What you give, you receive. What you believe, you beckon.
I'm a big believer of the above two rules and have seen them manifest multiple times in my life. This basic law of attraction was at work in my relationships, my career, my studies and my personal evolution. It took me (my ego) a long time to accept that what I got is not sheer luck or misfortune but fruits of the seeds I sowed.
Coming from a broken family, I grew up learning that love is something difficult and entails more pain than reward. As I believed my relationships would end one day anyway, I erected walls around my heart to reduce the impact of the inevitable heartbreak. Ironically, the more I withheld myself from loving wholeheartedly and participating fully in my relationships, the more often I found myself heartbroken in failed relationships.
My beliefs above love and the consequent actions kept me on a downward spiral till I hit rock bottom in a divorce and depression. Climbing back up from that pit was one arduous journey but I learned my biggest lessons about love which I wouldn't have learned otherwise.
Below are my ten commandments of building a good and loving relationship which I now follow religiously. It got me breaking free of toxic relationships and helped build new loving ones. I hope they would help you as much as they helped me.
1. Thou shalt give unconditional love
It's easy to be in love when love means romantic dinners, exotic travels and nice gifts. Learn to love even if your partner could give you none of the aforementioned and instead requires your patience, understanding, tolerance and support.
2. Thou shalt make your partner feel s/he is your priority
Nothing expresses love more than making the person feel that s/he is important to you. No matter how busy your week is or what exciting activities you have lined up, always find time to check in with your partner and to spend quality time together. Fully focus on bonding instead of getting distracted with your social media feed or work matters.
3. Thou shalt be consistent and reliable
Strive to be a pillar of support for your partner. As we grow older, life gets increasingly complex to navigate. Make it a point to become someone your partner can always count on during difficult times. Build a strong foundation of trust by being clear on your stand on issues and honor your word and promises (no matter how small).
4. Thou shalt lift her/him up instead of bringing her/him down
Resist the temptation of saying hurtful words when your partner makes a mistake. Summon your inner Zen master and practice compassion in your response to the situation. Choose to use the occasion to strengthen the bond, over letting the incident cause a rift in the relationship.
5. Thou shalt support a joint decision with her/his interests in mind
Relationship is all about compromises and it is not always easy. When in a conflicting situation, put yourself in her/his shoes and factor in her/his interests and concerns in your decision. Make her/him feel that you empathize and are on her/his side.
6. Thou shalt respect her/his need for me-time and full self-expression
The best union is when you're interdependent, not co-dependent. Make room for your partner to enjoy time alone and to freely express what s/he thinks and feels. This allows you and your partner to each maintain your individuality, which is paramount for the relationship to thrive.
7. Thou shalt encourage her/him to nurture her/his passion
Very often relationships fall apart because people are unhappy with their lives. By encouraging your partner to nurture her/his passion, you create the opportunities for her/him to become a happy and fulfilled individual. This ultimately contributes to a healthy and loving relationship.
8. Thou shalt accept and appreciate her/him for who s/he is right now
Avoid thinking “I'll love her/him more when s/he becomes..”. Life is right now, not some imaginary future conjured in your mind. Accept and appreciate the imperfections of your partner and work on growing together.
9. Thou shalt ask thyself “what can I give”, not “what can I get?”
Find out how your partner would like to be loved and supported. Communicate in her/his love language as often as possible. Focus on how you can meet her/his needs and make her/his life better because you're in it.
10. Thou shalt create many good moments together
Aim to create as many happy memories together as possible. It could be a shared moment of laughter or exchanging looks of mutual adoration. All of these add to your love tank to tap on when challenging times strike.