The 3rd Secret To Attraction & Lasting Relationships


Secrets To Attraction And Lasting Relationships
In my last two posts, we discussed the first two secrets to attraction and lasting relationships:
This third secret to attraction and lasting relationships is probably the most important of them all because it’s a hard one to practice. But okay, you’ve twisted my arm and I’ll tell you. The third secret to making yourself attractive to others and making your relationships last is being willing to change yourself instead of trying to change your partner.
 
Allow me to illustrate this point with a personal story from my friend, Matt:
 
“My mom was a faithful Catholic and my dad, although a baptized Catholic, had not practiced his faith since his early twenties. My dad had told my mother not to talk about God around him and she suffered  a lot because of this. Despite her pain and worry for my dad’s soul, she gave him what he asked for and never spoke about her faith in front of him. She never tried to get him to change his mind or asked him to go to church with us. She just prayed for him, and so did I.
 
“My father, out of love and respect for her, attended Sunday mass with us as a family. When we would get up to receive Communion, he would sit there in the pews with his arms crossed and a blank look on his face. 
 
“On Mother’s Day last year, Mom and I got in line to receive Holy Communion and on our way back to the pew, we both looked to where dad was sitting, but he was gone! We panicked for a moment but then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Mom and I turned around to see Dad behind us. He had received the Eucharist. As we got settled back in the pew, he whispered in my mother’s ear, “Happy Mother’s Day” and gave her a peck on the cheek. 
 
“Later that day, Dad told us that his change of heart was due largely to the unconditional love Mom had given him for the last 27 years. She never hen-pecked or hounded him. She let him be who he was. Dad said he’d been receiving spiritual direction for several months prior to that day and had to sneak out the day before to get to confession. He gave Mom an incredible Mother’s Day gift through receiving the Eucharist for the first time in more than 30 years. Mom cried and I couldn’t have been happier because now, we are family united in Christ.”
 
What a beautiful example of true love!
 
Couples need to give each other the freedom to be who they are and make their own Unconditional Lovechoices. If God never forces Himself upon us, we must follow His example of unconditional love and never demand that our partner conform to what we want (abusive or addictive behaviors are an exception here and a different matter altogether). Matt’s mother achieved  this, not by demanding that her husband change to fit her needs, but by changing herself… she became an unselfish lover and entrusted her needs and desires to God.
 
So in your relationships, I encourage you to be willing to change yourself in the respect that you commit to loving your partner unconditionally. Am I suggesting that you remain in a relationship with someone that is not suitable for you? Definitely not, but I am suggesting that you don’t engage in a relationship believing you can change someone to be more the way you want him or her to be. This is a disservice to both of you and never a successful endeavor.
 
Kill Each Other With Kindness
 
So many times when challenges confront a relationship, the common reactions are doubt, withdrawal, and an attitude of, “Our relationship is difficult right now, so what are you doing to please me?” But a great lover doesn’t do that. When disagreements arise or situations get tough, a great lover says, “What can I do for you?” “How can I make your day better?” A great lover finds ways to love even when things don’t go their way.
 
You can begin the practice of unconditional love as you date and even within your familial relationships and friendships so when you do marry, you can be a great lover, too.
 





4 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 June 26, 2012 Reply

    Lisa,

    These certainly ties the series into a very good and understandable PRACTICAL package. My earlier questions have over the course of this series been answered and with this concluding part and Catherine Perry’s blog on mindfulness (especially if you use the hotlink found it – press – which give some practical application body to it) dispels the doctrinaire attitude to often found in the pages of CM.

    Thanks for such a human approach to work on achieving what God wants for all of us – happiness here and later with Him.

    Stephen

  2. Lisa-933589 August 28, 2013 Reply

    a great lover says, “What can I do for you?” “How can I make your day better?” A great lover finds ways to love even when things don’t go their way.

    This is so true, and as I discover love has no limits…it asks for our all–and this joy/freedom makes life so much more alive & colorful :) Now, if I can just die to self…. :)

  3. Sharon-975094 January 3, 2014 Reply

    Well I’m sitting here reading this post at 7 in the morning, as soon as I got to the paragraph of him kissing his wife on the cheek and telling her happy mothers day, I cried! What great acts of love on both their parts, and a greater act of her faithfulness in praying for her husband and allowing God to change and touch her husbands heart!

  4. May-558443 July 16, 2014 Reply

    What absolute unshakeable faith to keep praying all these years and trusting that God will touch him.

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