Are you looking for fool proof tips for a successful relationship? Then start out by realizing there is no right or wrong way to have a relationship. Just as much as no two relationships are exactly alike.
1. Don’t Obey Societal Pressures
We often make assumptions about how successful relationships are supposed to be. Societal pressures force us into a relationship pattern that follows a particular linear trajectory.
First, you fall in love. This generally includes meeting, courting, dating, and becoming monogamous. Then you solidify the relationship by moving in, and sometimes getting married. After that, you create a family – which may or may not include children. And lastly – you sail together into the sunset of old age.
The more relationships we see in our sex therapy and relationship coaching practice however, the more we are aware that this particular formula doesn’t work for everyone. People judge themselves and their partners on their success or failure of making this trajectory happen. We help people replace this static, assumption-based approach to relationship by teaching them to honor their unique desires and boundaries. The results are always more sustainable, loving and successful relationships.
2. Expunge Your Assumptions About Relationships
We suggest you start with the following assumptions: There is no right way to have a relationship. The most successful relationships account for the beautifully unique needs of the people in them.
For example – we have seen wonderful marriages between couples who do not live together. We’ve coached delightful relationships that never result in marriage. And we’ve observed generous couples who decided the most loving, supportive thing they can do for one another is break up. We have seen relationships revived by an affair. And some that were ruined by the monotony and boredom of trying to fit into society’s molds.
3. Examine Your Relationship Contract
We invite you to examine the relationship contract you have with your partner with fresh eyes and creativity. Be willing to continue looking at it throughout your relationship as you change and grow. Notice all the ways you have let yourself fall into default settings, and see where this is — or is not — serving you.
Even if you want to include certain aspects of the standard trajectory, make sure you communicate them. It’s critical that both your and your partner’s needs are heard. Once you approach your relationship contract as a dynamic, negotiable, and non-judgmental process, you will have a lot less suffering and frustration. And a lot more of what you really want your relationship to be!
4. Get Relationship Help
Want more in-depth guidance and tips on how to build a lasting and successful relationship? Our books Coming Together and Making Love Real provide compasses to negotiating the choppy waters of sex and relationships. For more personalized navigation – come work with us! Or if you love to learn and grow, consider this Personal Growth Course that will change your life and expand your belief systems around relationships entirely.