As someone who has struggled with relationships all my adult life, and is more of a thinker than a feeler, I am very intrigued by couples who celebrate anniversary after anniversary together.
Seriously, how does that even happen?
The cynic in me says it’s an eyewash; they aren’t really happy, they are just sticking together because of common shared fears.
The (tiny) romantic in me thinks it’s a case of them having found “true love”, which the cynic in me laughs at.
The pragmatic in me, which is also the dominant voice, thinks they have played their cards really well.
My interest in knowing what makes people click (together or not) has led me to read up on a variety of topics, ranging from human psychology to relationship guides, even tabloids and gossip magazines for they too are not entirely devoid of a gem here and there (despite that not being their intention!) This wide reading and the subsequent observation of and interaction with people in long and happy relationships has led me to a few conclusions that I’m presenting here.
There are many reasons a relationship works and both the partners play their part in it. I, however, am focusing on women because the best relationships that I have seen all have had strong females in them. And also because I’m a woman, and am better able to understand where the fellow females of the species come from. My aim is not to generalize though but to understand, which usually requires classification of some sort.
So without further ado, here are the five traits that women in successful relationships exhibit, and what you can learn from them:
Trait #1 Have a very strong sense of self
These women are NOT damsels in distress.
They don’t need any knights in shining armors to save them. They have a strong head on their shoulders, and a very clear idea about who they are and what they want from life. This usually serves as guiding posts in their life.
That does not mean they did not date the guys or make wrong decisions when they were younger, only that they were quick to spot that and cut their losses.
They also know how to genuinely move on, as a larger sense of self inspires them and leads them in life. That also allows them to emerge not too worse off from their relationships compared to those of us who lose ourselves in a relationship and when things go wrong we can’t even recognize the ground we are standing on.
Trait#2 Take great care of yourself
This ties in with the previous point. Women, and also men, with a strong sense of self tend to take rather good care of themselves – physically, mentally, and spiritually. At the very least they aren’t dependent on others for their well-being.
A woman exhibiting this trait is aware of her insecurities and triggers and handles them to the best of her ability. If she is not happy with something, she will work on it, not judge herself for it. For example, our vanity is not something to be ashamed of but to be paid attention to as it tells us in no uncertain terms what we need to do to keep ourselves happy. Exercise religiously if you are uncomfortable with your love handles. Groom yourself and dress in the most flattering dresses and sexy shoes or sandals. Do a job you love, pursue your passion.
If you keep yourself happy and sorted, you won’t be dependent on your man for happiness. That way, when he does come to you after a long day at work, you will have within you a positive energy to direct at him, which can only be a good thing for your relationship.
Trait #3 Take the lead in your relationships
Now I’m starting to sound like your grandmother, but it is true that if you want something to work you have to take the initiative in making sure it proceeds along the right path.
If both of you have been very busy with work, don’t wait for the man to bring up the idea of spending some quality time together. Do it yourself. He may be so busy that he may forget about “quality time” entirely, but when that happens don’t sulk and pout and punish him for it. Recognize his nature for what it is and work with it. He forgot all about a vacation but you didn’t, so gently bring his attention back to where you think it should be.
Trait #4 Feed the man’s ego
Now that is just a cynical way of putting it, typical me. But if I were to re-phrase it I’d say something along the lines of “praise him a lot.” And sincerely, too. Now I’m not saying you should go over the top with it as he isn’t a fool and will know where you are coming from.
Smile when you see him, because you are happy to. Praise him genuinely and be very careful with the criticism. Men do have a fragile ego, and some women delight in kicking them where it hurts the most. Don’t be one of those. Build him up, not bring him down.
Trait #5 Keep him happy in bed
Or do you want me to expound on that as well?