Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

August 09, 2009

Relationship Advice

Below is a slightly modified listing of relationship tips I pulled together from a random search this morning as I was taking one of my adventures into the depths of the internet forest. I posted the first one as a status item on my FaceBook page which just kept rolling. *lol* At the request of others appreciating the original posting, I have turned it into a "Note" so that it may be shared. Enjoy! Oh, and as I said to a sister suggesting I consider advising another sister struggling with relationship issues: "My personal relationship success (or shall I say *lack thereof*), would most certainly not qualify me as a guide to anyone on a personal level...other than to say I can tend to be better at the finding good advice aspect vs. the implementing it into my own life aspect! Of course, nothing happens without the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, so I figure the Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala just has another/better plan for me! *smile* When I get it figured out, I'll share!" *lol* On the flip-side…the dilemma might not seem so impossible if I could meet brothers who didn't propose with the condition that the marriage be "secret" – astifurgallah al-Azeem (that was ANOTHER status post!) Oh, so let me add this to the list (see bottom).

  • You need a steady diet of intimacy and the other person’s presence to remember why you’re in the relationship. If you don’t see each other often enough, you can start to lead parallel lives instead of lives that intersect.
  • Absence does not make the heart grow fonder; it's an invitation to wander...
  • Phone calls or text/sms messages aren’t substitutes for real conversation.
  • Give your partner the gift of undivided attention and see if she or he doesn't find that the most romantic thing going.
  • Be a good listener. Allow your partner to talk about whatever it is on his/her heart/mind. Listen without trying to fix it all. Let your partner answer your questions without finishing his/her sentences, interrupting, or moving on to the next topic.
  • Is your partner into computers while you don't know a mouse from a monitor? Or is she into gardening, but to you a rose is just a rose? Give your partner the gift of your interest in something that is important to him or her. Go ahead, ask him/her a question about it and see the smile light up his or her face.
  • There is nothing like being in a great relationship. There is nothing like being seen and known by the one you love, and seeing and loving back. Whatever you need to do to get there, do it.
  • It doesn't matter if you have been "unlucky in love." All that matters is that you take the steps necessary to build a great relationship. It is essential these be different steps than the ones you have taken in the past.
  • How can you get bored with your partner when your needs are being met, when you have great communication, when you feel loved and love back? Could you ever be bored with that? What people think of as boredom is actually the accumulated weight of unspoken resentments and anger squeezing the life out a relationship.
  • Let go of the past. Clear the way for it by dropping the baggage from your past. Baggage here refers to resentments, hurts and fears towards anyone that was either a role model or participated directly in a relationship with you
  • Some people carry their hurts, resentments and fear as badges of honor, or learn from them as if they were indisputable... Read More lessons life was trying to teach.
  • They are neither. They are byproducts of unfortunate situations and your baggage. The sooner you can truly let go of this baggage the less likely you are to recreate bad situations.
  • Take a personal inventory of how you act in relationships. Why? If your past relationships have not worked out, you are at least 50% responsible.
  • Your needs are THE criteria for choosing a partner. Be sure to choose a partner that will satisfy your long term not your short term needs. Choosing a partner out of short term needs is tantamount to setting yourself up for failure. Short term need - what you need now. Long term need - what you will always need.
  • Establish and honor boundaries; or limits. To know and honor your limits builds your self esteem, while earning the respect of others.
  • Why do you need to have boundaries in a loving relationship? Even the best of partners will inevitably do some things that will not be OK with you. If you say nothing, your partner will not know or pay attention to affecting you negatively. That will be the start of a good relationship going bad.
  • Boundaries also greatly enhance your ability to select the right partner. The wrong partner will cross your boundaries fairly early into the relationship. If you are aware, the wrong partner can be quickly recognized.
  • Ask yourself not what you want from your relationship, but what you need. What can you not live without? What do you need to thrive? What do you need from a partner day to day?
  • To purge fantasy from your definition, ask yourself what you want from another that you are not willing to do or be yourself.
  • How do you socialize? If you want to meet your ideal partner, stop looking for her or him. Socialize as a way to create a rich, satisfying life and as way to create a supportive, vibrant community. Be social to enhance your life and not to look for a partner. When you life works and you are happy, the right partner will be drawn to you.
  • Shift your focus away from attracting a partner and wanting a relationship. Instead focus on creating the kind of life you want.
  • Strengthen your faith. Inevitably, at one point or another in the process of finding the right person to spend your life with, you will feel as if you are getting nowhere. Faith will be the one thing you will have to count on.
  • Having faith will keep you from going back to old behaviors in an effort to speed up results.
  • P.S. – If the relationship needs to be "secret" – it's a relationship you DON'T NEED TO BE IN!!!
This list has been adapted from information found here. Please note that the reference is not to be construed as an unequivocal endorsement.