I’m in my late twenties and have never been in a long term relationship. I’ve dated plenty of guys and have had a few boyfriends but all those relationship last maybe three months max. I don’t know if it’s me or if I’m just picking the wrong guys.
I’m at a point in my life where I really feel ready to settle down. I’m just afraid that I’m never going to find a guy who will truly commit to me. What do you think it takes to have a successful relationship that really lasts?
When people ask me what it takes to have a successful relationship, the first thing I say is this: Liberate yourself from neediness.
The Western world is becoming increasingly isolating with all of the new forms of entertainment and communication.
Even though we’re constantly stimulated, I feel that on a deeper level most people are less and less fulfilled by anything “real” and “genuine”. A real person-to-person relationship is as “real and genuine” as it gets.
The sad thing is, most people are starving for that level of “real and genuine” communication.
So when the prospect of a relationship or deeper connection shows up, men and women who are starving for it end up acting desperately and clinging to the relationship as if it’s the one and only source of joy in their life (and maybe it is).
Sadly, desperation and clinging kills relationships. It smothers the life out of the love and connection because when a person needs the other person to constantly respond to them in a certain way, they start acting “needy”.
Happens to guys and to girls. Neediness is a state of mind.
In order to treat and eliminate the neediness state of mind, men and women need to start living more balanced, more fulfilling, more enjoyable lives.
Relationships work best when they’re the “icing on the cake”, so to speak. When your life is so full and enjoyable that you’d be OK with or without a relationship, then you are in the position to truly connect with your partner on the deepest, most genuine level because you are liberated from neediness.
In order to have a successful relationship, you need to stay clear of the common mistakes that typically destroy relationships.
Living a lifestyle that leads you towards neediness is the fundamental mistake in most cases. Specifically, this is a lifestyle where you fixate on the relationship as your one and only source of happiness and fulfillment… then an overwhelming fear of loss arrests your daily mood, and before you know it your focus is on doing whatever it takes to make sure that you don’t lose the relationship.
In other words, the focus is not on enjoying the other person. The focus is on fear and loss. That is the heart of neediness and you can end up stuck in that pit when fear of loss takes over your mind.
When a relationship is the “icing on the cake” on your already-happy-and-fulfilling life, the fear of loss doesn’t set in and neediness will never affect you.
Another major mistake (and forgive me for being somewhat philosophical on this point), but it is: Having the feeling that you are “not enough”.
This kills relationships. It feeds into the neediness (the fear of loss) too since it compels people to use their relationship as a crutch to “feel like enough” when really their focus should be on finding how to be enough by themselves, so that they can give their best to their relationship.
When a person doesn’t feel they’re enough, they end up sucking life out of the relationship instead of pumping life into the relationship. Too much sucking out and not enough pumping in will suck the life out of the relationship. (OK, upon reading that again that sounds kind of dirty… not intentional, keep your mind out of the gutter)
When someone sucks the life out of their relationship, they end up resenting their partner for not giving them the same “juice” that they used to get from them. They become addicted to taking, and when the well runs dry, they resent their partner and don’t want to give anything.
Both people in the relationship need to be living full lives so that they can keep pumping life into the relationship. It’s perfectly fine and healthy to lean on your partner once in a while, but when it becomes an ongoing habit, the relationship suffers (and if it goes on for too long, the relationship crumbles).
Next, in order to make your relationship last you need to make sure you’re in the right relationship. Consider the foundation you’re standing on right now in terms of the relationship with your man. You choose your relationship success before you even start the relationship.
Back in the late ’90’s, a movie called “Titanic” came out and I would be hard pressed to find a woman who hasn’t seen it. I remember women would go and see the movie three or four times in the theaters and bawl their eyes out every single time. It was a big romantic hit, to say the least. However, it’s not real life.
You do not want a Titanic relationship. What do I mean by a Titanic relationship? Well, Titanic as a movie was a romantic story, but in the end everybody died. You know, the ship went down. And so when I say you don’t want a Titanic relationship, what I’m saying is you need to choose your partner wisely.
Choosing wisely means looking at the person from an objective perspective, not getting swept away in your feeling. Unfortunately, a lot of women will choose the Titanic and take a ride…only to be shocked and devastated when the ship starts sinking.
Women who choose well and choose the right kind of guy have far fewer problems. The problem is a lot of women can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.
Before getting involved with a new guy, it’s important to consider if there is a chance for a real future. Look at the circumstances of his life. Is he struggling with something internally? Did he just get out of a relationship? Has he recently gone through a divorce?
You also need to consider what kind of person he is. How does he treat the people in his life? How does he treat his family, his friends, the waitress?
If he treats other people badly you can expect to receive the same poor treatment. He may have been nice and charming at first when he was luring you in, but his true colors will come out eventually and by then you might be in too deep and unable to get yourself out.
If you get involved with a guy who is having issues… they could be personal or professional, in a bad place emotionally, fresh out of a relationship, or just a selfish person, the relationship will start off on a bad foundation and probably won’t last very long.
Now let’s talk about good foundations that lead to lasting relationships.
One good foundation is if the man knows his worth in the world, if he feels like a winner in the world, if he pursues his mission in life with passion, a man who likes his life and likes the path that he’s on.
Another good foundation is you connect with him emotionally. You might have different personalities, but you get him, you understand him, you get where he’s coming from.
It’s also important that you share the same values and that he treats people well, and is generally considerate. And also that he invests in the relationship.
It is also important for him to be single, as in not currently in a relationship or married. It also helps if he’s not recently broken up or divorced.
It is also important than he shows some level of commitment or investment in you. This doesn’t mean he’s constantly texting or calling you because that’s not normal behavior for most guys. A lot of guys want to be focused on their task at hand and don’t want to be texting and calling all day. If he cares, he will try to show his love for you in a way that’s natural for him.
Some guys show love in the things they do for you. He takes care of you in some way, maybe he takes you out on dates, maybe he does chores for you around the house, maybe he has a job and provides for you financially. Maybe he gives you his time and makes an effort to spend quality time with you. Maybe he touches you affectionately, and I’m not talking about sex necessarily, although sex can be included too, but he touches you with affection and love.
Or maybe he encourages you, supports you, appreciates you and expresses how much he cares for you. Maybe he gives you thoughtful gifts, maybe he buys you presents, maybe he gets you cards or things like that.
If he’s doing any of the things mentioned above it’s a good sign that he loves you and wants to show it. It means he has the intention of investing in the relationship. He might not necessarily do it in a way that translates as feeling loved to you, but the fact that he has the intention and is putting forth the effort is a good sign and a good foundation.
Lastly, we need to talk about your personal foundation. It doesn’t matter how good the foundation is on his side. If you’re not in the right place, the relationship won’t last.
On the next page, I’m going to give you some questions that will reveal exactly how to have the lasting relationship you’ve always wanted with your man.