“What’s Love Got To Do With It?” (Tips For Successful Relationships)

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” 
― Rumi

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By Jeff Tarver

Relationships can be a battlefield of the mind. Moments of joy can suddenly change into moments of aching sadness. During these transitions, what are some ways to understand more of the mystery behind successful relationships? Communication, empathy, and forgiveness can bring us to a deeper connection and understanding between you and your significant other.

In the beginning of any relationship, communication is easy and natural. Everyone wants to share the good and exciting aspects of their life, while flaws and insecurities are often ignored. It’s not until later in the process of getting to know the person that imperfections begin to reveal themselves. In these moments, respectful communication is essential. It will give you and your partner a safe space without feeling attacked. This “safe space” is mandatory for open communication and the ability to be authentic and genuine. Instead of these moments decreasing the passion of your relationship or connection, they can then begin to strengthen what you have. This is one of “communications” many benefits. It has the power to pave a path for honesty, awareness, and a deeper respect for transparency and the ability to be as we are.

To take this level of respect and communication further, empathy is the ability to feel the other side. So, in a sense, this is a two-part process. The challenging part is being able to be present, fully listening to the other side, sometimes in the midst of our own disagreements. Now, that we’ve done this step, we can then hear where the other side is coming from. We can begin to think of what was said and understand our partner’s logic. The reality we will see may not always be our own but can serve as a window into the soul of our partner. We can then look at these facts and relate them to our own experiences and thoughts. Instead of feeling offended or threatened in the face of controversy, we can now have a path for deeper understanding.

In time, as we continue to encounter the challenges and joys of our relationship or journey to a relationship, we will experience the pains of being let down. It hurts me to say this will happen to everyone, but it is sadly inevitable. Too often, this becomes the “breaking factor” for many people. This becomes the point where the one initial spark is quenched through fear. How do we respond to the face of pain? Do we look away from it or look into its eyes with compassion and openness? What if we choose to run rather than exhibit communication and empathy? What if we turn our faces instead of seeing what drove the mistake to happen initially. We tend to forget the past of our partner, the pains they may have endured or the fears they may have, for our own sense of safety. Yes. It will hurt at times to have deep, sometimes painful conversations- but at the end of the day, overcoming the biggest challenges can lead to the biggest rewards.

Stand in compassion and hope, knowing the darkest moments of life will have a light at the end. Above all, whether the relationship is destined to be or to not, you are worthy of immense love. You will find this by leading with the heart. For, in every failure and victory, we can learn new lessons for our life, the future, and our love to be. Any dream can become a reality if we live into it each day. Think, listen, and love.