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Friday, September 30, 2011

How to Build a Satisfying and Healthy Relationship

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atisfying and healthy relationships that can sustain the test of time should be built on shared values, interests and chemistry. Each of these aspects needs to be present like a cog in a well running machine. If one is missing, then unhappiness, dissatisfaction and/or break up is likely.
The most common mistake in couples is the relationship gets built on chemistry alone. Chemistry, if not accompanied by shared values and interests, will only sustain you for a certain amount of time. It may make the relationship very satisfying in the beginning, but as chemistry dissipates to some degree which it naturally does in all cases, the lack of connection on other levels will become more apparent and magnified.
On the other hand, another common mistake is that relationships get built on shared interests and/or values and there is no chemistry. This is not going to work either. Without chemistry, the shared values and interests will only take you so far. The relationship lacks depth, intimacy, and satisfaction. As time goes on, this will degrade not only the relationship, but the quality of life for each partner.
The third mistake is that some relationships get built on need, while chemistry, shared values and interests are all lacking. The most common scenario in this situation is that a partner needs the other. Their partner takes care of them, does things they are not capable of and/or provides for them. However, it may take the form of both partners needing each other. Some individuals enjoy being the needed partner initially because it boosts their self-esteem or ego when they can be the strong rescuer, but this will take a toll on them as the relationship continues.
The first and most important step in relationship building is to be aware going in that there will be challenges to overcome and be prepared to face them. Don't wear rose-colored glasses that set you up for unrealistic expectations. Satisfying and healthy relationships take awareness, work and time.
Know what your personal ground rules are before hand and share them up-front. Don't hold things back until later; because it is better that you find out early in the relationship, before feelings become too deep, if your needs are incompatible and there is no way to negotiate.
Compare your ground rules and see how many of them must be negotiated. Weigh things out; how important are the differences, are there any that you can bend or let go of? What can you live with or without? Be sure to be honest with yourself. Good communication and honesty is of the utmost importance. Don't just jump in and hope for the best.
With all that being said, it's also important to be aware that what I've laid out here is an ideal. A deep and satisfying relationship based on shared values, interests and chemistry is our goal, but it takes time to get there. However you can't reach a destination if you don't first have a description of where you're going and are aware of the baggage you have to overcome to get there. You strive to have the healthiest and most satisfying relationship you can achieve, but it doesn't have to be perfect. The compromises you are willing to make are yours alone to make and not to be judged.
Building satisfying and healthy relationships is a process, not many people hit the jackpot on the first try. The relationship that did not work out served as a vessel to help us grow. It takes us from one place to another emotionally and spiritually. 

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