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7 Tips on maintaining a successful relationship★

1. Get in touch with and understand
the needs which affect your reactions
and behaviors in a relationship.
Needs you are not aware of might be
driving your reactions and behaviors.
Are you, for example, driven by the
need for love (which might drive you
to be too submissive within a
relationship?); the need for
independence (which might drive you
always to keep distance from your
partner?), and so on. These needs
often affect the way we react and
behave in our relationships.
When you become aware of your
needs and become able to free
yourself from the impact they have
over your reactions and behaviors, you
will be able to behave with your
partner in a healthy and mature way.
2. Understand the fears that drive your
reactions and behaviors.
It is certain that you – like almost
everybody else – have fears you are
unaware of which harm your
relationships, such as: the fear of
commitment (which might drive you to
escape from each and every
relationship you begin to develop); the
fear of being alone (which might drive
you to jump into a relationship with
whoever blinks at you); the fear of
losing your independence (which
drives you to be controlling with your
partners); the fear of being hurt
(which might drive you to be cautious
with your partners, causing you never
to dare to open up), and so on.
Becoming aware of the fears that
control you enables you to combat
them and not let them interfere with
your relationships.
3. Check whether your expectations
are realistic.
It is great to have expectations! It is
also natural to expect your partner to
be there for you all the time; to love
you unconditionally; to always
understand you; to always remember
your birthday. It is great to expect that
you and your partner will always be in
a good mood; will always be sexually
attracted to one another, and so on.
If you find out that your expectations
are not fulfilled, rather than getting
angry at your partner, ask yourself
whether your expectations are
realistic and attainable. Often we set
unrealistic expectations which cause
us to become frustrated, disillusioned,
angry and disappointed.
4. Ensure that your fantasies are
Fantasies are part of life. They give
you something to dream about,
something to look forward to. You
might fantasize that your love will be
just like in the movies; that your
partner will supply all your needs; that
the two of you will do everything
together and never fight; that you will
always agree on everything.
But if your fantasies are unrealistic
and you hang on to them you are
likely to harm your relationship.
Therefore, think over your fantasies
and determine whether they are
realistic and attainable, or tend to
verge on dream-like reality. The last
thing you want is to ruin your
relationship due to unrealistic
fantasies. At the same time, for the
sake of the relationship, you want to
entertain fantasies which can
materialize. The result is an important
and attainable one.
5. Understand the messages which
drive your interactions with your
Messages you internalized while
growing up affect your attitudes,
reactions and behaviors without your
being aware of it. For example, you
might have been exposed in your
family or the society in which you grew
up to messages such as: “A woman
should do everything for her
partner” (driving you, as a woman, not
to demand a mutual give and take with
your partner); “Men don’t do
housework” (driving you, as a man,
never to participate in household
chores); “Compromises are most
important in life” (driving you never to
insist on what’s important to you);
“Self-fulfilment comes before
relationships and family” (driving you
always to take care of what’s good for
you first), and so on.
Becoming aware of the messages that
drive you and realizing how they affect
your relationships enables you to
consciously decide how to react and
behave with your partner in ways vital
to a healthy and satisfying bond.
6. Be willing to take responsibility for
your part in the problems and
difficulties which arise between you
and your partner.
There are many who never admit they
might be wrong. They fight with their
partner to prove they’re right. This
only escalates the problems. However,
wherever there are two people there
are often two opinions and two
perceptions of “how things should be.”
When you become aware of what
drives you to react and behave in your
relationship the way you do, and of the
ways in which you might harm your
relationship, you become more willing
to take responsibility for your part in
the problems and difficulties which
arise between you and your partner.
Taking responsibility shows that you
too might be wrong. Place the
relationship in front of “justice,” and
be willing to compromise.
7. Develop Self-Awareness.
Developing self-awareness means
getting to know and understand what
drives you to react and behave the
ways you do in your relationship. It
means understanding the needs and
fears, messages, unrealistic
expectations and fantasies which drive
you to react and behave the way you
do and the price you pay for it. It
means realizing the ways in which you
might harm your relationship, learning
how to stop it from happening and
becoming empowered to cultivate a
successful intimacy.
Those who have developed self-
awareness will tell you that:
Developing self-awareness is a
worthwhile experience which
enabled them to get to know and
understand themselves better;
They are amazed by the personal
and professional growth they’ve
By developing their Self-Awareness
they have gained a sense of
empowerment which helps them to
be authentic and true to
They are now capable of freeing
themselves from needs and fears,
messages, unrealistic expectations
and fantasies which exerted power
over them and are able to make
conscious choices about the ways
they react and behave in their
They feel empowered to develop a
successful intimacy.
Give Self-Awareness a chance – it
really can make a difference in your

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