I’ll start this off with a little disclaimer. First off, I am not a professional writer. As a matter of fact, Alexa did most of my school work in high school. Secondly, this post is in no way shape or form a guide to the perfect relationship because every single relationship is comprised of infinitely different aspects and components. Also I can be very blunt and straight forward about some things, that’s just the person that I am. I tend to not sugarcoat things so take these words for what they’re worth. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and that’s fine. With that being said, I will be starting my list with things I feel every single person could use to strengthen their relationship, and then I will be moving into things that I feel might uniquely work in mine and Alexa’s relationship.
Figure out what makes them feel valued
This is probably the most valuable piece of advice I’m going to give throughout this entire post and ironically something that I never truly realized the importance of until pretty recently. I have spent 9 years completely in love with Alexa and feeling like it just can’t get any better. We very rarely fight about anything serious, mostly just bickering about little stuff or letting our day to day stresses interfere with our communication. We have always had a pretty healthy relationship with one another, but while reducing confrontation is very important, it’s only the beginning step. Most couples will use the cop out excuse that fighting in a relationship is “normal” and some may even go so far as to say its “healthy”, but that is not what our creator tells us. No amount of fighting with your spouse will be beneficial to your relationship, period. Simply not fighting is not enough though. If you want to truly unlock another level of closeness in your relationship find out what makes your partner feel valuable.
As I have mentioned already, Alexa and I have been together for some time now and while I have always been aware that she is a giver and that she has a servant heart, it never occurred to me that what would make her feel most valued is not just a “thank you” or verbally expressing my gratitude, (which I have always been pretty good about doing) but instead reciprocating her actions. Alexa is always asking me if I need a glass of water, or if I’m hungry, and a lot of times just randomly takes a second to ask if I need anything at all. She does these things because in her heart that’s how she shows me that I’m valued and loved, so naturally that is exactly what makes her feel valued and loved. The earlier you invest into this part, the better off your relationship will be! Which brings me to number two on my list.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
Perhaps the most vital aspect of any relationship is communication. Since you literally cannot have a relationship without communication that must mean the more communication you have, the more of a relationship you will have, right? (Dang Jake, that makes a lot of sense!) Seriously though, the only way your’e going to learn what makes your partner tick is by talking! Luckily for me and Alexa. we have been best friends from the start. Talking has come naturally for us since we met. We have always enjoyed getting to know each other better which could very well be why we started off on such a solid foot.
Leave everything on the table
Truly becoming one with another person is impossible if you reserve anything at all. The more intimately you know one another the more efficient you will be as a team. imagine if the quarterback called the plays in the huddle but didn’t tell the receivers what the play was. they would not be a very cohesive or effective team. keeping things from your partner is the same thing. It doesn’t matter how beneficial it may seem at the time to withhold information – it will never benefit you in the long run. Be open with one another and be HONEST! If being honest about things is hard for you, good, its supposed to be. Use that negative feeling as a motivator to be a better partner! Knowing that you have nothing to hide from your partner is the absolute best feeling you will experience! Just remember a lie leads to a lie leads to a lie.
Change IS good!
Don’t be so prideful to think “they should love me just the way I am,” Instead, think how can I better myself as a person? How can I be better for them, how can I make them happier, how can I make THEM feel more loved! Instead of focusing on making them the perfect partner, focus on making YOU the person a perfect partner would want! Take everyday to improve something about yourself. Work on being more patient, work on being more understanding and selfless. Focus on learning how to fill up THEIR cup rather than holding yours out expecting them to fill it. With that being said,
IT TAKES TWO
(CAUTION: No sugar coating)
Now, all of these things I have mentioned have one common requirement, and that is that both people have to adhere to them. If you find yourself doing all of these things and are still encountering troubles communicating, feeling valued or loved, then you possibly have a very serious question to ask yourself. If you have done all that you can and have made every effort to communicate and better yourself and you don’t see your partner putting forth the same effort, then most likely therein lies the issue. You cannot just make any two people work together. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you will never experience the closeness and intimacy that God has designed marriage around. I have witnessed so many couples waste valuable years together trying to make themselves work, only to inevitably end up separating and then finding someone who they’re completely and utterly happy with. Its the old square peg in a round hole analogy.
Even though I could go on for days about my marriage with Alexa, I will just leave it at this: do not set out on a quest to find your perfect partner. First, focus on being someone that your perfect partner would fall in love with. I was not looking for Alexa when we met. As a matter of fact a serious relationship was the last thing that I wanted at that time. In a world that very much encourages being selfish and independent, be someone that does for others, that puts being a good person above any personal gains. Be faithful, God sees your heart and your actions and will reward you accordingly. Live to fill others cups and God will ensure you’re never thirsty. Read what God tells us about relationships and apply it to your lives. Learn to do whats right even if its not what is “fun”. The person you’re looking for is looking for a person like that.
Being in a relationship is so easy. It really just boils down to being honest with one another, loving each other more than you love yourself, and communicating effectively how you’re feeling about things and listening. The last and possibly the most important aspect is not only being willing to make changes, but being excited to make changes to yourself because in doing so, you know that you’re enhancing someone else’s life whom you love so dearly.
I hope that this post encourages you to think a little differently, and most importantly to strengthen your relationship with your spouse. If you have any relationship tips that you would like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments!