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 I thought that would be a good time to add in tips that have helped me, and some others I know to keep our relationships with our significant other on the right track.  These do not guarantee that your relationship will work out, no one can do that, but it might help with a bit of guidance from experience.  So here they are my personal tips on how to keep a relationship alive and well, starting with the begining of the relationship and moving on to tips dealing with an already established relationship.

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.”
I am not sure who made this quote, but Kudos to them, they are right.

1)  Do not go into any relationship thinking you can change the other person.  You can not.  If someone is going to change they need to do it for themselves.  So if they smoke and they promise to quit smoking for you.....ask them if they are willing to do it for themselves were you not in the picture, if they are not there is a real chance that whatever change they are implementing will not last.

Charlie Anderson: Do you like her?
Lt. Sam: Well, I just said I...
Charlie Anderson: No, no. You just said you loved her. There's some difference between lovin' and likin'. When I married Jennie's mother, I-I didn't love her - I liked her... I liked her a lot. I liked Martha for at least three years after we were married and then one day it just dawned on me I loved her. I still do... still do. You see, Sam, when you love a woman without likin' her, the night can be long and cold, and contempt comes up with the sun.

From the movie Shenandoah 1965

2) Do you like the other person?  I can not stress how important this is, to have a relationship last you really, really need to like the person
Love is lovely, and grand, but when the initial fervor of romantic love wears off there had better be a good strong friendship to sustain it (see reference in previous post about sustainable love.)

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
Benjamen Franklin

3 )Those little habits the other person has that bug you early on in the relationship, rather like a fly buzzing around beside your ear.  Multiply these habits by 30, and ask yourself if you can live with that particular annoyance.  If the answer is no, move on while you are ahead (refer to tip number one, lol).

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
Kahlil Gibran

4)  Do not suffocate one another, you do not need to be together 7/24, or you will ultimately drive one another crazy.  You need to not lose yourself in a relationship, be who you are and let them be themselves.  You should do things separately as well as together.  If you try to close your hands tightly when you have a handful of sand it all runs through your fingers, but if you cup your hands gently keeping them open you can hold the sand easily, so it is with the people we love, hold them gently for a tight grip will cause them to slip through your fingers, like sand.

“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.”  I am not sure who made this quote, but it is not unlike 1 Corinthians 13 only a little easier to understand for some people.

5) Which brings us to my next tip, which is trust.  You need to trust the person you are with, jealousy is a slow but certain poison to a relationship.  My theory on relationships is this, if someone wants to be with you they will be if they do not they will leave, and that is the bottom line.  If you do not, or can not trust them you should not be with them.

"Real love takes work. You have to be willing to make the effort." —Rabbi Weinberg
"People change and forget to tell one another" Lillian Hellman

6) You need to communicate with one another, talk to each other, and to listen to each other as well.  Communication is so very important.  Without it the relationship slowly fades into nothingness, you become two strangers living under the same roof with nothing in common and no knowledge of one another.  If you watch a TV program, or a movie, discuss it, talk about the news, about what is going on at work, world events, your ideas, and your dreams, etc.  Never stop talking and never, ever stop listening to each other.
"Politeness is good nature regulated by good sense." Sydney Smith
"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong" Mahatma Gahndi
7)  This may sound silly, but do not forget to be polite to your partner.  Remember to say 'please', ' thank you', and even 'excuse me'  or apologize if you are wrong if the occasion calls for it, and do mean it when you say it.  Let the person know they are attractive to you, that you love them, and that their thoughts and ideas are important to you, say it.... and mean it.  Too often we become less than courteous to those we live with, and love, who indeed should always get our respect and courtesy. Be forgiving with one another, remember we are all only human. Your partner is not a piece of furniture, do not treat them like one!
There you have them, 7 tips on maintaining, and sustaining a long term relationship that I have learned.  I am not a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a marriage counselor.  I am not claiming to have any secret of the ages type, earth shattering knowledge.  These are just things I have learned along the way.  I hope they can help someone out there, and that this tiny shred of knowledge helps makes someone's life a bit easier. Pax, my friends.  May you in  all your storms find  a safe harbor, and may you never be off course.

“I'm trying to communicate here. I'm a communicator, I like to communicate, and if a million people buy it then we've touched a million people, if only 10 people buy it, then we've only touched 10, and that's important, because I'm satisfied with only 10. But, I love a million.”
Graham Nash 




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