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5 Tips to Create a Loving Relationship, With Fewer Disappointments

Happy Couple

“Love does not obey our expectations; it obeys our intentions.” ~Lloyd Strom

Have you ever felt less about a relationship when it didn’t exactly pan out like a fairy tale? I sure did.

I had it stuck in my mind that a great relationship should be picture perfect.

When reality would give me a sobering slap showing it was far from perfect, I would walk away from a relationship that refused to meet my standards.

I thought that a relationship is like a flower in a pot, ever blooming by itself. No hard work whatsoever. But the “flower” also has a tremendous thirst for nourishment and requires time and dedication to ensure it grows and blossoms.

Stubbornly, I believed that when I met my one and only, my life would change for the better. Just like in a romantic movie, I was expecting the credits to roll up the much anticipated “Happy Ending” sign.

Real relationships have nothing in common with a fairy tale.

I had to learn that in order to find genuine happiness (in any relationship) I needed to let go of that silly, romantic movie-like metaphor. When I let go of what a relationship should be like, I started enjoying relationships as they were by looking beyond the flaws and releasing false expectations.

5 Tips to Create a Loving Relationship

1. Find wholeness instead of expecting someone else to complete you.

Give yourself and your partner the greatest gift by becoming whole so that you won’t look for a relationship to complete you, or lose yourself and dissolve into another person completely.

It was challenging to break free from the notion that in order to be whole, I had to find my other half. I also struggled to find a connection with myself outside the walls of relationships. But I was convinced that it was crucial to be able to find comfort in my own company.

We all want to be happy, and happiness comes from within. Solitude allows us to clear our mind and unwind. It gives us to chance to reflect on what we want to experience to create fulfillment in life.

Put some time aside. Nurture yourself with the love and attention you deserve. The more you fill yourself with love, the more love you’ll be ready to give. Be kind to yourself. Find your peace and comfort in solitude.

All great love stories start with loving ourselves first. When we nourish our internal light, then we are ready to share it with the rest of the world.

2. Focus on yourself instead of trying to change someone else.

I was determined to change my partner and teach him something that just didn’t appeal to him. I’ve only recently realized that it’s fruitless to try to change someone else, and better to focus on yourself, acting as an example of what’s possible.

For instance, two-and-a-half years ago I started eating healthy and exercising daily. I became a vegetarian and was excited about the way I felt and the weight I dropped in a matter of a couple of months. Of course I wanted my significant other to feel what I felt. I wanted him to feel good.

I was forcing him to attain my new healthy habits. It turned into an obsession to see dramatic changes in him in a heartbeat. The result? He became furious and resentful.

When I quit nagging about what he should do, I gave him space to breathe and be himself. And eventually, when he was ready to change, my significant other turned his eating habits around. He followed my example because he felt compelled, not forced.

3. Learn to see the extraordinary within the ordinary.

We often do just about anything to avoid the ordinary, don’t we? For years I couldn’t see the magic in sharing the day-to-day life with the person I love.

I was comically obsessed with avoiding ordinary, so I wished that each moment would take my breath away, or that my partner would do something that would. I wanted each moment to be epic and filled with glory.

I had my expectations way up high and forgot how to appreciate all the “little” things—things that might seem ordinary, like going for a walk in the park hand-in-hand.

I’ve learned how to see the beauty in each moment shared with my loved one knowing that ordinary is extraordinary when you see things through the heart.

4. Let go of conditions and expectations.

Have you ever placed conditions on your love? I did.

When we expect people to give us love in a precise way we yearn for it, we put our contentment in someone else’s hands and suffocate our relationships with impossibly high standards.

If you’re not happy with something, share your feelings, but consider that love won’t always look exactly as you expected it would. Letting go of heavy expectations gives our relationships room to breathe and allows us to appreciate everything that’s going right instead of focusing on what we think is wrong.

5. Listen to understand.

Arguments are awful, aren’t they? They leave us with that bitter aftertaste. Arguments have also made me think less of myself, and the relationship.

I failed to realize back then that the more we communicate and listen, the fewer challenges we face.

State your point patiently and listen to what your partner has to say without interrupting them. Construct the bridge of understanding through the chasm of the argument.

We all want to be heard and understood.

The biggest problem with communication occurs when we don’t listen to understand; we listen to reply or to fight back.

I still struggle with the whole “not acting upon emotion” thing; however, I understand that emotions are temporary, but the situations created by them may resonate for much longer period of time.

When we allow our relationships to be imperfect and accept that we all have imperfections too, that’s when tiny yet noticeable changes occur. We all deserve nourishing relationships that are filled with love, respect, and warmth. Share your light and let yourself be loved in return.

Happy couple image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of Lesya Li

About Lesya Li

Lesya Li is a founder of HavingTime, which provides readers with inspirational stories, helpful tips and profound answers on life's challenging questions. She finds joy in reading, exploring and sharing her story and hearing about life experiences of others whom she invites and welcomes to share on HavingTime. Stay in touch with Lesya over TwitterFacebook or Google+.

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  • Sherli Sukangto

    Wow its a really good article and it touches my heart, you are very wise. Thanks!

  • Shantigirl

    Really lovely helpful article. I have found recently I have been putting too much pressure on my significant to complete me and bring me happiness and thus I have become awfully controlling. I’m slowly trying to love myself, be happy with myself and allow my boyfriend the freedom to be himself. It’s a struggle and I think its coming from my own insecurities. So I really feel I need to work on myself through meditation and mindfulness in an effort to improve my relationship.

