Mastering the Perfect Partnership

What holds a relationship together? We all know that communication is the key to keeping the relationship alive - but what kind of communication? That doesn't mean talking at him or her and disregarding the other person's input. Communicating with your partner and understanding their perception of reality is the key.

What a concept. How does that work? We all have our own perception of reality, and no matter how close we are to another person, it's highly unlikely that any two people will see reality in exactly the same manner. Understand your partner's perception of reality and communicate with them on that basis.

What else? To me, kindness, honesty, self-awareness and a sense of humour are some of the most attractive qualities a man can have. Those are the values that are most important to me in any relationship.

Knowing yourself, your values, your issues, and what is and is not important to you is going to assist in any disagreement and how you respond. It's not about being right or getting your own way, it's about why is there a disagreement and how can it be resolved so that both people are satisfied with the outcome?

The biggest one? Putting your ego aside. That doesn't mean to put yourself second all the time. It means realizing that a disagreement is your partner's way of letting you know their needs are not being met. The biggest assumption that partners make in a relationship is that they need to be shown love the same way that we need to be shown love.

Me? I enjoy a touch on the arm, a hug around the shoulders, a kiss on the neck, top of the head or forehead. Any little touch that lets me know my partner's aware of my presence. Birthdays and holidays, I love gifts and flowers. They don't have to be expensive, simply a token of my partner's appreciation. And yes, I want to hear those three little words.

Not everyone likes to be acknowledged in those ways. Perhaps my partner does not like PDA's and their way of receiving love is spending quality time with their partner, words of affirmation (I love you), or acts of service (eg -making your partner their favourite meal). Once you understand how your partner prefers to receive love, a deeper trust and intimacy can be formed with less chance of disagreement through miscommunication and misunderstanding.

However, honest, sincere communication entails a significant degree of trust, but also releasing the need to control either a situation or another person. We all have control issues, and it's paramount to a successful relationship to understand which ones we have, and how they are manifested.

I'd bet that almost everyone has said, well, the partner I want is going to be ......, and thus ensues a list of wants. What it comes down to, though, is what are we bringing to the table and what are we prepared to give? Personally, I love spoiling my mate, provided I feel cherished, loved and respected. That doesn't mean I want a clone of myself in any relationship, as I think it's really important that people retain their autonomy in pursuing their own interests and hobbies. Conversely, it's equally important to be able to share some interests and hobbies - balance. Some people want/need to spend all their time with their mate - and that's fine provided each person's needs are being met.

It seems almost an oxymoron to say that the key to a good relationship is self-awareness. But without being aware of our own issues, how can we possibly expect to nurture a healthy relationship with anyone else? When we become self-aware, we also can become more giving, more accepting, and more understanding of others.

Mastering a perfect partnership means mastery of being the perfect partner, from both people.

Comments (33)

I haven't mastered it yet, tried four times so far, got one more up my sleeve I hope.

I have mastered be happy as hell with myself, I think that is a good start!
Fay - yeah, isn't that a fact? If you're not happy with yourself, it's highly unlikely you'll be happy with anyone else.

You know, when I see someone say looking for a partner to complete me, you have no idea what a turn off that is for me. Heck, if you're not complete on your own, don't come near me. I don't consider myself 'half' of anything, and think more of a partnership as not making a whole, but more making it double.

If people don't feel they're complete, I'm not the person to try and fill their gaps - they have to do that.
Yes, its truly important that your partner understands the ways that one perceives validation and caring.
Myself, I appreciate a new different color Ferrari or Lamborghini, as a gift on my birthday & our anniversary each year. laugh
Haha Jim - how's that working for you, so far? rolling on the floor laughing
I can't understand why relationships last less than a year and end right before my birthday. crying laugh
I remember about 10 years ago or so reading a Sunday Newspaper Parade Magazine article about a book written by Barbara Felden (Get Smart Agent 99) called "Blissfully Single". It was how being single for her was the perfect relationship. I never forgot that because I too am in my best when I am alone. I don't mean I'm a hermit. I am not. Some people don't know how to be single. They are always going from one relationship to another because when they become single they are too quick to get into another one. They don't take time to relax while being single and clear ones thoughts. Some people don't know how to be in a relationship. I guess that would be me. I have been in 4 relationships. The longest one lasted 2 years. I was never comfortable. I am always comfortable being single. It works for me.

