What it takes to have a successful relationship April 25, 2016 – Posted in: Confidence, Relationships – Tags:

As part of my month of looking at love and our relationships with others, I’m excited to share with you a guest blog from my dear friend and fellow coach, Ané Auret, on making love work in intimate relationships. 

As a dating and relationship coach I work with people every day on helping them overcome what is holding back from finding the person they want to spend their life with. The things that drive the way we love others can be so complex and layered – and since they’re mostly subconscious, sometimes we need somebody that can help us figure this out.  

I’m the first one to admit that I bumbled through my dating life giving much more thought to my work, my travels and nights out than I ever did to who I wanted to spend my life with or the type of relationship I wanted. The result was two decades of dating disasters, relationship breakdowns, painful breakups and eventually a soul-destroying divorce.

Today, I’m happily married – I can’t always believe how happily married I am – and how the connection, commitment and companionship I always craved is as much a part of my life as my own breath. To get to this point I had to figure out a few things along the way, and life gave me a second chance as a result of that.

For me to have the relationship I have now initially had little to do with finding the right person. Instead I had to become the right person first; I’ve learnt that what I bring to my relationship is actually more important than what I want from it.

What I know for sure is that a committed relationship, and especially marriage is not for the faint of heart. Can you relate? I find it’s an almost daily reality check on who you really are and what you’re doing with your life.

Since it is ‘Loving Others’ month here on Jo’s blog I thought I’d share with you 10 things things I’ve learnt about making love work in your most intimate relationship…

  1. Every day presents endless unique opportunities, big and small, to build connection, intimacy and trust. It is my job in my marriage to be constantly aware of these, to be on the lookout for opportunities to choose healing over hurt, appreciation over expectation, caring over criticising – and to listen to what is not being said, just as much as to what is (this was one of my marriage vows).
  2. My relationship with myself sets the (emotional) tone for my marriage on a daily basis. It’s my responsibility to be aware, face my stuff and communicate it clearly. It’s my responsibility to be consciously aware of what it going on for me in my own life overall. I don’t expect anybody to take responsibility for my feelings – especially if I’ve not communicated it in a way that is clearly understood.
  3. I save my best for my marriage and my husband. He gets the best of me – not what is left over at the end of a busy day, or during the rush in the morning to get out the door. He’s my number one and he knows it.
  4. I’ve learnt to relax and to only assume the best. I used to be hyper sensitive (sometimes I still am!) and can take things incredibly personally, but in a relationship that is a healing space you learn (in sometimes the most unexpected ways,) what it feels like to be seen, heard and accepted for who you are.
  5. I’ve learnt that there are 3 of us in our marriage. There is me, there is him – and there is us, the team. I never knew that being part of a team of two could be so much fun – at the end of the day we are two strong individuals pulling in the same direction. I realise I will never know everything about the incredible individual that my husband is – and to me this is hugely exciting. That’s why I chose him to start with after all!
  6. Choosing to let myself be loved was a major shift for me and something that I was totally unaware of initially. I had to learn to be vulnerable within the unit – we’re ready to love and just as important, allow ourselves to be loved in return.
  7. My husband is not one of my girlfriends. I’ve made this mistake for many years, and initially with him too. I wanted him to be everything all in one. All the connection and all of the intimacy all of the time. Just. No. Enough said.
  8. When it comes to make a relationship work, one of my favourite quotes is ‘It takes one to tango’. If there is something you’re not happy with check your role in it first. How are you contributing or even creating that situation? Sometimes it takes only one of you to make the shift and turn it around.
  9. One of the most helpful things I/we’ve ever done was to figure out our individual Love Languages and to make sure we give each other what we need in the way we need and understand it. You can find out more about that here and can try a free assessment. It is absolutely worth the time.
  10. Possibly my favourite tip is ‘six second kisses and full-body hugs’. Touch. When you kiss it apparently takes just 6 seconds for oxytocin (our bonding hormone) to start flowing. I started this all in the name of research first thing in the morning, last thing at night. 12 seconds of proper kissing a day? Trust me, it works!

We’re a work in progress. We have highs and we have lows – and we always circle back to each other. No matter how dark the night has been. We choose each other every day in big and small ways. We keep learning about each other’s triggers (another word for wounds that haven’t healed yet) and we see it for what it is.: an opportunity to choose, to heal. If today wasn’t a good day we know that tomorrow will be better. We keep choosing to stay in this together, and for me that is what makes commitment so sexy.

For your relationship to work the best thing you can do for your partner is to love yourself the way you love him or her. Your relationship really does start with you.

Ané Auret is the Dating and Relationship Coach for high-achieving, conscious and purpose-driven single women looking for a committed relationship. With tailor-made coaching and support she helps you pinpoint why you’re still single (or single again!), end the cycle of one-off dates and dead-end relationships and stop wasting your time on the wrong people. Instead you will transform your love life: date with confidence and ease, finally attract the right person for you and create the relationship you want.

Access your FREE Love Blocks Breakthrough 7 Day Online Bootcamp right now and start your journey to love today.

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