Okay, it’s a cute word. But what does it mean to have a real relationship, a relationship with substance? What does it take to have a relationship that not only lasts but also thrives with a loving connection? From growing with my beloved of 52 years, Joyce, and from our work with couples for 42 years, here are our seven primary ingredients for REALationship. Every one of our couple’s retreats includes these elements. Of course, there are many more ingredients, but if you sincerely understand these basic seven, the others will come along quite naturally.
It’s great to give compliments, to acknowledge the things your partner does for you or how they look. However, a deeper appreciation includes the soul/spiritual qualities of your mate, like kindness, generosity, joy, childlike innocence, or open-heartedness. Appreciate who they are as well as what they do. Acknowledge the biggest gifts your beloved has brought into your life. This is real appreciation. Do it daily. I love Joyce’s deep sensitivity, a quality that even I have criticized during our early years. Her sensitivity has allowed me to become more sensitive. Her ease of feeling her feelings has helped me to more quickly feel my own feelings.