5 steps to a 5 star relationship

how to improve your relationship

Improve your relationship

A guest post from Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker.

Need a few tips (guaranteed based in personal experience) to help take your relationship to the next level? You’ve come to the right place. Please keep reading.

1. Do something unexpected for your partner

This is such time-tested, invaluable advice I thought I should put it at the top of my list. How big the gesture is, or how small it is, doesn’t seem to make all that much difference. It works wonders either way because it’s the thought that is crucial in this step. And of course, the follow-through.

For example. Yesterday afternoon — as I was getting ready to leave home to conduct important business at the gym and the coffee shop – my wife asks: “Will you be going anywhere near the library?”

I was on it like a hawk. Questions like this are a no-brainer. “Is there something I could do for you dear?” I ask. JoAnn says there is a book waiting for her at the library and would I be able to pick it up. “Only if you have time,” she says.

Are you kidding? I love this woman. I made stopping at the library my first order of business. I got a parking ticket in the process, mind you (managed to talk myself out of it) but I came home with the book in my hands. A tangible beam of love passed between us that nourished both of us.

2. Keep your mouth shut when necessary

Oh dear. This is so hard to do sometimes. I admit it, I’m still working on this one. But there are times when for one reason or another JoAnn and I run into a difficult situation and the simple truth is she needs some space. A bit of time to herself to sort things out before she is ready to engage on whatever it is that has come up between us.

“Silence is golden,” someone once said. And it is true. There are times when not saying anything is the most constructive, creative thing you can possibly do to nurture your connection with another human being.

3. Don’t hold on to a misunderstanding or grudge

At the back of the townhome complex where JoAnn and I live is a creek. It’s like a mountain stream the way it bubbles and gurgles down from the Denver foothills (or wherever it comes from).

It’s a poor analogy perhaps. But I have often thought that a happy relationship – or a happy life come to that – is very like a mountain stream in some ways. If you run into a rock – a difficult patch – don’t let it stop you. Find a way to keep your relationship flowing around whatever seems to be in the way.

4. Be quick to change your mind

This brings me to one of the biggest secrets of a successful relationship. Be quick to change. Be willing to change. Don’t hang on to old self-images or old ideas or habits or prejudices. It not only makes you look old before your time, it deprives you of one of the greatest blessings of a relationship — the opportunity it gives us to grow and be a more accurate and fuller expression of our own unique self and potential.

You can be strong but still be humble. When your partner knows in her (or his) heart that this is true of you, you will indeed have a solid foundation beneath your feet.

5. A relationship must work for both people

Last, but not least — a relationship must obviously work for both partners.

How many relationships and marriages have failed or descended into misery or abuse because one partner or the other stepped into a dominant role? On the other and, how many relationships have prospered – have continued to grow and mature and become increasingly beautiful and meaningful – because care was taken to maintain an “equal” status that enabled each participant to express their own unique gift and potential?

Read more from Christopher Foster at The Happy Seeker, where he blogs about abundance of body, mind and spirit. Also check out his unique online course on “The True Potential of Aging.”

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  1. Sean says:

    I’ve learned that doing something unexpected (candlelight dinner) and keeping my mouth shut is what keeps me out of trouble for the most part 😉
    Sean´s last blog post ..How A Liver Cleanse Helps Eliminate Acne

  2. Thanks Seth. I like the candlelight dinner idea. Any more tips or ideas re doing something unexpected for our sweetheart or loved one?
    Christopher Foster´s last blog post ..Find inner peace in your own pure presence

  3. Ciara says:

    Thanks for this lovely post and very helpful reminders.
    I often get so absorbed in my work that I shut my husband out.
    I will make an effort right now (as soon as I finish this comment!)
    Have a great day
    Ciara´s last blog post ..Are you at the Helm or Bobbing on the Waves?

  4. Hi Christopher,

    Great post on how to keep a good relationship. I like number 1, “do something unexpected for your partner.” That always adds a little spark to any relationship. I also really like number 5, “how a relationship should work for both people.” It’s difficult in the long run to be in a relationship where one person makes most of the decisions. I’ve been in those before, and they don’t work so well for me. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.
    Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last blog post ..Red Ribbon Week is This Week: What We Need to do Now

  5. noch says:

    hi chris good to see you here!!!
    my fiance and i were just saying this morning, how i need to learn to keep my mouth shut and just give him a hug – sometimes thats just all he needs!!! 🙂
    noch´s last blog post ..letter to myself

  6. The Vizier says:

    Hi Christopher,

    Great list of tips you have put together to have a 5-star relationship.

    1. Do something unexpected for your partner

    This is truly important because it reminds your partner how much he or she means to you. It is not just enough to say you love someone, you also have to show it in action and deed, if not, your words lose their value. Besides, it is always fun to spring surprises and to watch how your partner’s face lights up. All we have in life are moments. How many of those moments have we seized to create meaningful and beautiful memories?

    5. A relationship must work for both people

    I fully believe that both parties in a relationship should be equal. The balance of power should ideally hover around 50-50. Having said that, it is not always possible to maintain this exact balance so a little tilting of the scales from time to time is to be expected. But the couple should always strive to return to the ideal balance. One way of doing so is to consider the interests of your partner and to do things that would help them to grow. Naturally, you too would have to grow to keep up, but such is the beauty of mutual development. Only when both parties are equal can the relationship be long lasting.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

  7. […] long ago, I joined the A-List Blogging Bootcamp run by Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch with the hopes that I could network and socialise with like-minded people, discuss common topics […]

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