The Only 5 Things That Matter in Relationships
Written by Denver griffin on May 7, 2019
Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce or separation. And that is not to say that those who did not divorce are happy.
It’s safe to say, statistically, that the majority of people in relationships are unhappy.
But after working with many couples in saving their relationships, I can tell you that these grim statistics is not due to a lack of trying.
In fact, most couples try very HARD to save and work on their relationship. But often, no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, they just cannot seem to turn it around.
So most couples learn to just say “Hmm. Maybe we are not meant to be together.”
But again, after working with many couples, I realize that this is not true. Most couples ARE meant to be together — but the problem is that they have been approaching their relationship in all the wrong ways.
So let’s break down the problem here —
The biggest problem of all is that most couples are trying to do too many things to fix their relationship, but not enough of the correct things.
In my experience, there are only 5 principles that you need to master to design your dream relationship.
And just like what the picture of this blog post shows, these principles build on top of each other — so before you can create admiration (#3), you must create emotional and psychological safety first.
And obviously, it would be impossible for me to fully talk about these 5 principles in this post, so if you want to learn more, schedule a FREE 50-minute strategy session with me.
Principle #1: Emotional safety — Creating an environment where both persons in the relationship feel free and open to express their emotions to each other.
It’s simple really — emotions are like volcanoes. When allowed to be expressed freely and openly, it will usually come out in mild, gentle streams. But emotions when pent up, will usually create a lot of bitterness and anger that will eventually explode in your face.
But the problem is that most couples do not know this. They try to squash emotions, analyze it, correct it, and respond to it with even more emotions. When our partner is being intensely emotions, we tell them that they are “dramatic” and to come back “when you are calm”.
Most couple do not allow emotions to be expressed. Most couples create a culture where they feel guilty to express emotions.
The result? We feel pent up, and emotions never come out in gentle streams but loud and intense conflicts.
But once we learn to create emotional safety and truly understand what it means and how powerful it is — this will change the game for you.
In my experience, this requires a paradigm shift in the we see and think about what emotions mean, and requires a major shift in the way we respond to intense emotions.
Principle #2: Psychological safety — Creating an environment where both persons in the relationship feel free and open to express their thought and opinions to each other.
How many times have you wanted to express something, but you chose not to, simply because you aren’t sure of how your partner will react, or because you know that your partner will react badly.
Do you always feel like you are walking on eggshells in your relationship, needing to watch everything you say and do for the fear that it will be mis-understood, misjudged, or make the other person angry?
Do you find that you are constantly having to read between the lines with your partner in order to try to figure him/her out? What is she really feeling and thinking? She says she is fine, but is she really?
Do you find yourself needing to overthink and overanalyze everything you say, or everything your partner says?
Well, if this sounds familiar — then your relationship does not have any psychological safety.
Quite simply, psychological safety is the secret ingredient to effective communication. It is an environment where both persons feel free to freely and openly share their thoughts, ideas and opinions with each other, without fearing judgement or adverse responses.
And once psychological safety is established, that is when misunderstanding will begin to go away, when communicating will become more effortless, and a real and deep understanding and compassion will begin to take place in the relationship.
Principle #3: Mutual Admiration — Creating an environment where both persons look up each other.
Once you have mastered #1 and #2, and once you have properly established it, only then can you venture into principle #3.
One of the most common complaints I get in relationships is that they each wish that their partners are more supportive of who they are and the relationship. They complain that their partners do not:
- Fight for the relationship, or fight for him/her.
- Support their biggest hopes and dreams, or their projects.
- Want to listen to their advice or suggestions.
- Want to become the best version of themselves.
- Value the relationship and takes it for granted.
And most people, when they are in this situation will start to get angry at their partner, and they will usually conclude that something is wrong with their partner — that their partner is an asshole, difficult, not a good partner — because a good partner will fight for the relationship, supports each others hopes and dreams, listens to each other’s advice, and doesn’t take the relationship for granted.
Well, in my experience, this is the wrong conclusion.
Most of the time, your partner does not want to support you, fight for you, value the relationship and continue to become the best version of themselves because YOU failed to create a culture of admiration.
YOU either did not give your partner a good reason to support and value the relationship, or you have destroyed it somewhere along the way.
But once you re-establish this culture of admiration, your partner will naturally want to support you, fight for you, value the relationship, and continue to become the best version of themselves.
This is inevitable.
So creating admiration is one of the key principles you need to pay attention to in your relationship.
Principle #4: Noble Selfishness — Creating an environment where the both of you WANT to love each other.
You’re definitely not going to understand what Noble Selfishness means, because this is a concept that I had to come up with because no one else seems to be talking about it.
But do you sometimes feel like you have to fake your love to your partner?
Do you sometimes feel like showing love, being nice, and doing favors for your partner is an obligation, rather than a desire?
Do you feel that your relationship is more of a chore and an obligation that tires you, instead of something that inspires and energies you?
Do you sometimes feel unfulfilled by the love that your partner shows because you do not think it is genuine?
Well, if this sounds familiar, your relationship is missing a culture of Noble Selfishness — a culture where you love each other because of the selfish reason that you want to.
It is selfishness, but in the noblest sense of that word.
And once you learn to create this culture of Noble Selfishness, you will find that loving your partner will become more of an effortless thing that energizes, inspires you, and something you actually want to do, instead of something you do out of obligation.
But keep in mind again that you cannot properly create principle #4 unless you have mastered principles #1-3.
Principle #5: Sexual Passion — Creating an environment that elevates romance and intimacy.
Principle #5 makes the top of the pyramid and it requires mastery of principles #1-4 before we can properly create this one.
This is different to how most people think about relationships. Most people try to force sexual passion to happen without first established the other 4 principles.
The result is that love, intimacy and sex feels forced, because we are trying to force it to happen when the relationship is filled with misunderstandings, arguments, bitterness, and a lack of admiration for each other.
This doesn’t work.
But if you have already established #1 - #4, then sexual passion will come much more naturally to you.
So regardless of whether you are trying to fix your relationship, or simply trying to get your relationship to a better place, these are the only 5 principles you need to pay attention to.
Other things are just fluff.
And like I said, it would be impossible for me to fully talk about these 5 principles in this post, so if you want to learn more, schedule a FREE 50-minute strategy session with me.
I would love to talk with you.
I help people create a fulfilling, effortless and intimate relationship.
Ever since I was little, I have been obsessed about learning the science and mechanics of love and romance. Not only have I used those learnings to design my own dream relationship, but I have coached hundreds of people to do the same, and design that fulfilling, effortless and intimate relationship they were meant to have.