These Simple Tips for Healthy Relationships cover the full range from working on yourself to sharing with others, communicating your feelings clearly, and not saying things out of anger when you feel hurt or victimized. Begin with yourself; knowing and loving oneself is a necessity to being able to fully love another.
1. Make your love relationships a high priority in your life.
2. Work on yourself. Grow and evolve to be able to give and receive energy and love. These things are learned. If you do not have the psychological tools for this, it’s worth the investment for counseling and classes.
3. Communicate your feelings clearly. If you disagree, learn how to ‘fair fight.’ Listen and respond rather than react. Explore your feelings and then answer.
4. Do not say things out of anger (attempting to hurt your loved one emotionally) when you feel vulnerable or victimized. That can continue the hurtful feelings and cause a separation. Aren’t we always looking for healing and unity? “Un-tie is not the same as Unite.” Argisle
5. Appreciate the little things and pay special attention to the important issues. Be respectful and acknowledge/commend each other. Dreaming together is part of love and staying aligned. Do you share a complementary path with your partner?
6. Nurture one another. Enjoy flowers, laughter, beauty, massage, and good food. Take care of your health, for you and your loved ones.
7. Shift roles occasionally so that you can experience your partner’s life. Be open to change patterns. Both men and women can work and still care for family and children, or they can be primarily at home yet find ways to create and interact in the world.
8. Create family support and extended family, especially if you have children. Otherwise, life as parents can be quite challenging and stressful on personal relationships. Find time in the relationship for special adventures.
9. Keep the magic alive. Surprise one another. Avoid feeling “whelmed” in your world so you’re unable to tune into others. Be present in the precious gift of life.
10. Maintain an emotional and spiritual connection as well as mental and physical ones. The more we share with one another, the deeper the love connection.
10 Steps For Restoring Relationship Satisfaction
1. Connect with the Spring and your life force. Feel the new and fresh energy from the winds and rains; it’s so cleansing and presents an opportunity to begin again. Take a deep breath and an inner look at where you are and feel what you no longer need in your personal life–what no longer serves who you want to be. This is the season to plan your new year, for the new YOU. Evaluate your RELATIONSHIPS. Love and enthusiasm are key words for Spring, as are new beginnings. We are naturally creative beings, and this applies to our minds and attitudes, as well as our relationships. Do we need a relationship to not be starved for touch and connection, often confusing us into believing we are “in love” with another just to meet our basic human needs. There are other ways to find the nurturing and love that we all need—from self, animals, friends, family, massage, and Nature (nurture).
2. Commit to YOUR LIFE, your relationships, and your home. It takes work and play to keep a meaningful relationship successful. Be aware of your cycles and biorhythms. This is a fascinating endeavor. How do you flow and grow together? This takes care and presence with each other. Try this brief questionnaire about relating: Does your mate smell good to you, or feel right? Does he/she bring forth feelings of happiness in you, or what? Are you aware of personal changes with the light, the moon, and the seasons? Is a pet your favorite relationship? Of what about food; is it your best friend? Has an appliance become your main squeeze? Is your closest family on the tellie, or can you truly connect with live people? What is your ideal relationship; three qualities pleeze? Mine are respect, nurturing, and a playful presence.
3. EXERCISE together. Be good examples for one another and encourage each other to get and stay in shape. Take walks and go on hikes or a bike ride; try a yoga class together. Stretch out your body and stay flexible and youthful. Go to the gym together and push around those weights, and do some aerobic activity for heart strength and for building your endurance. Open those hips and strengthen those lips, or is it open those lips and strengthen those hips? Go dancing moon or shine.
This healing program is relaxing and revitalizing, as well as providing a rush of those feel good brain endorphins. And then go back home and make a nice meal, or have a picnic outdoors or at home. It really helps when both partners in a relationship know how to prepare food, shop, and nourish one another. (Doing the kitchen and cooking thing by oneself is often a challenge.) Also, gardening and creating your food can be a shared experience. In other words, be active and play together, two hearts beating as one.
