacuum. Actions are what she wants to see – show her you love her. 7 – Renew Your Vows We just started with this idea but we’re going to make it a yearly practice. On your anniversary, make it a ritual to write out your intended vows for the year ahead. Ask yourself: