Longterm Relationship Qualities Every Couple Needs
In my years of Buddhist practice, I’ve learned a lot from the four Brahma Viharas, also known as “beautiful qualities” – loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to understand that cultivating these qualities can be very beneficial for your relationship. And although it’s especially powerful when both members of a relationship agree to cultivate these qualities together, it can also have a lot of impact when just one person cultivates them.
Loving-kindness is a feeling of benevolence toward another person, and the wish for them to have what they want and need. Relationship expert Stan Tatkin talks about the importance of a “couple bubble,” in which both partners agree to prioritize the needs of the relationship ahead of their individual needs.
Ruth and I create our bubble a little differently, by each holding space for the other person’s needs. For instance, if I want to spend the day with Ruth, but she has something else planned, part of my loving-kindness toward her is feeling glad that she’s doing something she wants to do, even if it wouldn’t have been my own preference.
When Ruth also extends this same kind of loving-kindness toward me, it creates a sense of freedom and well-being in the relationship. For instance, there are days when Ruth wants us to do Conscious Girlfriend work, but she knows I need a day off, and because of loving-kindness, her desire for me to have what I need wins out over her other desire.
Read more about love at YourTango.com