Are you aware that people in relationships are healthier and live longer? It’s true. A 75 year-old living with a spouse or partner has a greater life expectancy (by several years) than someone who is 75 and single. Does that mean you can wait until you retire and then focus on finding that special someone? Absolutely not. Being part of a couple at any age can help to weather life’s storms. Here are six guidelines for being successful in relationships.
Be generous. Everyone likes someone they find generous. And I am not speaking only of money. People who are generous with their time, affection and energy are loved. Take time for the five-minute, thinking-of-you phone call, even if you do have a tight schedule. Prioritize. Do I need to clean the kitchen right now or can I spend ten minutes giving (and getting) a neck message? What chores can I do to lighten the load on my friend’s busiest day? Ask a potential partner what kind of help they would like.
Listen. Listening is the key to any relationship. We all want to feel understood. The only way to understand is to listen. Refrain from giving advice at least half of the time you are dying to advise. Most of the time people really do not want advice. They have probably already considered our advice even before we voice it. What people want is a sympathetic ear and acceptance. Everyone loves a good listener.
Cultivate a sense of humor. We all love a good laugh. You do not have to be a comedian, but learn to see the lighter side of life. Remember to keep things in balance. Learn to laugh at yourself. Do you have road rage? How is it that you have not realized that the world is filled with self-involved people who drive as though there were no one else on the road? Do you rant and rave when someone else is in the car? No one likes to listen to complaints, verbal abuse and hostility, even if it is not directed at them. If you find that you have a lot to complain about, do not burden your friends or they will eventually pull away. Constant complaints are a symptom of depression. Get treatment. Depression is a killer and a contributor to many diseases. If you had the symptoms of a heart attack, wouldn’t you go to a doctor?
Be prompt. This one is easier said than done, yet very important. Everyone is late on occasion. Learn to handle tardiness responsibly. Was traffic worse than you anticipated? Apologize and admit that you were caught off guard by the amount of traffic, and that you should have left earlier. No one likes to be kept waiting and then be greeted by someone who blames others for their late arrival. Do you usually cut things a little close when it comes to timing? Admit that is part of your personality and discuss constructive ways that you can avoid inconveniencing your friend. Don’t agree to meet on a street corner if you tend to be late. Meet in a bookstore where your partner can browse while waiting for you. If you are chronically late, invest in a cell phone. Want to learn to be more prompt? Talk to a counselor who is skilled in helping clients with time management.
Good hygiene. A sensitive topic, but one that must be addressed. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who smells “bad”. Brush you teeth, floss, shower, and use deodorant. Plan ahead. If you need to bring a change of clothes and deodorant with you to your job because you are meeting someone right after work, do it. Join a gym near your place of employment. Then you can start or add to your exercise program and also take advantage of the gym’s shower facilities. If you have always had trouble with bad breath despite good dental hygiene, buy a tongue scraper. Bacteria can accumulate on the back surface of the tongue and cause bad breath. If that does not work, see a professional. A dentist can scrape your tongue and put an end to nagging mouth odors. Are you taking vitamins or medicine that is causing bad breath? Talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Bad odors can kill a potential relationship in seconds.
Your personal energy levels. Are you an early morning person? Is your potential partner a night owl? Give that night owl the time needed to get started in the morning. Do you like to go to sleep at ten-thirty? Grab a nap on those days when you know it is going to be late night. Resist the urge to criticize your partner because they march to a different drummer.
Be open to change – the more you work on yourself, the happier you will be in all of your relationships.
Authors Details: Relationship Advice – Dr. Bill Grey Web Site