Walking home from work one evening I noticed a couple walking hand in hand in front of me. They were looking very sweet and happy. I was single during the time and seeing them full of love triggered jealousy in me.
How I wished I’d meet a man who’d sweep me off the feet too, someone who’ll give me flowers for no other reasons but love, someone who can pick me up from work and celebrate with me for every little successes I achieve, someone who will love me unconditionally.
… Being single, while it gave me absolute freedom and full control of my life, was never easy.
The desire to find someone to share my life with was powerful, but undeniably, full of risks. It’s easy to fall in love and get married, but picking up the right one is a long process.
To stay in love and committed to marriage in the next 50 years demands a life-time of hard work. I believe almost everyone is willing to work hard to achieve success in relationship and marriage.
Many people want the security of a long term relationship, however, a look at some of the statistics, it’s clear that a lot of people who’d found love, been married, seemingly to live happily ever after, just broke up and divorced in the next few years.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of marriage divorce in the United States in 2008 was 7.1 per 1000 of the total population, while divorce was at a 3.5 per 1000. (Signs of the Times 2011)
Many hopefuls were left broken hearted, lonely and suffering from emotional pains … Here are the 3 formulas to help you find success in your relationship:
1. You need to go through a refining process
A gold that’s newly unearthed isn’t 100 percent gold. It’s a lump of impure gold that has to be placed in a furnace. The heat will destroy all the impurities to retrieve the gold that’s shining and pure.
A marriage is like a lump of impure gold. It has to go through a furnace – tons of difficulties and hardships which are painful – in order to come out strong and enduring. All the trials that we have to face in marriage will eventually work out for our own benefit.
… But sadly, a lot of couples break while they’re in the furnace.
2. You must know yourself
Some people choose to marry a person whom they think can complete them. They may be unhappy with their life or unsuccessful and they believe that marrying someone that’s successful will make them achieve self-actualization.
Other people hardly know themselves and they choose to be with a person whom they hope to be reflective of them.
But if you are to succeed in a relationship, you need to know who you are and what you want and don’t want.
Neil Clarkson Warren, author and creator of the successful website eHarmony, explains in his book Date… or Soul Mate? that “until people can identify themselves in a precise and detailed way they are in no position to identify that person who will be able to move through life with them.”
During my high school days, I was completely unsure of myself. My confidence level was low even if it was masked with overflowing confidence from the outside. I was always competing for declamation and public speaking contests and in most occasions I’ve won.
I was an achiever in school and was active in extra-curricular activities. But my opinion of myself was low. I wasn’t confident around boys during this time.
When I was in the university, I aimed to improve my confidence. I strived harder in my studies maintaining a scholarship that requires high GPA every end of the term.
Simultaneously, I became an important figure in the campus being a Student Body official, a winning debater of my department, a spokesperson for a scholars’ organization, a pioneer of an anti-administration student party and a General Secretary for a theater group.
I surrounded myself with guy friends which made me overcome my discomfort around boys …
But my confidence level sky rocketed that I became critical of people and somewhat a dictator that no boys, no matter how attracted they were with me, wanted me for a girlfriend.
During my senior years in the university, I started to search myself and I wanted to know in depth the real me. I turned to personality tests. I remember spending hours and days in the library scanning and answering personality tests in magazines such as Women’s magazine.
It was during this time that I started to see me not only in terms of curricular achievements but by physical attributes as well. I started to see that I’ve got a great pair of legs, that I’ve a good figure and that I’m a girl that a guy can fall in love with.
When I graduated and started working, the real world came down to me like a blast that the reality of it had broke down and eventually rebuilt my confidence.
I continued to know myself by answering personality tests but this time including relationship tests in the internet, reflected upon the results and compared them with my experiences and how I see myself.
Before I got married, I knew myself well inside and out and it made me discern what type of guy I’d need to walk with me through life.
“Spending time to reflect who you are, exploring yourself through a journal, or doing personality and relationship tests are a great way to discover who you are.” ~ Dillon Cocks
3. You must understand others
A common mistake among men and women is their not trying hard to know the opposite sex. Women think very differently than men and vice versa. Knowing the nature of the opposite sex is an important factor for a successful relationship.
Why men solves your problem when all you want him to do is listen confuses you as much as why you run to him when you don’t need him to fix your problem confuses men. Disagreements and fights usually can be tracked down to miscommunication which is brought by differences of sexes.
One of the most successful books to help us understand others is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. “Gray explores how men and women can increase their successes in relationships by learning how each operates and then acting accordingly.
Learn from your friends of opposite sex
Another way of understanding about others is by learning from your friends of opposite sex. One guy friend of mine in college had a fight with his girlfriend for reasons he couldn’t understand. All he knew was that she was having a period and she gets easily irritated which irritated him too thus fueling a fight.
I explained to him what a woman goes through during these red flood days and it helped him understand.
Learn from past relationships
The moment your relationship ends, your tendency is to bury most of the memories because they’re too painful to bear. The beautiful memories are easier to remember but they’ll leave you in tears while the bad memories trigger your anger and bitterness. It’s easier to just try to forget everything.
However, once the pain die down a bit, it’s important to look through the experience with reflective eyes. The lessons that you can pick up from that failure are very valuable for the success of your next relationship.
Paris Hilton learned from her past relationships that women shouldn’t give themselves in a plate before marriage. I learned from my early failed relationships that being needy is detrimental to a successful relationship.
For some people, they learned that it’s better to fight and argue about things and differences than sit quietly in a room avoiding confrontations and pretending everything is okay even when it’s not.
Do you have other formulas for a successful relationship? What have you learned from your past relationships that proved significant for the success of your next relationship?