  • Thanks Sherli – I’m absolutely happy this resonated with you 🙂 xo !

  • Hi Shantigirl,

    I think it’s great that you have this awareness and that you are building relationships with yourself through love and compassion that you deserve.
    I know it’s not easy to let go of controlling someone when it comes to significant others, but it’s extremely important to recognize these patterns… and let the other person have his freedom to be himself 🙂

    Thank you so much for taking time, reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • kurokidoki

    This is an absolutely beautiful article! I have never been in a relationship before but I will definitely use it when I am interested. I am still on step number one and I believe I am almost there. <3

  • Brian

    Absolutely terrific! I’m also going through the process of learning this, even after 10 years of marriage. I spent a lot of time confused and I find your points to be accurate in many ways. I know this article will help those who take the time to contemplate it.

  • About Number ONE… :-]

    Since the early age I was frequently told that there will come a day when (and if I am lucky enough 🙂 I will find that notorious “other half”…

    That idea of “INCOMPLETENESS” looked like a sad goon that would never leave my side.
    Back then I didn’t know that I was deeply conditioned, tricked into a blind belief that in order to FEEL whole and complete I have to go and find my “other half”. Meaning that I would have to accept the notion that my happiness/unhappiness is dependent on another person.

    Subconsciously I felt resentment towards the idea that I needed someone to complete me in order to be truly happy but I couldn’t quite figure out how to put that feeling into solid words.

    So what is it like to be WHOLE and complete?

    I guess it simply means that you don’t find the need to seek validation elsewhere because you accept yourself absolutely. It gives an understanding that we don’t necessarily need somebody to love us just to feel washed over with love.
    Because our love towards ourselves comes from within.

    And if you need another person, it’s only because you genuinely enjoy their company, but at the same time you FEEL and KNOW for sure that you are whole without them. Thereafter, a simple understanding kicks in that happiness comes from within, from the bottom of your WHOLE and loving HEART. And that YOU ARE ALREADY WHOLE and COMPLETE 🙂

    Thank you so much for reading! 🙂 xo

  • Nick Whiu

    I love this article especially #1. After all, if you don’t love spending time on your own why would somebody else? I’d also set some quality time aside each week.

  • Hey, Brian!
    Which points resonated with you the most?
    And thank you so much for this warm response 🙂 xo

  • You are absolutely right!
    And let me add as a tiny reminder: we came to this world ALONE in a single whole piece. Being alone is a big part of our being no matter how many people may swirl around.
    No one will ever quite get the things you are going through and FEEL exactly what you are feeling. No one will ever fully share all the rainy and sunny days with you the way you would want them to share. Solitude (or quality time spent on our own) is when we choose to be alone to reflect and discover ourselves. And it’s great!

  • mrvball72

    I like the list but I have some trouble with #1 because I don’t think acceptance of oneself occurs in a vacuum. If nobody has ever given you unconditional love and acceptance (parent, friend, sibling), you have no foundation on which to believe positive things about yourself. I agree that you can’t and shouldn’t seek wholeness in another person because it’s dangerous and unhealthy, but I think a lot of people who have had at least something to build on in their life take it for granted.

  • lv2terp

    Awesome post and message! Great tips too! This is something I struggle with still as well, I appreciate the reminder! 🙂

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  • elfie

    super accurate to what i’m experiencing. 🙂 thank you for letting me know that i’m not alone. two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • elker

    this article really resonated with me! It’s always so refreshing and exciting knowing that you walk the same path and fight the same battles just like everyone else. Quite humbling to say the least 🙂

  • Hey there 🙂 Thanks for reading and you are most welcome! xo

  • You are definitely not alone 🙂 We are all in this together! xo

  • So right on, Lesya!

    Feelin’ enough + complete as we are creates a powerful foundation upon which to build a partnership.

    Beautiful words + so inspiring!

    Love + Peace,

    Denise

  • “Feelin’ enough + complete as we are creates a powerful foundation upon which to build a partnership.” – I couldn’t agree more, Denise!
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :-] xo

  • Wallace Kolltin

    Good points you’ve sum up there, the article also mention on the previous lines, letting go our heavy expectation so our relationships can breath hence stay alive. we only make these expectations heavier when we look on others expecting them to fit our desire.

  • Well said and I cannot agree more: we need to learn to let go of expectations in order to have fewer disappointments… Or at least remind ourselves about letting go of expectations more often ;-]

  • Jahnvi

    Thank you so much for beautiful article. I can resonate myself with many key points mentioned in it.

  • Thank you so much!

    And I agree, we are in this together (walking the same path & fighting the same battles… 🙂 xo

  • You are most welcome, Jahnvi! 🙂

  • LaTrice Dowe

    We’re all imperfect human beings. There are flaws, and it’s up to us to embrace them. Although it’s okay to be different, I can’t expect everyone to change themselves.

    I don’t want to change my boyfriend, since I don’t see anything wrong with him. We do have a few things in common, but I can’t force him to like bananas! He’s not perfect, but in my eyes, he’s perfect for me.

    Thank you, Lesya, for sharing your experience.

  • You are most welcome, LaTrice.
    I agree, we can’t expect everyone to change themselves according to our own expectations of how things/people should be…
    Thank you for reading & sharing your thoughts.