Let Love Rule!
“Remember that the best relationship is one in which
your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”
- The Dalai Lama
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength;
loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Relationships and friendships can be heavy going at the best of times. Throw cancer in the mix and they can feel a thousand times more intense!
Know what we mean?
The NowWhat Team figures that Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to give some relationship advice and we’d like to thank ReachOut.com for their helpful contributions!
Oh, and when we say “relationships” we are not only talking about romantic relationships, but friendships as well. So this Valentine’s Day advice is for EVERYONE!
Here they are: Seven practical pointers to ensure that while you are staying as healthy as you can, your relationships stay as healthy as they can too. After all, healthy relationships are happy relationships! And that's just what you deserve!
Tip Number 1: Be nice to each other!
This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how easily you can start taking a friend or partner for granted.
You don’t have to wait for a birthday to make someone feel special, as kindness and surprises are always fun! So even when your relationship is going well, it’s super important to remember to do little things to make each other feel as special as you both are.
Try to do at least one nice thing for your friend or partner each time you are with them. This could be as small as telling them you like their hair, clothes or smile, (be honest though, as someone you know well will know straight away if you don’t mean it!)
You could take note of little things they like, such as sweet treats, particular cafes, activities etc., and organise a little surprise for them! It doesn’t have to cost much, if anything at all! Pick them a friendly flower from your garden if you like!
A thoughtful little gesture like this can mean sooo much; they may well never forget it! So remember, be kind; it’s contagious!
Tip Number 2: Keep talkin’!
A tragic fact of life is that you can’t read your friend or partner’s mind. And reversely, they can’t read yours. So it’s up to you to keep the communication going!
Talk regularly about what is happening in your life and be honest with how you feel about it all. Your honesty will encourage honesty from them. And the fact is that when people share their thoughts and feelings, they are likely to develop a deep respect for one another. And respect is a very wonderful thing!
However, we do know that talking about some things may be particularly hard, especially if you are sad or angry with someone or about something (such as your cancer), or if you are simply not used to being open about stuff.
If that’s the case for you then you can always write down (or type out) your feelings! Just taking the time to do this can help you make sense of your own thoughts. Once your thoughts are written down you can choose to:
- give it to your friend/ partner to read themself
- read it out in person
- just consider it a diary entry that helped you order your thoughts before you say them aloud directly
By keeping up the communication your relationship will have the best possible chance of growing and continuing to be strong and healthy.
So we'll say it again, keep on talking!
Tip Number 3: Be honest and trusting!
· 1. With yourself:
Trust your feelings, trust your gut, trust your instincts! You’d be surprised how accurate they are!
Remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to your feelings, so as long as you are being honest with yourself, you know you are doing what is best for you and your relationship.
· 2. With your partner or friend:
Trusting and being honest with your friend or partner is a really important part of a healthy relationship too. However this can take time to develop, so don’t panic too much if it’s not there immediately! As you continue to share experiences your level of trust is likely increase quite naturally.
Tip Number 4: Try not to suffocate each other!
Hanging out together is important and can be great fun, but having your own interests and giving each other some breathing space is super important too!
Make sure you enjoy the company of a variety of people including different family members and other friends. You could also consider joining a sports team or an online club!
Having time apart is healthy not only because it makes you appreciate each other, but it could also help you to expand your interests and give you lots of new things to share!
Tip Number 5: Become your own BFF!
Independence is empowering, so spend time getting to know yourself!
You might be surprised how much fun you can be. After all, there’s no one in the world that you have more in common with, right?!
Spending time by yourself can not only help you understand yourself, but also the way you work in relationships.
It may feel a bit scary at first, but over time it can become less weird and more enjoyable. You may want to start by doing something you really enjoy such as going for a bike ride, listening to music or reading. Just half an hour a couple of times a week of designated “you” time, can be invaluable for you and your relationship!
Check out this beautiful youtube clip on how to be alone:
You can also use this time to think about what you want out of life. Write a list and start ticking things off as you achieve them!
Tip Number 6: When you can’t agree..
We can’t get along all the time, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion (even when you reeeally don’t agree with it!). However, the fact is that differing opinions and beliefs can often lead to great frustrations in relationships.
When you have an argument, it can be a good idea to firstly have a few minutes of breathing time, just to give you a chance to think and reduce the chance of saying something that you regret! Then, express your opinions calmly, and remember to hear the other person out. Encourage them to explain their opinion as much as they can. Sometimes they will realise it’s not entirely right, and other times this will help you understand their perspective and why they feel so strongly.
Once you have both expressed your opinions, try to reach an understanding between the two of you. Your solution could be one of the following:
Agree to disagree. ie respect their right to an opinion but make it clear that you have your own
- Accept that your opinion may need to change.
Remember that we are all different and the world could be really boring if we were all the same!
Accepting differences between you and your friend or partner can help make you and the relationship healthier and stronger.
Tip Number 7: The S word
When necessary, say sorry!
It will mean the world to your partner or friend, and you'd be surprised how good it can make you feel!
So there it is, NowWhat’s 7 practical pointers for keeping relationships healthy!
Remember,you deserve happy and healthy friendships and relationships. If you feel that some of your relationships are not healthy or respectful then you need to do something about it, and the following websites are there to help you:
Good luck in all your relationships!
And in the words of rocker Lenny Kravitz, "Let Love Rule!"
Happy Valentine’s Day!