What are the most important ingredients of a great relationship – whether it is romantic, parent-child, sibling, or good friends? What really makes the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary relationship? From almost 40 years of loving one another in our own relationship and 30 years of studying and helping others in our counseling and workshops, here is what we have found to be crucial to both heal ailing relationships and make solid relationships even better.
1. Cultivate a Deeper Relationship with Yourself.
This comes first. There can be no fulfilling relationship with another until you come to peace with yourself. There are many ways to nurture your own heart and soul: prayer, meditation, time alone in nature, inspiring reading or music, singing, dancing, etc.
2. Express Your Gratitude and Appreciation Every Day.
The opposite, taking your loved one for granted, is a sure path to relationship stagnation. Doing things to show your love is great, like bringing flowers or hugging, and speaking words of genuine appreciation or gratitude right from your heart is a precious gift. Look deeply at your lover or friend, feel what you love the most, are most grateful for, or would miss the most if this person were not in your life, and then say it with all your heart’s feeling.