Sunday, April 24, 2011

Published today, April 24th, 2011, in Mindy Kannon's Email Health Newsletter

Healthy Relationships by Candace Brindley

Relationships take us on the journey of a lifetime and, if we’re smart, can be richly rewarding! Are you pumping love fuel into your relationships? Is your home a safe haven where you can turn for comfort and love? It’s in your hands!

Passionate happy relationships don’t happen automatically. We are easily deluded to think so by the euphoria of early relationships. Romance comes so naturally. We feel like masters at the art of love. The truth is that creating a lasting bond of love takes more than the chemicals that had us blinded and blushing in the first 18 months. We can’t fly on autopilot and expect to land on the tarmac called ‘Soulmate’.

Healthy relationships are built by adopting learning-oriented attitudes, as opposed to blaming attitudes, and working to master very specific core competencies, just as with any specialty at which you might strive to become proficient. You can’t wing it when life throws its inevitable curve balls. You have to know where you are going.

The first thing you can do to help yourself have a healthy relationship is to consciously choose your partner based on compatibility, not just on the chemistry of the moment. Choose someone with whom you can be yourself. Ask yourself, “Do I love who I am when I’m with him/her?” When you can honestly be yourself, you can be sure your attraction is not entirely chemistry driven. Chemistry tends to ebb and flow over time, but being deeply compatible will help you bridge the gaps as they emerge.

As couples we can build love and trust with our partners by treating our relationships as a separate entity from ourselves. When we turn our focus toward our partners, we are actually building a third entity, the relationship, which thrives by being nurtured every day. Learning to replace complaints with requests, negotiating to find win-win solutions, practicing heartfelt listening, and keeping your word are examples of skills that may take a life time to master, but are golden to the relationship.

Be consciously and passionately involved in caring for your personal relationships. The resulting sense of fulfillment and peace will have an enormously positive impact on your emotional and physical health. Feeling loved and supported frees you up to live forward with confidence and be energized to pursue your dreams. So ask yourself the following question, “Do your relationships support your good health”?

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