How to Maintain A Healthy Relationship

How to Maintain A Healthy Relationship

Not too many people have accused L.A. of being an easy place to find the love of your life. Well, scratch that. Plenty of guys in this city find the love of their lives about 10 times a day, on every block, gym, club, and in traffic on the 405. There is no shortage of women or men who look exactly like the soul mate you have always dreamed of. But, there is an exponentially higher number of charlatans per capita than perhaps in any other city in the world. If you are single in L.A., chances are this is not a newsflash.

We live in a time of immediate gratification. We do not wait, and we do not waste time. We slide right, click on the app, and whatever we need arrives at our fingertips. This efficiency makes life so much easier in every department, except in love. There is no fast forward button, and as many of us have learned, often the harder you try, the worse the outcome. We’re so used to our disposable society, that most people head for the hills at the first sign of conflict or challenge. When the stars align, and you do really find someone who you could foresee a future with, how do you get it off the ground?

After working with many singles, and couples with issues, I have observed what it is that gets the ring on your finger, and helps keep it there throughout all the ups and downs of life in Lalaland.

1) You are responsible for your own happiness.

Find your thing. It is out there. Whether it’s exercise, yoga, pilates, your art, your church or your therapist, it’s that thing that recharges your battery and makes you glow. Once you find it, do not ever let anyone take it away from you. The high we get from new love is the best high out there. But, it will wear off. As soon as you stop doing your thing, and depend on someone else’s thing for your happiness, you will become needy, disappointed, and resentful. Happiness is an inside job.

2) Move slow and proceed with caution

Have a mental list, or put it on paper. Know what three qualities you must have in a life partner. And know your deal breakers. Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning of relationships. It takes approximately three months of hanging out 24/7 until you even begin to see who someone is. After six months of dating regularly, you will have probably seen a hint of the dark side, which we all have. But, it takes a full year, a full rotation around the sun, with holidays, birthdays, V. day, etc, until you can see what kind of crazy you are dealing with. All men and women have some crazy in them.

You just have to see what specific shade your future hubby has, and if you can live with it or not. 

3) Follow the 4 C’s of a Diamond relationship if you want it to last

Girls love bling. But aside from being pretty on the outside, diamonds are the most solid material on earth on the inside. That is the symbol we want for ourselves, and our relationships strong, and solid to the core. When shopping for your rock, guys follow the law of the 4 C’s to determine a diamond’s worth. They are cut, color, clarity, and carat. If you want the most valuable relationship out there, you should follow the 4 C’s of a diamond relationship. They are:

Commitment: That means when the going gets tough, you are not going anywhere. If you really have found true love, do not text that hot dude from tinder after your first fight. Every couple will have fights. No one is perfect, including you. If you have something real, stay there, and work it out. Be authentic and real with your words and actions.

Communication: Learn how to speak to each other calmly and kindly. Listen to what your boyfriend is saying, and learn how to express your feelings, not just lash out, or act passive- aggressively. This is by far the most important part of your relationship. Learn to fight fair when there are problems, and articulate your feelings with confidence and love.

Connection: Whether it’s physical, emotional, or both, you must make time to connect everyday. We all have busy lives, but you need to water the garden that is your relationship, and fuel the spark. Couples that are in love are usually touching. Spend time everyday talking about something real and sharing intimate moments.

Consideration: How many self-absorbed people live in L.A.? Probably all 3.585 million of them. Practice your random acts of kindness not just to a stranger, but to the person sharing your bed. Do selfless, thoughtful things just to show that you care, when someone has really earned your trust and your heart.  Pick up their favorite coffee, let them pick the movie sometimes, take their dry cleaning in. This is far from being a doormat, or coming on too strong. Just remember it’s the little things that are really the big things.

Alisa Ruby BashAbout the author: Alisa Ruby Bash is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Beverly Hills, Alisa has appeared on TLC’s “OMG EMT!,” NBC News, “E! News”, and “EXTRA”. She received her Master’s from Antioch University, and her doctorate degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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