Willy, thanks for your comment. I think it's a fallacy that everyone needs to be in a relationship in order to be happy. Yes, we are social animals, but some of us are less social than others, and there's nothing wrong with that. I find that many people are not comfortable with themselves, and always seek someone to fill their void. Then there are others, like yourself, who prefers to stay single, and why I personally think that a monogamous relationship while retaining separate residences is the perfect solution.
Hello LadyImp,wave We meet up again,wow I ve always have thought communication is the most important part of a relationship. And a part of communications is listening. I figure everyone has their own set of skills and abilities, and if a person realises it, and learn from those, from their partner, it strengthens a relationship. A matter of give and take and respecting the fact, that your partner has done, and experienced things you haven t , and these abilities are a plus to a friendship.

Hi again 1to1to1 wave I also believe that communication is the most important part of a relationship. Yes, listening is a huge part of communicating, and not just listening, but actually hearing and understanding what the other person has to say and has done.

That's so true about respecting that your partner has experiences that you haven't, and vice versa. What happens in many relationships is one partner loses themselves to the other, and both parties start assuming they know everything about the other person.

What I have learned over the years is that what we say and do is about us, no one else. So if one partner says 'so you mean this' (usually interrupting and not listening) and then goes off on a tangent. What they're doing is making an assumption that what's in their head is in your head - and not even attempting to understand your viewpoint or what you're trying to say. Many people cannot accept being wrong or any hint of criticism, constructive or not. They just strike out, with the excuse, that's how I roll, with no attempt at understanding either their own issues or yours.
Back again,wave As to what I was saying earlier, maybe it could have been said better> as to better to embrace difference, instead of being scared of it. (hope I made sense. I , nowadays find, I enjoy chatting, and learning from people, who work in professions I m not familiar with. Its conversation, education, and getting to know people. And it works well with friendships, and relationships.
Great post! ....

Hey 1to1 - I got that out of your post - and yes, I agree and you made sense. Too true, communication works for any kind of relationship. head banger
Interval - thanks! grin
Communication is fine that is if they don't feed you stuff they think you want to hear.

I prefer truth and people shouldn't assume what they think I want to hear.

Absolutely! I don't call bs communication. It's just bs.
Very well thought out,
But maybe the real key to a happy perfect partnership.
Is blissful Ignorance and great sex.
and just as a matter of opinion I bet many more relationships last under my two simple yardstick components than the number that last under yours. conversing

Nice blog thanks for sharing LadyImp. handshake
Thanks, non! Well, I beg to differ, as I had blissful ignorance and great sex and it definitely did not last! rolling on the floor laughing
You aint doin it right laugh
Sorry Non, the Imp is right but you are entitled to your perception. Imp, that says everything that could possibly be said on the subject and also covers the physical, the sex which Non is so worried about, if one reads and understands it.
I would clarify though, for Non and others of the same mind, different perceptions in the s*xual relationship, wants and needs not communicated, become a problem. If you have sex every couple of days it doesn't take more than three months for it to get repetitive. That's where communication is the biggest help in keeping it interesting, different and vital. But if one partner is unable to communicate their needs and fantasies fully, the other may soon be walking away.
A guy, who wants and needs sex, will walk away if he is not getting the right kind of relationship, women often don't and I can think of more than a hand full of women, known to me, who put up with a guy who just doesn't want sex at all when they do.
In one instance a woman who is a good friend, came to stay here in France for a week a couple of years ago and dragged me into bed the first day. I freely admit I wasn't kicking and screaming, she is attractive and though, as it turned out, totally inexperienced, she was a great lover. We didn't do much else that week, but after a couple of days she admitted she hadn't had sex with her husband for years. She had tried talking to him about her needs but his only response was, 'you're a pervert.' Why he doesn't want sex with this exciting and inventive lady I cannot imagine, but he clearly has some kind of problem which prevents him.
She says she noticed that he often wakes up with the morning erection, so it's not that which is the problem and hypothesized that perhaps he is gay. Of course for older generations, being gay was unacceptable, and he is virulently anti gay. She said that her husband had always overstated that, and as she put it, 'the lady doth protest too much methinks,' a line from Hamlet.
So some ladies put up with it and some guys do as well but it is a problem that communication would ease if not solve. So discuss everything and find out the reality of your partners perceptions!
Apologies to the Imp, I have run off at the keyboard again!!
Imp ~ one sentence in your blog stands out as being probably [for me ] the most important,
Understanding your issues, and I would even say, understanding his issues.

A sense of humour and of course good sex would be very important as it is the salve that heals all festering wounds , the affection, the release of tension.

