7 Tips to Creating an Exceptional Relationship
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Relationships haven't been an easy thing for me. From sabotaging them myself, to succumbing to my self negativity and belief in my lack of worth by staying in unhealthy and even mentally abusive relationships, I wouldn't say I'm a pro at dating. However, there are numerous things I have learned in this last year, that were completely eye-opening and instrumental to facilitating the stellar relationship I currently have. Here are 7 things I've discovered to have an exceptional relationship.
#1 Acknowledge Your Own Shit
This one is probably one of the hardest and most important. I personally have horrible insecurities when it comes to being "good enough". I have to acknowledge that is my own issue, not my partner's. Just like my own past traumas and experiences are my own and not his. Lashing out at him due to my past is unhealthy and unfair. I can always convey what I would like, or what I need, but I should not expect him to be a mind-reader. I know it sounds obvious, but you don't realize how often people do this.
Want to go on more dates? Feeling frustrated that he isn't helping enough around the house? Missing the fact you don't make out like you used to? It is your job to communicate your feelings to your partner. You don't have to always have a serious sit-down conversation about it, but there is nothing wrong with saying, "Come here lover boy," and rolling around on the ground kissing. Yes, that was a Dirty Dancing reference, and for the five of you who got it, smiled, and giggled, it was worth it.
#3 Love Them in a Way That Makes Them Feel Free
This is truthfully my favorite piece of advice my boyfriend, Rafael, has ever told me. We were musing as to why other couples feel unhappy and stuck in their relationships, or why when dating, some people get scared away from committing to the other person. My guy smartly remarked how we want to keep our partner around, so we tend clamp down and hold on tight, making the other person feel trapped. He told me he had read a quote that has served him extremely well, "You have to love in way that makes your partner feel free." How beautiful is that?! And truthful too!
There's a lovely video of a rabbi discussing this same concept with what he calls "fish love". The r
rabbi explains how people say, "I love fish." However, they don't actually love fish, they like the way it tastes and makes them feel. If they actually loved the fish, they wouldn't have pulled it out of the water and killed it. This so prevalent for relationships. We love the way the other person makes us feel and will easily neglect loving the person in a way that helps them be their best self.
#4 Have Sex
This is a sensitive topic for a lot of couples, but I firmly feel an important part of having an exceptional relationship is having amazing sex. Be open about your wants, desires, and insecurities in the bedroom, this is your chance to intimately connect with your person. Do a sex challenge, try some new stuff, work together to invest in your attraction to each other, and have sex regularly.
#5 Learn Your Partner's Love Language
What fills your person with love? Is it acts of service? Gifts? Expressions of gratitude? Physical affection? Quality time? Know yours and your partners. Not everyone will speak the same love language as you. When you know how the other person displays their affection, you can look for all the moment's they do. I know I am an expressions of gratitude person, but my boyfriend is an acts of service. Although I love and would prefer expressions of gratitude, I actively remind myself how every act of service from him is love.
#6 Make Time for Adventures
I don't care if it's a weekend getaway or a blanket fort in your front room, going on regular adventures means more opportunities to connect, more time to listen and talk, more laughter, and more shared memories. Personally, Raf and I go on at least one date a week. This can be with or without friends, going to a concert, grabbing a beer before his haircut, or nerding out to a nature documentary. Regardless of what we do, it's time away from our regularly scheduled programming to reconnect and enjoy each other.
#7 Make Your Relationship a Priority
If you want to work on your finances, you make them a daily priority. If you want to lose weight, you make it a daily priority. You want an exceptional relationship? Make it a priority. I try to ask myself each day, "What's one thing I did today to be an exceptional partner?" If my answer is "nothing," I need to fix that. That means some days I give a him a spontaneous back-rub, sometimes I bring him his favorite candy, and I regularly send him messages reminding him how awesome and hot he is. The best part, when you pour love into someone else without expecting return, what you get back is 10 fold.