Why Do Relationships Work – Part 1

It’s that time of the year again … Valentines Day and I can’t seem to walk into a restaurant or a shop without noticing the many inviting offers for this special day of LOVE. Yes, it’s a great day if you’re in love, pretty rotten if you are alone or struggling in a relationship, I’ve been there. I used to struggle with relationships and Valentine’s Day used to be the worst day of the year for me. That was until 2002 when I decided enough was enough and embarked upon a personal transformation which fundamentally changed how I operate in relationship. It was the best thing I have ever done as I now have true love and could not wish for a more wonderful man or a more fulfilling relationship.

Today, I use that experience to help individuals identify and remove what stops them from having a successful relationship, so that their relationship can grow from strength to strength. After all life-long relationships are not only a possibility for everyone, but also something we all truly deserve; my parents-in-law, who’ve been together for 49 years, are proof of this.

So if Valentine’s Day is making you wonder how some couples, like my in-laws, just seem to make it work then wonder no more. Over the next seven days, drawing from personal experience, my work and research, I will reveal the Seven Key Ingredients that are essential in making a relationship successful. Here’s the first two …

Successful Couples Make the Relationship More Important Than Themselves

Have you ever heard of the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”? In the context of relationships it means that when you bring two people together the relationship is far more valuable than each of the individuals on their own. It’s the Yin and Yan concept.

This idea is one of the most important concepts we must buy into for our relationship to work better. This means, it’s less about “what do I want” and more about “what is best for both of us”. What’s the best thing we can do / say / be that is in the best interests of the relationship. You have to make the relationship more valuable than yourself. Together you are bigger, better and brighter.

So what do you need to do to make this happen?

  • You must let go of the idea that you’re RIGHT, that your way is the RIGHT way the ONLY way
  • You must be willing to accept that there are other ways of doing things
  • You must be willing to listen and really listen (not just hear) and pay attention to what your partner is truly saying
  • You must be willing to work things through, to talk things over so you can understand each other more, to share things with each other, in essence to simply connect with each other emotionally
  • You must be willing to invest time and energy into your relationship – it won’t grow if you don’t give it attention
  • You must be willing to respect your partner’s point of view – you don’t have to like it but you need to respect it

How do you do this?

The easiest way is to set aside an hour of relationship time, perhaps daily if possible or at least weekly.  Set the time, make the environment as lovely and as comfortable as possible, add in some good food perhaps, whatever works for you,  just no TV,  ambient noise or distractions.

There is only one rule – simply accept what the other person has said, no questioning, no arguing, no defending, no commenting – simply listen and take it on board (yes I know this can be a little difficult in the beginning and I promise you it gets easier)

Select who goes first and then ask the following questions, when that person is done, swap

  • What is working for you?
  • What’s not working for you?
  • What can I do to make it even better for you?

You can talk about anything not just the relationship as the stuff that happens to us in other areas of our lives also affects how we operate in the relationship. Have fun with it – humour and laughter are great ways to help you through this process.

Successful Couples Ensure Their Values Are Being Met

Our values are key to how we operate and behave. They determine what we will accept and what we will resist. They drive everything we do.

What is a value?

It is simply what is important to you – big or small. We have different values in different areas of our lives, so for example we have a set of values for our work, we have a set of values for our health, we have a set of values for our relationship etc. some values are common across all areas and some are different.

How do you find your values ?

Set some time aside with your partner, you will need at least an hour or so. Make the environment as lovely and as comfortable as possible, add in some good food perhaps, whatever works for you,  just no TV,  ambient noise or distractions.

Select who goes first and then ask the following question. Keep asking until you get duplicates

  •  What is important to you about our relationship?

Once you have the list, ask your partner to pick 7 of the most important ones and ask them if they are being met, if they are … happy days, if not then at least you’ve identified what they are so you can work at getting them met.

Then swap and do the same thing for the other person.

Perhaps sharing my key values for my relationship ie the top 7 things that are important to me in my relationship might help you with this, they are :

  • Love
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Growth
  • Respect
  • Passion
  • Fun

When our values are similar to our partner’s the relationship works at a much deeper level. Go on discover what your values are and more importantly the values of your partner.

If you found this useful then it would be great to know and I hope you will be looking forward to the next blog which you can find at Why Relationships Work Part 2 – find in the Blog posts or click here Why Relationships Work – Part 2

If you have any questions or would like to discuss something then please get in contact. It would be lovely to hear from you.


6 Responses to Why Do Relationships Work – Part 1

  1. Elvira this is fabulous – I have just told my husband about it and he has benefited from some positive attention from me already and I can’t wait for the next installment. You are a real role model – it is so easy for busy family life to take over and not to spend the valuable time investing in our husband/wife relationship. Thanks so much x

  2. Katherine says:

    So very easy to forget to put aside time for our relationships but these ideas are brilliant and simple – thank you!

    • elvira says:

      Yes we tend to think that relationships can just grow without much attention until they fall apart and then we struggle. It is so much easier to keep them alive by giving them the nourishment they need.

  3. Elvira, that’s a great article and you know, it relates well to business relationships too. Speak soon x

    • elvira says:

      Yes absolutely right relationships can be within a business context or with your significant other, it can be with a friend and most importantly with yourself

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