Honestly, what attracted us to the person we are with? Was it that they complimented us on who we are, and where we are going? Or were we attracted to their character, their accomplishments, their enthusiasm for life? The penetrating questions we need to ask ourselves. 1) Am I living the good life, the best life I can? If not, why? Everyone has the capacity to orchestrate their own change and growth and to become the best version of themselves. A lasting romantic partnership requires each person to effort in becoming better than they have ever been before, at something. It can be the same hobby, or a new fascination. The good life begins with individual fulfillment and empowerment, but it radiates outward from there to transform our intimate relationships as well. It is the pathway to partnerships that are mutually satisfying and enhancing. The BEST life is when each party in a relationship is free of self-imposed and inherited judgments and limitations. When a person allows themselves to try new things, new thoughts, in new ways, they expand and become increasingly attractive. People need the freedom to express what they like, what bothers them, their big ideas, and what they need to be satisfied in life. In couple psychology today couples are encouraged to challenge what has always been, so that they can explore new ways and the HOPE that comes when couples feel renewed joy while doing this thing called life together. Plan the next event as if it was the wedding, the merging of two minds and hearts. Birthdays, weddings, anniversarys, holidays are occasions where people plan the event for the purpose of sharing joy with others. Without events life gets boring so couples are encouraged to plan events! Who shall the couple invite? Where shall the reunion take place? What is the theme of the celebration? Having FUN is highly important in the quest to feeling “happier”. Happiness increases as we explore new thoughts, new things, and the interests, passions and stories of other people. Couples only have their stories and repeating the same old stories gets boring. The good life is NOT a life for those who fear change. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of a persons potential. It involves the courage to become more attractive to all those who are in our life. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.” Would you like to have a romantic partner like that? Would you like to be a partner like that? Of course! And happily for us, we have the freedom to become more than we have ever been, regardless of age, we CAN become more attractive! Couples reach their full potential by simply providing a safe and conducive environment for real change to occur. These are the three necessary qualities in successful couple conversations. Set the stage for creating the “good life” in your relationship. Here they are: 1. Genuineness. For couples to feel empowered and willing to grow they must feel safe in being transparent. No hiding frustrations allowed. Be a human being, be honest, be vulnerable, be present, and listen well. Help the other person feel safe and fully competent to solve the problems they face. Be genuine and leave nothing about yourself for your partner to “read between the lines” about. 2. Unconditional Respect and Regard. Unless people feels accepted just as they are, free of judgment, criticism, and condescension, they are unlikely to risk the openness and vulnerability necessary for deep introspection and change. Defensiveness is a natural response in anyone who feels threatened or undervalued. Rogers cautions couples to guard against an attitude of superiority at all times. Doing so requires an ironclad commitment to listen intently without interruption or unsolicited advice. 3. Empathy. In order to be most effective, couples must actually care what their partner is feeling. Only then would a person feel truly safe and be able to consider new ways of living. In romantic relationships, it is easy for you both to consider only how particular issues feel to you and what effect they have on your life. This naturally results in lines in the sand that make the first two desired traits much more difficult to sustain. A good friend is married to a person that matches her energy and her passion for life. A mate who has plans, a life partner who has a passion for life and for people. They both attract people and together they enjoy laughing with a diverse group of people. It is important to pay attention to how many friends a person has, how many people truly enjoy being around him. Does this person have to carve out time for you? Does this person have goals, dreams? Do those plans and dreams fit your future? "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of GOD except the Spirit of GOD. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God (the Holy Spirit), that we may understand what GOD has freely given us." Seek wisdom and comfort in the Word of God, be still, talk to friends and make changes. Many copules ignore, or make excuses for their partners habits which irritate them. or they elect to change their own behaviour to keep the relationship "happy". This manuafactred, fake joy will not last. It may take years, but couples who settle for less than the GOOD LIFE will get to the point where they are so unhappy, so dissatisfied, so distant that they will eventually depart with anger and regrets. Divorce can be avoided IF each person takes an inventory of what they are feeling and becomes honest with what they need. Understand who you really are, instead of a cardboard cutout that you think you need to be to please someone. Each person needs to work on becoming more than they have ever been, for themselves. The relationship can sparkle again when both people give effort to become attractive again. The good life is waking up each morning energised and looking forward to great day. Take charge, this is the only life you have!