In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 8 keys to a successful long-term romantic love relationship.
First a quick update:
“The obsession with beauty”
What is the impact on women by societal expectations of beauty and physical perfection? What effect does the obsession by women with beauty have on men and relationships? Listen to my insights here
“What is Love?”
When people speak of love, they often use various words to describe love such as patience, kindness, acceptance, caring, understanding, etc. I offer one simple definition of love. Watch the video.
Now, let’s talk about the 8 keys to a successful long-term romantic love relationship.
It’s one of the foundational North American concepts of love – there exists one person who can complete us, one person who can make us happy with a passionate, spiritual-sexual-emotional attachment. This concept has its origins in Plato’s Symposium, a speech by Aristophanes which formed our modern day concept of soul mates .
Aristophanes told the story that originally humans where spherical creatures with 4 hands, 4 feet, 1 head and 2 faces. But they were insolent, arrogant and unrestrained. Eventually the God Zeus decided to cut them in half to humble them and thus forming the biped man and woman.
“Each of us when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the tally-half of a man, and he is always looking for his other half”, says Aristophanes.
And so began the story and concept of the soul mate: we are incomplete without our other half which, like an apple cut in two when put together will fit perfectly and be whole again.
The serious downfall of this concept is the way people respond to it by seeking and demanding perfection in their partner and expecting that the partner will immediately love them unconditionally and make them happy.
“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’”
This leads to second downfall or consequence – desperation. When a person believes that someone else is their other half, then the love they express becomes needy love – ‘I need you and that is why I love you.’ This can be contrasted with ‘I need you because I want to fully express my love for you.’ I teach our deepest hidden desire is not to be loved; it is to love.
The key point here is that even romantic love requires action and effort to create a happy, successful and rewarding romantic relationship.
In fact, Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden in his chapter in “The Psychology of Love”, believes that the ideal romantic love is “that kind of love that brings out the very best in us.”
Dr. Branden promotes 8 keys to a successful long-term romantic love relationship:
Express love verbally, sexually, and materially.
Reassure your partner of your love and commitment to the relationship. Express your love both verbally and sexually. Men, generally express their love sexually.
Give small gifts or large gifts according to your partner’s language of love. There are 5 languages of love – 5 key ways that we feel and experience love and being loved – verbal, physical, quality time, gifts, service. For example, do you feel more loved when a person tells you that they love or when they express their love with a gift?
Be physically affectionate.
Some people are highly kinesthetic – they touch and need to be touched. This is particularly true of infants and young children. We tend to minimize the importance of touch as we grow up because we are either programmed that way or we fear rejection.
Physical affection (hugs, caresses, touching, stroking, holding hands) actually lowers stress levels and makes us feel more connected. Again, the overall significance of affection will be dependent on your partner’s language of love. Physical affection does not need nor should it be planned to immediately lead to sex.
Voice appreciation and admiration.
It is easy to find and point out your partner’s flaws; spend more time expressing your appreciation for the role your partner plays in your life and for his/her qualities. Praise and encourage each other on a daily basis. Think how great it feels when your partner praises and admires you; now do the same for him/her.
4. Sharing & vulnerability
Participate in mutual self-disclosure.
Love cannot be fully experienced until both partners are willing to be vulnerable to each other. Vulnerability is equivalent to emotional intimacy – emotional nakedness – revealing all of yourself – your dreams, desires, fears and aspirations.
5. Mutual Support
Offer each other an emotional support system.
Many people don’t understand what support means. Support infers that you listen attentively and actively, you accept and receive your partner’s concerns, challenges, problems and troubles as significant, you offer physical support where necessary (running errands, assisting with responsibilities & tasks), and you reassure and encourage your partner through their challenges and difficulties. Remember, ask if you need support.
Accept demands or put up with shortcomings.
No one is perfect is obvious. Can you, though, learn to accept your partner’s imperfections? Yes, you set boundaries and, you also practice being forgiving, patient and accepting. You don’t have to agree about everything. Beware of placing irresponsible demands on each other.
“Do you desire to be wholly one; always day and night in one another’s company? For if this is what you desire, I am ready to melt and fuse you together…” Aristophanes. Give each other space!
7. Quality Time
Create time to be alone together.
When you began the relationship, you were creative and focused on finding time to be completely alone. Keep that going. Quality time also refers to the concept of ‘stopping time’ – focusing on each other and blocking out the world and truly enjoying being with each other.
8. Positive Self-Image
Develop a positive self-image.
If you don’t feel good about yourself: you think you are ugly, fat, poor, a loser, etc., then you will block or sabotage love in your life. Further, when you think that you are not good enough, you will withhold the expression of your love.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.