Couples

100 Practices For Great Relationships

100 Practices For Great Relationships

[Editor's Note: While this article is written about the relationship in a marriage, its information and advice can be applied to all relationships, with friends, family, co-workers, yourself, and the "world-out-there".]

When my husband Charlie and I conducted our study, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples about Lasting Love, these are the practices that respondents told us had held them in good stead to grow their exemplary relationships.

As you read through the list, assess your own strengths and growing edge. Congratulate yourself for the areas where you shine.

This list will assist you in identifying where your work is still required to become eligible for a great relationship.

1. Cultivating vision by asking yourself, “What's available? What’s possible here?

2. Risking by growing courage and assertiveness

3. Showing up for what's happening

4. Accepting/Letting Go/Surrender to what is

5. Staying on top of incompletions

6. Being able to change channels/flexibility

7. Being able to distinguish truth from imagination

8. Letting go of guilt and seeing its source

9. Allowing yourself to receive and be supported: Being a gracious receiver

10. Creating a community of support by accepting physical and emotional support and connection

11. Practicing gratitude, especially when you’re resentful or feeling self-pity

12. Practicing compassion for yourself and others when there is mistreatment or unkindness

13. Being open and vulnerable

14. Having trusting relationships with others who can see what you can't

15. Telling the truth

16. Refusing to lie and refusing to lie to yourself

17. Practicing patience when we are tired of waiting

18. Regularly checking in with yourself and with your partner

19. Setting boundaries and stopping before you get to your limit

20. Not withholding love

21. Willingness to feel the pain

22. Creating a close primary relationship through giving and loving abundantly

23. Living with authenticity

24. Willingness to feel

25. Letting others know how you feel

26. Acknowledging vulnerability, fears, needs, and desires

27. Dis-identifying with the ego/body

28. Taking solace and comfort wherever you find it

29. Creating work that you love and that heals you as you do it

30. Being involved with your kids' friends

31. Outgrowing the need for others' approval

32. Not taking on others' projections

33. Practicing acceptance of the little pains and losses

34. Using all experiences in life to deepen spiritual practice

35. Staying current and complete with everyone in your life, all the time

36. Trusting the truth of your experience

37. Refusing to accept a victim identity

38. Taking responsibility for everything in your life

39. Refusing to engage in blame of self or others

40. Staying away from bad therapists

41. Staying out of the mainstream

42. Making a big space for the dark shadow, to include your craziness, weakness, helplessness, vulnerability, hatred, ignorance, and prejudice

43. Taking care of your body

44. Cultivating self-love and self-acceptance

45. Practicing humility

46. Knowing how to replenish and refuel and do it!

47. Trusting your body not your mind

48. Knowing what feels right and going after it

49. Continuing to give no matter what

50. Working if you can; if you can't, don't

51. Doing whatever it takes to get you through the night

52. Practicing generosity of spirit

53. Finding something to be grateful for always

54. Accepting love from others even if you doubt you are worthy or deserving

55. Avoiding comparisons

56. Reducing attachments to preferences

57. Finding the teachings and blessings in everything

58. Saying "yes" to everything life brings you

59. Living in such a way as to be worthy of trust and respect

60. Participating fully in grief-work

61. Experiencing feelings and emotions, expressing, acknowledging feelings through journaling, group-work, therapy, and looking for opportunities to communicate feelings

62. Living with mindfulness, presence, meditation

63. Finding your courage, risk challenging yourself and pressing the edge

64. Going outside of your comfort zone

65. Asking for help, requesting support

66. Containing or holding feelings (this is not repressing or suppressing them)

67. Expressing spontaneously

68. Checking in with self and other

69. Checking your intention, stating intention

70. Taking down-time or soul-time

71. Living a life of service, contribution, volunteerism, generosity, giving

72. Committing to compassionate self-care

73. Drawing boundaries

74. Saying “no” without explanation, justification, rationalization or excuses

75. Uncovering and recognizing the fear

76. Making requests

77. Only making agreements you are committed to keeping

78.Going on a “should" fast

79. Checking in and only doing what you can do without feeling obligated

80. Doing only what you want to do, rather than acting from a sense of duty or obligation. If there isn’t a desire, don’t do it

81. Playing. Doing activities for no reason other than they provide fun or pleasure

82.Looking at your motives and intentions with keen self-examination

83. Witnessing in the state of non-judging awareness

84. Allowing yourself solitude

85.Spending time in nature

86. Forgiving when you’ve been wronged or wronged another. Forgiving everyone

87.Breathing consciously

88. Identifying and cultivating and strengthening talents

89. Setting goals. What do you want to experience? How often?

90. Slowing down and examining the fear of slowing down

91. Holding the tension of the opposites

92. Withholding opinions, advice, and philosophy unless it is solicited

93. Taking time outs such as, “I need a moment to think about that.”

94. Declining requests and invitations

95.Finding and honoring your own pace and rhythm, rather than going along with others

96. Practicing non-judgment by going on a "blame" fast . This will prompt learning to distinguish the “judge” from your authentic self

97. Building strength, both physical and intellectual

98.Discovering the gold in the shadow and befriend it rather than resist it

99. Looking for the growth opportunity in each breakdown (A breakdown is any situation, which involves a disappointment in expectations of self or others or circumstances. Seeing it as a means of strengthening specific character traits.)

100. Becoming a better/more loving/stronger/ more whole person.

 ©2018 by Linda and Charlie Bloom.

Book by these Authors

Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams
by Linda and Charlie Bloom.

Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams by Linda and Charlie Bloom.According to bestselling authors and relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom, accepting common myths such as “couples with great relationships don’t fight” or “little things aren’t worth getting upset over” can prevent you from building the strong relationship you hope for. This book offers compelling stories and valuable suggestions for replacing myths with realistic expectations, equipping you with behavior and communication guidelines that will enhance and strengthen your intimate relationship. With the Blooms’ strong yet flexible approach to love, you’ll discover a new openness in which mutual understanding can thrive.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book or purchase the Kindle edition.

About the Authors

Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSWLinda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSW, married since 1972, are bestselling authors and the founders and codirectors of Bloomwork. Trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors, they have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have lectured and taught at learning institutes throughout the USA and have offered seminars throughout the world, including China, Japan, Indonesia, Denmark, Sweden, India, Brazil, and many other locations. Their website is www.bloomwork.com.

More books by these Authors

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