4. Enjoy Beautiful Foods together—fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Spring greens are also wonderful; put some of these in your mixed lettuce salad. Also, try some sensual foods and eating experiences, such as an artichoke with a dip of olive oil, lemon, and crushed garlic. Other spring veggies are leafy greens, like chard or kale, so healthy for us, as well as green peas, radishes, and celery. Fresh salads are tasty and very nourishing. Spring fruits include oranges and lemons, strawberries (organic please), and dates, plus avocado. Make an energizing smoothie. Look through healthy cookbooks to get ideas for new meals that you can create together, such as in my book, A Cookbook for All Seasons. The process of preparing food is sacred and vital to our health and life. Transform it from a chore to a precious event.
5. Relationships, the people you choose to be close with, reflect your inner self, your deeper psyche. Ultimately, we need energy (and blood, of course) to flow from our heart. However, sometimes this energy is blocked, both by our thoughts and fears and by influences of the world around us. Keeping the heart energy open and flowing takes a constant embracing of who we are and meeting our challenges. Destiny may also play a dominant role in love and taps our heart to open and embrace a certain someone even though that relationship may be difficult.
All of us have an opportunity to learn, or re-learn, to listen and nurture, particularly those us caught up in patterns of denial. I say to men in particular, listen to, and open and embrace the messages of your partner. Their advice will often help you grow. It might begin with learning to make good foods for you and others, watching less TV, going outdoors, or exploring new friendships. It may involve gaining knowledge about herbs and making healing teas for one another. Do a foot or back rub and use some of the many special oil products available at your local stores. Ultimately, these new experiences might mean a change in how you view yourself and your place in this world, which will lead to a change in how you view others. This can then transform your experience of life.
6. Learn from your mistakes. That’s why growth and experience is so helpful, as is breaking through individual boundaries. We can learn from other’s mistakes. Otherwise, if we stop or run away too early, we may continue with the same patterns, reach the same block with a new person, and have another opportunity to learn how and why we got there. That’s why I tell people when they end a relationship, “it’s a valuable time to work on yourself. If you evolve and learn what failed, you have the new potential to attract someone with whom you can go to the next level toward enlightened love and relationship.”
7. Nutritional Supplements can support you with a greater health and physical energy to support your personal relationship and intimacy. Sexual energy nutrients include the B vitamins, most minerals, the amino acids and
essential fatty acids; these support healthy tissues and body function. All of these can be derived from a good diet or enhanced with the right supplement program. Additional antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, selenium, and the carotenes protect the tissues and vessels and support circulation, so important to staying young and healthy.
8. Many HERBS are useful to support love. Fragrant herbs like lavender and rose petals are nice. Wonderful aromatherapy and massage oils are available in most natural food and specialty stores. These can enhance all levels of the love connection. Intake of herbs such as ginseng supports the physical, mental, and sexual energies; Siberian ginseng is great to help combat stress. Dong quai supports the female energy, and damiana is believed to
arouse the senses. Have fun and experiment safely.
9. Use the spring months to CLARIFY YOUR GOALS in your relationship. Keep a journal to create the reflection and clarity that will serve your seasonal enlightenment. Where and how are you now? Where do you wish to be in a couple months? What will it take for you to move in that direction? Change can be difficult, yet it doesn’t really have to be if you will allow the inspiration and motivation to arise from within and fill your cells and body, your brain and heart. Just make a start, take ca few steps, and see new spaces opening up for your enlightenment! This means shedding light on dark places within us and seeing them clearly.
10. Above all, give yourself the time to truly experience Nature and your close friendships. Begin with yourself; knowing and loving oneself is a necessity to being able to fully love another. There are many therapists who can help along this avenue and many books like Self Matters by Dr. Phil McGraw. The time and energy you invest in your own healing will carry into your relationships as well. Also, take some time to be outdoors and play. Enjoy the Spring winds and breezes. Rekindling your Earth connection has benefits that last beyond this season, continuing to enrich the whole of your life. This can happen, even in a city. And remember to smell the flowers.
Copyright Elson M. Haas, MD, 2002. All Rights Reserved.
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