"There are three key words to a happy marriage; Please, thanks, and sorry." - Pope Francis.
Everyone from philosophers and psychologists to influencers and therapists has pushed a wide range of concepts that can be a tremendous guiding point for being mindful in your relationship to ensure long-term happiness and health.
While these aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of advice, there are some excellent concepts to keep in mind:
'The 3 C's of a healthy relationship'
There is a concept known as the 3 C's of a relationship; communication, compromise, and commitment.
Communication: Being considerate and understanding how to use communication to allow your lover to feel wanted, appreciated, and needed leads to a long-lasting life together.
It's important to remember that healthy communication is verbal and non-verbal. It's both actions and words with an added layer of listening. It's not always about what is said but how it's said that will dictate feelings for either partner.
In any relationship, you have acts of positive communication, which are things like a back rub, a compliment, or something else. But you can also have acts of negative communication, like silent treatment, aggression, verbal abuse, and more. Being mindful of what you're doing and how that affects your partner is critical.
Compromise: Each partner in a relationship will bring their individual experiences, behaviour, thoughts, and personality to create a couple. Being able to express different opinions, understand each other's differences in views and behaviour, and find a state of compromise will be essential to a healthy relationship.
Commitment: Putting each other and the relationship first is all about commitment. Commitment requires sacrifice, effort, and more but will return so much fulfilment to each other's lives as you spend your days together.
Knowing your significant other is as committed as you to ensuring your relationship works and working through challenges while growing together as a team and as individuals are essential to the health of long-lasting love.
5 Actions To Keep In Mind:
1. Never Stop Dating (each other): It doesn't matter if you're two weeks in or twenty years in. Continuing to routinely and sporadically go on dates will strengthen your shared connection. Dress up and go to a restaurant, wear comfy clothes, and picnic under the stars; you can do whatever you want as long as you're together.
2. Make Plans Together: It's been said that making plans together, setting goals, and then achieving them or carrying them out brings couples closer by having a shared vision. This can apply to traveling, starting a side hustle, doing arts and crafts, or even the first on this list; going on dates.
3. Keep Your Hobbies: Having shared hobbies and interests is essential, but having hobbies that you can do individually is just as important. The togetherness of a couple definitely matters, but so does maintaining your sense of self.
4. Create Traditions: When we marry our significant other, we create our family, regardless of whether children or pets are a choice we want to make; a family can consist of just you two. When it comes to families, creating traditions is a great way to amplify the community or 'together' aspect of things, such as celebrating holidays a certain way together, birthdays, and more.
5. The Small Things Always Matter: No matter how many years you might have as a couple, continuing to do the small things will bring a great deal of subtle happiness to your life together. Whether it's getting a coffee in the morning, ordering their fav on the way home, sending a text on a big day, or being an ear to listen to on those long, hard days, it all adds to a healthier long-term love.
The 3 A's In A Successful Relationship
One of the most essential aspects of humanity is forming successful relationships. We're pack animals by nature, rely on community, and are hardwired for shared experiences. It's why love is so important.
There's a concept called the '3 A's of a successful relationship,' and they consist of the following;
Acceptance: It's essential to accept your significant other for who they are, not just who they can be or who you wish they would be. When falling in love, it's easy to overlook certain aspects. However, over time they can be things we may disagree with and cause issues later down the track. Accepting your partner for who they are is critical to a happy relationship.
Appreciation: Once we've accepted our loved ones for who they are, we can truly appreciate them. Appreciating your lover for who they are is, accepting them, and allowing you to fall deeper in love with them as the days pass.
Acknowledgement: After accepting your lover for who they are and appreciating their unique individuality, you can now acknowledge them for all they do and are. This is an extension of appreciation because while it's nice to feel someone cares, having them overtly acknowledge things about you is just as important.
Quick Tips For A Successful Marriage
- Always be open to communicating, and do it often. Always talk things through with your partner.
- Prepare for the post-wedding blues because sometimes they do happen. Sometimes there's a stage of depression or what might feel like unhappiness after the high from planning and executing the wedding fades. It's not that you regret your marriage or your relationship. You need to include the shared goal and your journey.
- Remember that you are still both individuals, even as partners. Focus on your own goals and your shared goals. Be prepared to sacrifice, and be prepared to assist each other.
- Be open to new experiences and remember that even if you're not into something, being with them for something they're into can do wonders for the relationship. For example, perhaps you're a fan of hip hop, and they love heavy rock music; while you're not into each other's preferences, taking time to try new music or go to each other's concerts shows that you're willing to try at least experience something new, or sacrifice, for each other.
- Prioritise staying connected by consistently setting aside time to spend together. When you get lost in the shuffle of work and life's commitments, you sometimes need to remember to prioritise your alone time as a couple, so be mindful of this.
- Have realistic expectations of each other.
- Avoid harbouring resentment towards each other by practicing compassion for each other.
- Don't compare your marriage to others, they say comparison is the thief of joy, and it's true. If you start comparing yourself to something that may not even be remotely like your marriage, it will begin setting unfair expectations or causing friction.