By Dr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD –

Many miss the mark by not making their intimate relationships priority. Relationships take hard work, and a healthy dose of diligence. To improve upon relationships, it is important to ensure there are opportunities to spend quality time together.


Love is a verb. It is something you do. The actions you take, the attitude you express, and efforts extended towards another to make a partner happy and feel appreciated. Remember the simple phrase: “If your partner is happy, you will be happy…” as you benefit from their appreciation for the nice thing you do for them. Relationships are in deed based on reciprocity and I would suspect those in intimate relationships with less conflict, display efforts which are perceived as equally matched by the other.


One important rule listed below is we should strive to give first that which we desire most from others. But yes, it does take a great deal of trust. Giving to others unconditionally is not easy. The challenge, for most, is always the dilemma of self confidence and displaying courage to give to one’s partner first. What helps in these moments of self doubt is to explore one’s foundational core feelings and the relationship. Anthony Robbins speaks often and frequently about the topic of trust in relationships, specifically concerning Couples on the verge of Divorce, where one is fearful their actions taken will go unappreciated, or worst, unrecognized.


Couples on the verge of Divorce or experiencing conflictual dilemmas are often fearful he adds because there has been so much arguing and hurt feelings neither wants to make the first move to address conflicts. Fear of rejection I suppose. Or, could it be a fear of the unknown?


Anthony Robbins tells a story to explain how individuals take chances in their daily lives, even while driving at high speeds on a highway, or a two lane road, and we trust the other driver will stay in their lane. But, when it comes to speaking up in our intimate relationships to confront a challenging predicament, we become fearful. We act in ways so uncharacteristic out of fear of how the other will respond, or what the other may or may not do.


There are never absolute guarantees in life, or that our individual efforts will result in success, yet taking no action to improve upon our relationships will surely make them stagnant. Those who appreciate what you have to offer will surface and give to you beyond measure. This is the nature of loving intimate relationships. We can only give unconditionally to those we have chosen to be involved with intimately. Then, hope for them to show you their personal best.



28 Relationship Strategies


What you can do to improve your relationships now include the following strategies.


1. Give first unconditionally


2. Trust the process


3. Contribute to the process


4. Be loving yourself if what you want is love


5. In order to be capable of receiving love you must always give what it is you want to receive. In life, you never get more than you are willing to give.


6. Be the person you wish to attract


7. Never ask your partner to be more than you are willing to be for yourself!


8. Allow yourself to be vulnerable


9. Talk with your partner openly and honestly


10. Discuss the difficult topics even if you stand to risk rejection. Knowing where you stand in the relationship is always a more powerful position to have than standing in the wings waiting for the day you both discover you have reached a deal breaker. Listen, you deserve to have what you want now. Not ten years from now because you were too fearful to go after it now.


11. Don’t sacrifice yourself for the relationship


12. Have a vested interest in your own projects. The projects that inspire you and make you a more interesting and engaging passionate person. And, have projects, or interests, you can share together with a partner.


13. Have confidence! Just because it is incredibly attractive and seductive.


14. Take responsibility for your feelings


15. Know you can only change yourself. Accept your partner as they are. If you notice how difficult it is for you to change think about the amount of manipulation you will have to put forth to have someone else change just to suit you. It is not fair in any relationship. Plus, if we demand your partner change to suit you, and they do, we typically grow to resent them for giving in to our wishes and come to see them as weak. It is not rational, but it is what we do. It is easier to just change ourselves.


16. Let go of absolute value judgments


17. Be yourself always. No excuses! Let other’s ponder why they do not have the guts to live more authentically.


18. Know your intentions behind your words


19. Communicate your wants and needs to your partner. Appreciate what a partner is willing to give within their comfort level.


20. Drop your expectations of how your mate should be


21. When a partner shows you who they really are the first time believe them. This is likely their true self and it is easier to find a partner who shares your values than attempting to change them to suit your values.


22. Listen with your whole body, mind, soul, instincts, when choosing a compatible partner. Do not sell yourself short. Life is too short to miss out on what you deserve and desire.


23. Express your appreciation and gratitude openly and often


24. Examine your beliefs about love & relationships


25. Have a dialogue about your beliefs, and expectations in a relationship


26. Use humor to defuse difficult situations and conflicts, but never avoid feeling the anxiety that surfaces as this is an indicator something must be explored more in depth for growth.


27. Examine your desire to control your partner


28. Say Yes more often to positive opportunities


The above is an excerpt from the book  Psychological Précipice: The Psychological Pursuit To Find The Best In You.  If you have not read it yet, as you may guess, I highly recommend it!

See Inside the Book


Until Next time: à Donf

Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Lawana Rene Lofton, PsyD. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted, by any means, without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.