Dating Magazine

7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

By Louise Hadley

By Louise Hadley

Whether you are no longer in a relationship or making a conscious choice to try to improve an existing relationship, I believe there are some practical things you can do to create a sensational relationship.

Secret #1: Consciously communicate what is most important to you in your relationship & Life
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

We are all constantly growing, changing, evolving and we need to look at our values, needs, desires, goals, aspirations and share these with our partner.

In order to salvage your relationship, I suggest that you take some time and discuss what's important to you with your mate and do this on a regular basis.

Turn off the television and have some alone time with your partner. Sit close and make eye contact with each other and take turns talking about what is important to you-what your goals and needs are-and it doesn't have to be about your relationship.

This is not a time to point fingers at each other but rather time to connect with each other on a soul level.

So often we go through our busy days and we don't really connect with the people who are most precious to us.

Take some time each day-even if it's 15 minutes-to connect with each other.

Secret #2: Understand, embrace and learn from your differences
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

What helps in the beginning of a relationship is to sort out and understand your own and each other's emotional patterns and differences.

An example of the differences between you and someone you are in a relationship with might be:

  • One person likes to save money and the other likes to have a good time first and then save.
  • One person thinks sending the kids to a private school is important and the other parent thinks the public school will give their child a more rounded education.
  • One person likes to do the dishes right after dinner and the other prefers to relax immediately after dinner and then clean up the kitchen.
  • One person likes to always be on Facebook at home, while the other rather go out all the time.
  • One person wants to have a good sex life, while the other might be interested to just cuddle without having sex.

What I'm really talking about is that we're different from any other person we are in relationship with.

And no matter how close we are to that person, our ways of doing things and the way we look at life will be different. If we don't honour and respect the other's differences, then over time the relationship deteriorates.

So, here's what I've found to be helpful - If you are at the beginning of a relationship or rekindling the spark in an older relationship, I suggest that you start with a clean slate and look at your differences in a new light.

First, each of you should identify the differences between the two of you that cause the most problems in your relationship.

Become aware of your differences and don't assume that everyone thinks just like you think and his/her priorities are just like yours.

Next, talk about these differences and share what is important to you. Remember to listen with an open heart and not judge.

Just because someone likes to do something in a little different way than you doesn't mean it isn't the "right" way.

Look at your preconceived notions about the "right" ways to do things. Just because your mother did something a certain way doesn't mean it has to be done that way forever.

If there are conflicts about the ways in which things are done or where the priorities are placed, we recommend that you devise a new way of doing things.

Perhaps a third way that might be even better than the two previous ways of looking at or doing things.

I suggest that you look at your partner as the divine spirit that he/she is and choose to learn from that person. Turn your attention to appreciating each other's gifts instead of holding onto what we think is the "right way to do it."

Choose love instead of fear and harmony instead of conflict. The important thing is that you cultivate an understanding that we are all different and learn to appreciate those differences.

Secret #3: Leave all the stuff from previous relationships with those old relationships
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

When you're starting anew, start anew. I've found that this old "stuff" will come up if you aren't conscious.

You will carry old ways of thinking and acting that were part of previous relationships-or even the one you are currently in-into the relationship you are trying to revitalize or begin.

The trick that I've found useful is for each person to become aware of his/her own baggage from this and previous relationships.

Learning to help each other recognize, in a way that can be heard, when old destructive patterns are emerging can be difficult but invaluable to the growth of your relationship.

What is helpful is to honestly tell the other person-in a non-judgmental way- that you think the issue is not about this relationship but about another one or the way your relationship used to be.

This has worked for many and has built a lot of trust between two people. When we do this, we know that we have only the best intentions for the other person.

In any case, find a way to communicate with each other about your old, destructive patterns that you both can agree on.

Decide to listen without becoming defensive and be willing to heal those parts of yourself that are keeping you from having the relationship that you want.

Secret #4: Be willing to explore new territory/new ideas
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

Being open minded and willing to try new experiences helps to grow and evolve from the people we were in our previous relationships.

You need to make the decision early in your relationship that you are willing to keep talking until you resolve your differences and not run away from them like in previous relationships.

You need to be also willing to "kill the monsters" while they are little. In other words, when you feel something coming between the two of you, tell your partner and not hold it in.

Sometimes, we need to be open to doing things that we normally wouldn't do because our partner enjoys doing them.

By no means does this mean that you have to do everything together. It does mean that if it's important to your partner and you have had resistance to doing the activity in the past, you are willing to be open to consider experiencing it now.