I think a sense of humour, to be able to laugh at ourselves. I know there were times in a longterm relationship when we would have the most awful row, then he would put my things in to his car to drive me home...
Half way home, he would start laughing , and so would I

He would say 'What was the argument about anyway?' and we couldn't remember often.

Excellent Blog and I will re-read it as it is very informative.

daisy daisy
I'm fine at communicating verbally not so good in typed words but in saying that I'm not into people communicating using five words or less as that isn't communicating that's just laziness.
Mercedes ~ What about the 'silent t reatment' which my last man used indulge in, I think it is one of the cruelest, awful, tension filled thing to do.

The only reason I put up with it was because I don't drive and I could not get home without him driving me. He would sit there, his dark blue eyes would go a pale blue and I could feel the tension in my gut, it could last for hours.
NO way would I take that now. Imp, this is I guess, lack of communication, or downright childish tantrums or even bullying?daisy
gg I would of preferred the silent treatment but in saying that It's easy for me to say that whilst I never walked a day in your shoeshug
Imp, I agree that self-awareness is the key.

If both hold self-awareness, at least half the job is done.

But then we must have awareness of how the other person thinks and operates as well. We all do not react the same way in the same circumstances.

Some, when faced with a problem or issue, immediately want to discuss it openly. Whilst others need time alone with their own head to process it.. Being aware of the other person's way of dealing with things, and finding common ground, even if it is not your way of doing things is a necessity.

Oh, and good sex and humour too grin
Ms goldengloss, " NO way would I take that now. Imp, this is I guess, lack of communication, or downright childish tantrums or even bullying?"

The silent treatment is an often used tactic of the narcissist. They use it as one of their tactics of manipulation.
Wasn't there a lady somewhere who had a husband who did the silent thing and she hit him over the head with a frozen leg joint while he was reading the paper and killed him then cooked the evidence? Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. My father in law used to do that and it would go on for years. He had issues.
Seaworthy ~ Yes, well spotted, I don't use the word Narcissist willy nilly but he was a Narcissist. Love makes us see through Rosy coloured glasses.
IT is only now looking back, without hate or regret, I do see he had a lot of narcissistic traits. Tantrums, [I blamed being a great Artist on it], Self centredness, lack of real empathy [except for his grown up kids, which for the narcissist are extensions of their own ego.

The easiest way to describe a Narcissist are 1. They never say Sorry.
2, They are always right, if they beat you up physically
or verbally, well, you deserved it.
[note, no empathy too] daisy
The man should shut up and listen without necessarily taking what she says at face value. Attentive. "It's fine" does not mean that everything is fine.

The woman should shut up and listen without necessarily taking what he says to heart. Forgiving. A solution isn't always a way of calling you a failure, a piece of advice not always a criticism.
CestMero - apologies not necessary. The blog was written to spark thoughts and experiences, to perhaps offer a different perception of how we can make our next relationship, a success.
GG - true, knowing and understanding both your issues makes it far easier to avoid a disagreement in the first place, or at least to resolve them where one doesn't feel like a 'loser' or having to put themselves second all the time.
Mercedes - considering how we communicate with our partners is usually verbally, that's a good thing!

I did write to my ex at times, in order to get across what I wanted to say without him yelling me down and walking out. However, verbally is how we usually communicate in person. grin
GG - My mother used to indulge in the silent treatment with my father - ugh! It's not only horrible for the partner, it's even worse for the kids, as they don't understand why. They just know the house is a tension filled battleground, and they have no idea why they're smack in the middle of it.

My ex used to yell, something I couldn't compete with, and then leave for hours to who knows where. Same thing as the silent treatment, as you never get to get your point across. He'd come back and absolutely would not discuss anything, acting like everything should be fine and the subject never brought up again.

I realized after many years, that we had the same fight over and over again, because the first one never got resolved. To this day, he accepts no responsibility in the breakdown of the marriage.

As someone mentioned, it's manipulation in one of it's cruelest forms. As the word 'narcissist' seems to be a favourite to label just about any behaviour these days, I don't use those labels. Many, many people are manipulative, as it's a behaviour we learn as children, without being narcissistic. Appropriate parenting doesn't let the child continue. I have often found that people that like to label are guilty of the very behaviour they're labelling others with, and why I know you're hesitant to use the term, GG.
ChesneyChrist - that's the problem in disagreements between couples many times. They assume they know what the other is thinking and meaning, and in the heat of the moment, fail to actually listen to what the other person is trying to say, interrupt each other with more accusations of what they mean, and nothing gets resolved. Or, at least, it didn't in my marriage.

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