Last week would have been my parent’s 67th Wedding anniversary. They were blessed to have spent 65 of those years together until my Dad transitioned to Spirit.
In a world where we continue to change and grow at what seems light speed, are there qualities that exist in a long lasting marriage or partnership that we can look for and develop? How do we change and grow both individually and together? Too often when we grow, we grow apart. Some of us love change and growth, and some of us don’t. However, change is inevitable for all of us. How do we harness this change and have it work FOR our relationships instead of against them? Growing together as a couple and partners as well as individuals are both needed for long lasting love.
The famous football coach Lou Holtz once said, “We are either growing or dying”. While change is inevitable, there are some things that don’t change. Once you discover your core truths and those of your partner, you are better equipped to make sure you are well matched to a life of love.
Here are just a few of the qualities that will make for a lifetime of love and happiness:
- Shared core values. Not all of them, but enough of them need to match to make a good partnership. My parents, for example, shared the values of family, faith, hard work and fun. Core values are the essence of what makes each of us unique and allow us to live in authenticity and flow. When we each know what makes us tick, and we live in alignment with those values, life is good. Add to that a partner who shares in those similar values and you have a strong foundation for love. Choose a partner that has very different core values, and you will experience endless unresolvable differences.
- Shared vision of what “success” in life looks like. What is your dream? What does your ideal life look and feel like? Does your vision match that of your partner? In the 1950’s when my parents first married, it was a simpler time. Today we have so many choices, and our visions can sometimes change as we ourselves grow. Regardless, being crystal clear with your vision for what your best life is all about is essential for your happiness. Being with a partner that shares parts of that vision is essential for happiness together. What is it that you want in this one, wild and wonderful life?
- The ability to look within and share your truth (both the light and the dark) with yourself and your partner. When difficulties arise, as they invariably will, how well equipped are you to own your truth and feelings and turn toward each other and share all feelings of doubt, fear and vulnerability, without blame or criticism? For some this is a tall order, but it is the secret ingredient to communication, intimacy and a lifetime of true and lasting love.
I am so grateful to have had parents who modeled for me the qualities of a long and lasting relationship. I am also grateful for past experiences that taught me these things that I did not have clarity with, so I could get clear and create deep and meaningful love relationships for myself. If we have even one example of this in our lives, I believe we can count ourselves blessed. Who were the relationship mentors in your life? What qualities have you recognized that make for a strong foundation of love? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!