So, what is it you and your partner are willing to open to doing to have a great relationship?

I suggest that if you sincerely want to improve your relationship, you both spend some time answering our question because your answers will indicate where you need to start. Take some time now to consider these ideas and come up with your own as well.

  • Are you willing to communicate without shutting down and running away?
  • Are you willing to give up blame, judgment and the need to be right?
  • Are you willing to tackle the issues and challenges when they come upand not let them fester?
  • Are you willing to take responsibility for yourself and your actions?
  • Are you willing to make this relationship a priority in your life? How much time do you spend with each other now?
  • Are you willing to explore an activity that your partner loves and you haven't had the courage or the interest up until now to investigate?

These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about what you are willing to do to have a great relationship and might help you discover where there's some resistance that's preventing you from having the type of relationship that you want right now and where to begin healing it.

Secret #5: Be willing to take the risk to open yourself to the other person
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

Think about your baby or someone else's baby- When he or she was learning to walk, did you think to yourself that the child only had a certain number of attempts at walking and that was it-no more chances?

Of course not! The child was allowed to stumble and fall as many times as was necessary until he or she learned to walk. The baby didn't give up, even when it was hard, but kept right on trying until he/she learned to walk.

That's the best advice I can give. If you want to create the relationship that you've always wanted, you have to be willing to risk opening your heart to another.

You have to take on the philosophy of "until" and keep trying rather than shutting off all hope of ever finding the love you want unless the other person does not want to have the type of relationship that you want.

As painful as it is to be in relationships that haven't been exactly the way you want them to be, you have to keep learning and growing "until" you can do it differently.

Opening your heart to another person requires us to risk. But to have an outstanding relationship, there's just no other way. If you don't take the risk of opening your heart, you will never have a deep connection and it will stay on a superficial level.

Opening your heart means honoring the other by listening and by accepting without judgment where the other is in his or her growth process.

Opening your heart means honoring the other's history and being there to encourage during times of change. Opening your heart can mean any number of things to all of us.

The heart is a doorway. You can open it and allow another person to come in or you can keep the door closed and protected. Keeping it closed and protected to shield you from the pain also shuts out the joy.

Secret #6: Make conscious agreements with your partner
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

This means that you are openly aware of your intentions, of your words and of your actions. If you want to create an outstanding relationship, forming conscious agreements with each other is one of the best ways to start.

So what's a conscious agreement?

A conscious agreement is between two or more people about what they expect from each another in a given situation.

Ideally, you would create these conscious agreements in advance before the situations became real problems. Of course, following through on these agreements is an important element to their success.

Most people don't create conscious agreements for how they want their lives and their relationships to be in advance.

They might fear that if you begin making conscious agreements in advance, the "mystery" and fun will disappear from their lives.

I disagree because when you don't create conscious agreements, your relationship is ripe for fear, futurizing, disconnection, assumptions and worry about things that may or may not ever happen.

Conscious agreements can ward off problems and can be created for any relationship in any area of your life.

They require you to take an inventory of what you want, honesty with each other, and courage to speak your truth.

I suggest that you look at the issues you have in your relationships and talk with your partner about ways to begin creating conscious agreements between the two of you.

Secret #7: Treat each day as if it were the last
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

What if you knew that this would be the last day you would spend with your partner? What would you do? What would you say to him/her? How would you treat him/her?

From the beginning of a relationship, you need to practice using loving words with each other and express gratitude to the other for being in your lives.

We are well aware that this day may be our last together. There are no guarantees in life. When we talk about each other to other people, we are conscious of using loving words instead of critical ones.

We think that this kindness in words and expressing gratitude are important ingredients that help pave the way for creating and maintaining trust, intimacy, and passion in our relationship. This is not just true of intimate relationships- but, all relationships.

Here are some pointers for expressing more gratitude, kindness and love with your partner:

  • Think more about the words you use, especially when you are tired, irritated, need sleep, or stressed out.
  • See how gossip hurts people, including yourself and your partner, and work to eliminate it from your life.
  • Try to replace words that hurt with words that encourage, uplift and give praise.
  • In your thoughts, dwell on what your partner is doing right instead of what he/she is doing wrong.
  • Choose to build each other up instead of tear each other down. Choose to love each other with thoughts, actions, and words and you will see a positive difference in your relationship.
For in-depth strategies & tactics to get your ex back, click one of the pictures below:
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)
7 Secrets to Salvage Your Relationship (And Make It Last)

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