Admiration, an essential part of a relationship

Admiration, an essential part of a relationship

• Appreciate each other

 What is the secret to a great relationship? The first thing that comes to mind is love, of course. Kindness and respect should be on everybody’s wish list. Yet there’s another element that is an essential part of a relationship: admi­ration. Without admiration, love fades and bitterness and disdain can take its place.

We’ve all seen those couples who denigrate and criticise each other in pub­lic. It’s a safe bet that their relationship won’t go the distance. Two people who interact in such toxic ways do not admire each other. If you don’t admire your partner, there can be no deep bond of intimacy and the relationship is destined to dissolve.

Why is admiration such an essential part of a rela­tionship?

To admire someone means to respect that person. You respect what they stand for, how they interact with their loved ones and with their community. This makes you want to rise to a higher level as you seek to be the inspira­tion for their admiration.

We admire the person we are in love with, and we have a need for them to admire us, too. This self-perpetuating back and forth nourishes the relationship and helps propel each person to be their best self.

There are several levels of admiration. When we first meet someone we are interested in, we most likely admire them for superficial reasons they are attractive to us, or we like their sense of style.

As we get to know them better, our admiration shifts from the exterior to the interior. We admire their commitment to their work. We admire their passion for a sport. We admire how they treat their parents, friends, pet and how they interact with those around them. We admire their core values.

If admira­tion remains focused on the exterior, love cannot take root and grow.

How does a couple deepen their sense of mutual admiration?

Respect each other’s passions

Contrary to popular thought, a loving couple does not have to spend all their spare time together. In fact, couples who pursue separate passions report that this helps keep their marriage fresh and exciting. There’s a balance to this, of course. But spend­ing a couple of hours doing “your own thing”, be it trail running, or taking a cooking class, or volunteering at the community centre and then coming home and sharing your experience with your partner is a sure way to deep­en your shared admiration for each other. You sense your partner’s feeling of accom­plishment and you are proud of them.

to be continued …

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