Determining what relationship success is to each and every one of us is tricky isn’t it? It’s a definition that is very personal and one that many people have lots of differing opinions on. Being “together” is just one marker of success. But there are many other dynamics that go into having a thriving and amazing relationship.
One of the greatest influences on our relationship success is our ability to understand who we have shown up as in our past so we can look with clear and sober eyes at the choices we’re making today. Ultimately, everything we do in this moment is determining our future, so it would be important to choose appropriately, if in our future we see a loving and fulfilling relationship.
Having thriving and fulfilling relationships is one of the greatest contributors to human happiness. Even though at some points in our lives it can feel like a far off dream, having a great relationship is an achievable goal for anyone.
So, with that said, here are 5 questions that will help set us all up for relationship success:
1. Are we being our best selves?
We’re usually just trying to keep our sh*t together aren’t we? Life is messy. Everyone around us is struggling with similar things, and even on the best days we don’t always have our heads on straight. All we can do is the best we can.
And that leads to an interesting question: Are we doing the best we can? When life hands us plot twists, are we still showing up? We must be mindful of what we’re choosing in our lives and how we want others to show up for us. If we want honesty, are we always honest? If we want integrity, what areas of our lives lack it? We want someone who has certain values, are we actually living those values?
The people who show up in our lives are generally a reflection of us. That’s why the saying, “If you want to find the one, be the one” makes so much sense, because we cannot ask for what we’re not willing to be. If we consistently live everyday making choices and having habits that keep us average, the by-product is that we will be creating a life and relationship that reflects just that. Let’s raise our game! It’s time to give our best so we can get the best.
2. Are we limiting or blocking the love we’re capable of?
Do we have reasons we limit our vulnerability? Do we share our greatest fears with our partner? We all have pasts and experiences that can close our hearts. In order to be present and exist in a high functioning relationship, it’s important to do our own work. To ask ourselves, “Why do we do the things we do?”
With those answers and insights we can then change our unhealthy behaviours into ones that contribute to a loving relationship that allows us to be our authentic selves. Which leads to the next…
3. Are we able to be ourselves?
Relationships are not where we go to pretend. They are not the place we should have to wear a mask and limit our dreams and play small.
I once asked a friend if his wife knew his biggest dreams? He said, “No, that would freak her out.”
That freaked me out. How do we not share who we are at our core with the person that we’re wanting to share a life with? Why would we want to be with someone who doesn’t push us to achieve all of our wildest dreams? Someone who expects us to grow and learn ourselves and tap into our unlimited potential?
Our relationship is where we take off the mask and get to recharge.
If we’re constantly on our tippy toes and afraid to speak our truth, then our relationship will be where we spend more energy than we gain from it, because we’ll be using all of our energy on pretending to be someone we aren’t.
4. Is our partner getting what they need? Check-in. All. The. Time.
We don’t often check-in with our partners do we? We’re usually really scared of what we might hear. Ask each other if the relationship is working. Ask what could be better. Do not wait till there is a tsunami of emotion before we realize that we could’ve changed our behaviours and the direction of the relationship earlier.
Relationships usually end because they can’t handle the barrage of five years of problems coming out in one moment. If we adjust our sails as we go, moment by moment, we can ensure that the ship(our relationship) doesn’t get too far off-course.
5. Are we holding on to a relationship that we’ve outgrown?
There’s a big difference between being in a relationship that we want to work through and one that we don’t. It’s important to ask ourselves if we’re in the relationship out of habit and routine? Have our paths and roles in each other’s lives come to a conclusion?
Sometimes our hearts just don’t want to be there anymore. And that’s ok.
We cannot run from the alarms and deep knowing as to what we need to do. Make being true to ourselves more important than anything else, including “staying together”. There is a beauty in honouring that, and by moving forward we create space for someone new to come into our lives who is more aligned with us.
It is often stated that relationships are “hard work”. If we believe that to be true then that can support us accepting and staying in relationship circumstances that are very far from ideal. A simple shift is;
Relationships require effort.
And, like it or not, that effort must come from both sides. We must be personally willing to live all of the things we expect from our partners. We must be willing to take a step back and an honest look at what kind of partner we’re being.
It requires a high level of vulnerability and the courage to say things like, “I’m just not that happy right now, how about you? What can we do to change that?” And equally just as much courage to tell them how much we love, value, and want them in our lives.
Often, what we fail to see, is all of the conversations that can potentially end our relationships, are the very ones that bring us closer together. It is through love and connections that we are invited to evolve and grow into our best selves. We just have to accept that invitation.