Communication Is The Key To A Lasting Relationship

"If you are trying to find ways to lead a more fulfilled life, at some point the spotlight of your attention will fall on your various relationships - with family, lovers, friends and colleagues," stated Take Control of Your Life, one of the series in Time-Life Books.

Relationship can bring great pleasure and satisfaction where they work and unhappiness when they don't. While some bless the day they meet their partners, others curse the day. Understanding when your relationships are working well and taking steps to improve them when they are not is an important way of taking control of your life.

Let's go back to the basic. Before embarking on a relationship, one very important factor is deeply emphasised by relationship experts, clinical psychologist, spiritual guidance counsellor and modest-but-wise people who had found peace within themselves in the course of their existence. 'Love yourself, discover yourself and love that person you are.' You cannot give or receive love if you don't first of all love who you are. Those who are incapable of releasing love cannot get love. That is the law.

'In order to become someone else's soul-mate, you must first be your own,' says Drs Derek Hopson and Darlene Powel Hopson in their book, Friends, Lovers & Soul-mate. 'If you don't care about yourself, how can you develop a relationship where someone else cares for you. Unless you accept that you are worthy of good treatment why should anyone else believe it.' If you don't love yourself, discover yourself and know what you want from life and in a relationship, instead of you to be a partner or player, you will be played like a ball. This is truth and nothing but the truth.

A relationship does not have to be perfect in order to work. However all good relationships have the same ingredients: common interest, good communication and compatibility sets of value help enormously in a relationship. Most importantly, in a good and happy relationship you are able to be who you really are, not the way you should or could be. And you allow the other person to be the same. This means that you are comfortable to talk openly about the things that are important to you and are clear about how you wish to be treated. It also means that you respect that the person is different from yourself and that you do not seek to change them.

Loving a person the way that person wants to be loved is another basic ingredient of a good relationship. I once attended an advance relationship seminar in New York addressed by Dr John Gray, an internationally renowned relationship expert and the author of the 5 million-copy best seller, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Dr Gray told (us) the participants that one of the most common questions he is asked when a new acquaintance learns that he is a relationship expert is this: "What is the secret to making a relationship work?" Here it is in 10 words, he said, "Love your partner the way he/she needs to be loved."

A fundamental way in which your relationship exhibits these basic ingredients is in your ability to communicate effectively with each other. That is the key to unlocking almost any relationship problem however severe. Communicate more, partners are told, and things will get better.

Communication involves both talking honestly and listening attentively. This means expressing your appreciation of your partner in terms of your love and affections. It also means finding a way to air your difficulties, frustration and needs, however difficult this may be. And of course it means listening to and respecting your partner's thought and feelings too.

Whereas women communicate in relationship, men don't. Instead men prefer to open up fears and frustration to the 'boys'. Don't blame us, this is the way we are raised. My advice to the womenfolk is: Be kind to us whenever possible. Soften us to open up. Convince us that we can trust you with our emotions and we shall open up.

According to Drs Lonie Barbach & Linda Levine in their book Shared Intimacy, "Good communication in a relationship is similar to a solid to a solid foundation for a house. If a house is built with a strong foundation, it will be able to withstand the stress caused by such natural disasters as hurricane or tornadoes. Even if the rest of the house is damaged or destroyed, if the foundation is solid the house can be rebuilt." Relationship is like a flower. If well tendered and nurtured, it will grow well.

This requires effort and commitment from the two parties involved because it takes two to tango and it takes two hands to clap. Arising problems are inevitable because problems are part of life. In fact the more the problems, the more you are part of life. The only place that I have been to where the people residing there have no problem is the cemetery and they are all dead!

Dayo Olomu is a UK-based Motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling "4 Indispensable Strategies for Success" and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters. Get his FREE monthly Rise to the Top ezine by sending a blank email to [email protected] or visit his website at:

In The News:

How to Have a Relationship and a Career  Harvard Business Review
The Key to Relationships  Psychology Today
Is Lack of Gratitude Dragging Down Your Relationship?  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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