There seems to be an A to Z of everything else – so why not relationships! Here we go…
…is for feeling Alive yourself, so you add life to any relationship you are in. For being amorous, adoring and letting go of anger. Think about how your Father and Mother reacted when they were angry and then look at your behaviour. Notice similarities?! Admire each other and yourself.
…is for your Beliefs and Behaviours. What are your beliefs about relationships; and people of the opposite sex; about conflict and arguments; about money; fidelity; honesty etc etc. All the things you need to understand about yourself that might be driving your Behaviour at a deep level. It's also for your background – who you are and who is the other person. What made them who they are?
…how do you Communicate? Clearly? Honestly? Do you listen more than you speak – or listen before you speak? Are you into Commitment? What are your feelings about commitment? Do you have Confidence in yourself and the other person? Are you their Champion? How do you handle Control? Is it an issue in your relationships? Be Compassionate with each other and love them in difficult times as well.
…"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" doesn't work in relationships! They want you to do unto them what they want you to do unto them! So ask 'what do I do that makes you feel I love you?' And what about our relationships with dogs! We unconditionally accept our dogs as dogs – we don't look at them and scream 'I wish you were a cat!' – so can you love your partner like you love your dog? And have regular Dates – even after you are married!
…How much Energy and Enthusiasm do you have? They are reported to be important components of sex appeal. How Exciting are you and how much excitement do you put into your relationship? Does your Ego get in the way of love? How much Effort do you make to keep your partner interested in you – or have you become blase and take them for granted?
…Be Friends First! Friendship keeps us in relationships far longer than lust! Learn about each other, ask millions of questions; spend lots of time together. Recognise your Fears and deal with them. Have Fun in a big way! And as much of the time as you can. The Fun Factor often flies out the window when financial pressures, children and mortgages take hold of our lives! Focus on the good in your life and relationship rather than wasting hours dwelling on the not so good.
…Generosity and Goodwill will tide you through tough times. Give them the benefit of the doubt – and be generous with yourself – be generous with your spirit and your heart, not just your money. Grow together. As your life progresses, explore new dimensions, be adventurous and share new experiences.
…Be Happy! In yourself and with life and show others you are happy. Be Honest – with yourself and others and give the ones you love in your life lots of Hugs – it boosts everyone's immune system.
…Intimacy is an integral part of a lifelong partnership. Intimacy in many ways – not just physical. Make it safe for you and the other person to share their innermost secrets. Keep a part of you just for the other person – so they feel special. Be Interesting – keep active and have an eventful life so you feel and are – interesting company. Nothing worse than someone who bores you silly at the end of a day. Live with Integrity – to yourself and others and stick to your values.
…is for Joyful. Go through your day being joyful about life – even if it's not as perfect as you would like – you're still alive and the sun shines! Joint activities help keep you together – play sport together, learn to sail together. Do them!
…Be Kind to each other and yourself! We often travel through our days being kind to complete strangers and when we arrive home we turn into monsters! Because now we can 'relax' and in the process we forget basic gentleness and kindness.
…Listen to each other – really listen, don't just wait for a gap in someone else's conversation to say what you want to say! Ask yourself 'what does this person really want from me' and as Stephen Covey says 'listen with your eyes for feelings'. Laugh lots! Lighten up and don't take yourselves too seriously – life's too short! Love yourself and each other unconditionally. Keep Learning – it's the purpose of life. Learning helps you grow and develop; keeps you interesting and interested; fills you with wonder.
…Magic Moments pass us by each day and we forget hundreds of them. Keep a book in which you write all those precious moments. In times of difficulty you can open it up and relive those moments and your body chemistry will change so you feel better. Have a massage once a week to eliminate stress – massage each other as well! Make Memories! Create situations that will be special events in your life – times that will become treasured memories of wonderful times. Live out your and your partner's fantasies!
…Non verbal communication is much more powerful than you can imagine! Words account for 7% of the message being delivered to another. Be very careful of what you are thinking – or saying to yourself – when you speak because whatever you are thinking is being 'telegraphically transmitted' to the other person! You think you are hiding the fact you think they are an idiot or at fault – but you're not! They know!! Nurture yourself and your partner AND the relationship – it needs special nurturing to keep it alive.
