Love ain’t easy. We know that to succeed, relationships require hard work, communication and honesty. Often we ask ourselves: Is my relationship working for me? Am I fulfilled and happy? But what if you flipped the question this Valentine’s Day and asked: Do I fulfill all of my partner’s needs?
“In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see it as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
Anthony Robbins, a master of distilling complex concepts into relatable principles, has devised his version of the six human needs required to thrive. I attended a four day seminar with him several months ago and returned home startled by the notion that I had no idea whether I satisfied my husband needs – and I wasn’t certain whether he satisfied mine. The truth was, I had never really thought about it this way before, so I became determined to find out. I challenge you to consider this in your own relationship–whether it’s with your husband, your mom or dad, your children, your best friend. I sat with my friend and relationship specialist Shannon Smith and we crafted our take on being the best partner you can be. Read on to rock their world.
We all want to wake up each day feeling safe and taken care of. Trusting that your partner will always be there to support you is key to a stable relationship.
Make them a priority: It’s easy to take your loved one for granted, but it’s not a good idea. Listen when they speak to you. Schedule regular alone time. Answer their calls even if you’re at work or busy.
Be reliable: Do what you say you will do and be on time for your dates! Be accountable for your actions – it’s a sign of respecting and valuing your loved one.
Communicate: Talk about the things that make you feel “certain” within your relationship. You might be surprised to hear what your partner has to say. Initiate a conversation and discover what your partner needs to feel like your relationship is solid.
“Tough times never have to mean tough endings.”
Ironically, we crave the unknown as much as the known. Adventure, mystery and spontaneity are just as necessary as reliability and predictability. Remember that person you were when you first started dating and everyday was new and exciting? Keep the mystery alive.
Create surprise: A surprise can be anything from a gift to surprising your partner with your behavior. Do you usually say no to particular requests? Say yes! Plan something daring, unusual. Throw a surprise party. Change up your look once in a while.
Create distance: Absence does make the heart grow fonder. As important as it is to do things together it’s good to do things apart. Schedule a solo trip with friends or carve out alone time and return rejuvenated enough to give.
Dare to be different: Variety creates the juice in relationship. When was the last time ‘super woman’ walked in the bedroom with stilettos and in her man’s t-shirt? Have you changed up the menu at home recently? Shift things up to keep your partner guessing.
“Be spontaneous and live on the wild side! From the dining room to the bedroom…shake things up. “
From the time we are born, we are conditioned to crave love and attention. Don’t underestimate your loved one’s need to feel valued, no matter how long you’ve been together.
Be your partner’s biggest fan: I’m a competitive person. I even (oops) sometimes compete with my husband. Well, used to. Your partner’s successes and achievements should make you proud of one another. Keep positive, supportive company with each other and help bring out the best in your partner. Let them know you think they are wonderful.
Treat them with respect: Never roll your eyes or be condescending. Argue in a healthy way from a base of love. Respecting each other makes you each feel special and needed.
Be your own biggest fan: Shanon encourages women to become irresistible; not for anyone else–for yourself. No other human can be expected to make you feel like you are enough unless you first believe that you are. Become appealing to yourself and you’ll become a magnet that attracts compliments and affection.
“No other human can be expected to make you feel like you are enough unless you first believe that you are.”
Love and connection
Intimate love is the key to every relationship’s lasting survival. In and out of the bedroom, keep your spark.
Date each other: So you think your spouse is no longer checking you out? I’d rather my husband be checking me out than anyone else. Invest in taking care of yourself. Dress nicely, be your most lovable, beautiful self the same way you would if you were dating. You are dating just, well, forever.
Keep the spark: Every relationship, according to Shanon, must have a “masculine” and a “feminine” pull to create passion in a relationship. If both of you have a controlling personality for example, there will be stress, fighting, tension and pain. You’ll have a hard time igniting passionate sex or lasting fulfillment here. Read more about this topic if you think you think you’ve lost your spark.
“So you think your spouse is no longer checking you out? I’d rather my husband be checking me out than eyeing anyone else.”
Any relationship that isn’t growing is most likely dying. How much time do you spend on growing yourself and your relationship? It takes work but the payoff means a radical shift in all areas of your life.
Elevate your conversation: You know that couple at the restaurant who spend their evening glued to their devices instead of staring into each other’s eyes? Don’t become them! Choose to engage in deeper levels of conversation and grow your minds together. Read, watch, explore, travel and discuss ideas that matter.
Push each other further: Can you see the potential greatness of your future self? Can you help encourage greatness in your partner? Consider the impact of success rather than the fear of failure and push each other to grow into the greatest potential.
“Read, watch, explore, travel and discuss ideas that matter.”
Meaning in life is created by giving. As a team, you and your partner need to feel, both individually and collectively, that you are making a contribution to the world together.
Support your partner’s purpose: Listen to their passions and encourage them to contribute. My husband has a lot of charitable causes. He needs me to listen, be interested and continue to support them. Simultaneously, find ways to infuse your own life with meaning and encourage your partner to support your causes.
Shine your world: Help your partner discover their ‘shine’. Encourage each other to be a light to the world around you. We live in a world of far too much tragedy. Go light up your world with the gifts that only the two of you together, as a team, can offer. You each have unique gifts to give and if you combine your unique talents and passion you really do have the power to affect the world around you.
“Go light up your world with the gifts that only the two of you, together as a team, can offer.”