What is a Successful Relationship?

Is being with your spouse, partner, for decades the definition of a successful relationship? Is it raising awesome children? Is it having financial resources, a beautiful home? Is it having our partner do stuff for us? Is it having independence? Is it being together and doing everything together? How else do some of us measure our progress in life and the success of our relationship? How close are we to what it truly means to us to have a Successful Relationship with the way we usually measure it?

By pondering these and similar questions we can tune in to how our focus might be off when assessing the state of our relationship and our bond with our partner. If we measure the wrong thing, we work on achieving or changing the wrong thing… Hence the state of dissatisfaction a lot of partners find themselves in. This can be likened to “leaning the ladder against the wrong wall” in the corporate world…

So, then, what is a Successful Relationship?

My working definition of a Successful Relationship is a relationship in which the partners:

  • Own themselves fully, are accountable for themselves, and have integrity – they can be trusted
  • Are synchronized, aligned and attuned to each other
  • Fully accept each other with warts and all, and cherish each other’s uniqueness and idiosyncrasies
  • Are responsive of each other’s needs and are mindful to not trigger each other
  • Make amends and repair when and injury is experienced
  • Safely share their internal worlds including their emotions; they are open and curious about each other
  • Foster closeness and togetherness while balancing staying true to themselves and maintaining their individuality
  • Are interdependent (not dependent, independent or codependent…)
  • Pursue their own evolution and support it in their partner
  • Bring their Authentic Selves to their interactions
  • Support each other’s values, wishes, and goals
  • Tap into their relationship’s inherent synergy

And, the key ingredients to a lasting, satisfying and rewarding relationship include:

  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Understanding
  • Acceptance
  • Support
  • Partnership
  • Attention
  • Appreciation
  • Presence
  • Responsiveness
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Mindfulness
  • Closeness / Emotional Intimacy
  • Nurturing, TLC
  • Companionship
  • Affection
  • Physical Intimacy, Consistent / Frequent Sexual Activity
  • Intention
  • Investment
  • Stimulation

The key to creating a successful relationship lies in us minding what we are contributing to the relationship – good and bad. Sometimes even the good is bad… For example, if we are too nice, too helpful, too supportive, too available, too organized, etc. In our assessment of what we are contributing, we have to watch for the impact of our contribution. Is it enhancing and enriching our interactions and our overall relationship? Or, is it keeping our dynamics stuck and our relationship, and life, stagnant?

Remember the 80/20 rule: When dissatisfied, in conflict, or troubled – the issue is %80 about you and %20 about your partner… Read that again and assimilate it… When you focus on addressing your %80, and by the time you are done, the other %20 barely matter…

How do you create a Successful Relationship? You do your own work, mind your %80, and be nice to your partner…

Pick a couple of ingredients you want to add to your relationship and start adding them to the mix!

Happy Succeeding!


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   Copyright (c) 2016 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.


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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com


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