…Be Optimistic. It makes you more fun to live with; boosts your immune system; reduces stress; and generally makes life easier. Openness in your communication reduces misunderstandings and conflict. Have interests Outside your normal routine – hobbies, sport, history, archaeology etc.
…Politeness is often forgotten once we are in a relationship! We are polite and delightful to complete strangers all day long and then we come home and become pigs! Play together – it's critical! Don't be too mature all the time – be silly and play sport or games (as in cards, charades etc) as a family and notice the bonding. Where are your priorities? Work or home? Do you have time for a relationship at the end of the day? Do your hobbies absorb all your spare time with none left for the relationship? Patience will help you travel a long way on the path of contentment. Patience with yourself and others. Give each other Permission to be who you really are and to live according to his/her own values and beliefs.
…Have Quantity time – not just quality time. Quality time is a euphemism for no time! Any relationship needs time when we both or the family just mooches around together. It's during these times that special, unexpected moments occur.
…Respect and successful relationships go hand in hand. We must respect ourselves first and then respect our partner (and/or children). It's a basic human need. Find qualities that you respect in another – look for them and then remember them in tough times. Where would we be without romance? Make an effort to be romantic – it doesn't just happen. Plan for romantic weekends four times a year! Buy massage oils!
…Stress causes more disruptions to our relationships than we realise. How do you handle stress? Are you allowing it to store up and kill you and your relationship? Do things to relax – daily and weekly. Make each other feel special (not to mention yourself) in whatever way the other person likes to be made to feel special. Support each other and stand up for each other in public and in private – not many people realise how important this little act is for your bond.
…Be Thoughtful – do little things that let the other person know you are thinking about them. A quick phone call to say 'I love you'; flowers; take out the garbage without being asked; if your partner looks tired help them. I'm sure you have many ideas that will spring to mind! Be True to yourself – listen to your 'inner oracle' (that means wise person inside your body!) and follow what it says.
…Unconditionally accept each other! It's one of the BIG lessons in life – and very hard to really unconditionally love and accept each other. We can do it with our babies and toddlers and somewhere, somehow it disappears! Perhaps we can try looking at how we relate to our pets (especially dogs) and apply the same principles to our partner!
…Value each other. Recognise the great things about each other and be aware of your own values. It's not easy to identify our values because no one really teaches us – we absorb most of them from our parents and they are such deep parts of us that we are often unaware of what they are. Be Vulnerable with each other – it's allows real intimacy. Respect and treasure that part of each other because it's a gift – that's what being vulnerable is – a gift from the other person. They are saying "I love and trust you enough to expose my most vulnerable bits'!
…Being Wise selfish is something that Dalai Lama suggested we all practice. Whilst there are things we need to do for others – our partners, parents , children, friends – and some things we need to do for our relationship as an entity, there are also things we need to do for ourselves. To keep our energy levels up and to nourish ourselves so we can continue giving to others. Let the 'Winds of heaven' dance between you as Kalahl Gilbran said in one of his poems – that is be together without collapsing into the relationship and losing all sense of self. Andrew Matthews, author of 'Being Happy' reminds us to focus on the Widow's list not the Wive's list. After someone dies or goes from our lives, we tend to remember only the good about them; but we focus on the other than good when they are around!
…this is a hard one! Other than saying do X rated things – I could only come up with bathe yourself in an Excess of loving and happiness. (Perhaps some alert readers can write and give us ideas on this one!)
…Youthful zest is attractive and engaging – we grow out of it as we mature and think we have to be more grown up! Stop it immediately – and grow down. Y is for you – you are the most important person to have happy, healthy and contented; because when you are all those things, it radiates out of you and casts a warm glow on others.
…Zing, Zing, Zing – that's what we need more of in our flings! The Zest, the life, the excitement and all those things I have written about in the A to Z of relationships.
Why not make up your own A to Z – see what you can come up with and make it a source of discussion in the family.