Below is a short discussion inspired by “The Quality of Your Relationship Determines the Quality of Your Life” episode of the School of Greatness podcast
Relationships always have expectations, and we tend to dwell fulfilling them. This tendency may prevent us from communicating with our partner and understanding them. But when we manage expectations, work through conflicts with accountability and kindness, and keep an open mind to experiences, we can be in lasting relationships with good people, be it in business or romance.
In this episode of the School of Greatness, author and psychotherapist Esther Perel talks about the proper mindset to build lasting and healthy relationships.
- Calibrate expectations. Relationships always have expectations, but it’s unfair to put them all in one person. We may cling to the idea that our partner can be our sole source of support and love, but this isn’t always the case. Knowing that our partner can’t always make us happy and satisfied allows us to understand and accept their shortcomings.
- Diversify people. One relationship may not be able to fulfill all our needs and wants. Once we realize this, we can avoid putting undue pressure on one partner. This allows us to see and appreciate each of our relationships with forgiving eyes.
- Explore responsibly. Trying new experiences with our partners can make the relationship stronger. But we should never lose sight of our responsibilities.
When we have misunderstandings or disagreements in our relationship, it’s best to own up to our mistakes and apologize. When our partner does the same, it helps our relationship if we accept their apologies and remind them that their mistakes don’t negatively impact the relationship. When we commit to these practices, we can keep our relationships healthy.
the distilld lessons
Here are the distilld lessons on relationships, inspired by Esther Perel's conversation with Lewis Howes on the School of Greatness.
Relationships always have expectations. But not all expectations can be fulfilled all the time. When we realize this, we can be more forgiving and understanding of our partner.
There are many ways to make relationships last. We can start by managing our expectations and exploring new experiences with our partners.
It isn’t fair to our partner if we set our expectations too high. We have to reasonably adjust our expectations. When we do this, our partners become more capable of fulfilling our expectations.
We need to understand that one relationship will not always fulfill all our expectations. This helps us avoid putting undue pressure on any of our relationships.
People today are part of an identity economy. It’s all about the “self”: self-help, self-care, selfies.
Being self-centered can lead to breakups. When we only give importance to ourselves, this sends the message that we don’t care for our partner.
When we are considerate of our partner, we can know their expectations of us and of the relationship. When we are aware of their expectations, we can try to meet them and make the relationship stronger in the process.
Relationships are never static. In fact, we can strengthen them by exploring new experiences.
New experiences can make relationships stronger. But they shouldn’t get in the way of fulfilling your responsibilities in the relationship.
A successful relationship isn’t without any conflict. It is a relationship between two people who are willing to work through the conflicts.
When we make a mistake in a relationship, we should apologize to our partner. We can say, “I messed up,” instead of “I’m messed up.” When we apologize this way, we acknowledge that we know what we did wrong and intend on correcting it.
Balance negativity. When your partner apologizes for one thing, compliment them about another.
- Be considerate and reasonable when asking something from your partner. Avoid asking for time when you know they’re busy, energy when you know they’re exhausted, or attention when you know they’re overwhelmed.
- Explore new things together. Try a hobby, a different restaurant, or watch different types of movies together. Break the monotony so you can create room for growth.
- Apologize for what you’ve done, not for who you are. Specify your wrong actions when you say sorry. This tells your partner that you understood your mistake, but it’s not what defines you at all.
- Show appreciation when your partner takes accountability. Apologizing takes a lot of courage and love. When our partner decides to do it, it only shows how they value you and the relationship more than their ego
- Love yourself, too. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean focusing on your partner alone. Give as much attention and love to yourself. Relationships can only grow when you take care of yourself, too.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.