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Don't be afraid to be the one who loves the most. ~Reddit AMA


Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, #happiness, Reddit!, #success, Advice, Inclusion, Relationships, @ifindkarma, Trust, Fear, @evelynrusli, Awesome, Meaning of Life, The Internet is my religion., Quotes!, Happiness, Marriage, The Feels, Love

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Evelyn Rusli writes:

Love this AMA on Reddit from a single guy who quit his job to travel the country and excavate the secrets of the happiest couples. The first answer promoted to the top is worth a read (intentionality is everything). Also best advice he ever got?

"Don't be afraid to be the one who loves the most."

Question: Did you find that there were universal characteristics that make a relationship successful across all groups, regardless of religion, sexual orientation, money, etc?

Answer:

Absolutely. This was actually one of the most surprising things I learned on the journey.

Self Love

The happiest couples always consisted of two (sometimes more) emotionally healthy and independently happy individuals. These people practiced self-love. They treated themselves with the same type of care that they treated their partner... or at least they tried to.

Emotionally healthy people know how to forgive, they are able to acknowledge their part in any disagreement or conflict and take responsibility for it. They are self-aware enough to be assertive, to pull their weight, and to give love when it's most difficult.

Commitment

After that emotional health came an unquestioning level of commitment. The happiest couples knew that if shit got real, their significant other wasn't going to walk out on them. They knew that even if things got hard - no, especially if things got hard - they were better off together. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Trust

Happy couples trust each other... and they have earned each others' trust. They don't worry about the other person trying to undermine them or sabotage them, because they've proven over and over again that they are each other's biggest advocate. That trust is built through actions, not words. It's day after day after day of fidelity, service, emotional security, reliability.

Establish that foundation, and you're in good shape.

Intentionality

This is the icing on the cake. There's a difference between the couple who drives through the rainstorm and the couple who pulls their car to the side of the road to make out in the rain. (Yes, that's a true story.) There's a difference between the couple who kisses for 10 seconds or longer when they say goodbye to each other rather than just giving each other a peck... or nothing at all. There's a difference between the couples who encourage each other to pursue their personal goals at the expense of their own discomfort or inconvenience... even if it means their partner has to stage kiss another woman.

The couples who try on a daily basis to experience some sort of meaningful connection, or create a fun memory are the couples who shattered my perception of what was possible in a loving relationship.

I agree with Evelyn. Intentionality is so important.

Best lesson in loving the most came from a traffic cop outside of Fredricksburg Texas, true story:

My wife to be and I were leaving the wedding rehearsal and she got pulled over for speeding our way to the rehearsal dinner.  She tried apologizing to the cop and suggesting we were just overcome and late to dinner and he said, "Oh, you're getting married!  Let me give you the advice my father gave me:

"Most people think a successful marriage depends upon 'giving 100%' to make it work.  Well that's just not true.  You have to be prepared to give 200%.  Because there will be times when your spouse can't give their 100% and you'll have to chip in and give your 100% and theirs too."

We just looked at each other with jaws agape and then smiled.

He still gave her the speeding ticket.  We didn't mind.

Heh heh. Never mind the fact that giving 200% is impossible.

Really, you've never been 100% fully invested in a partnership and got a capital call?  I've been sucked in over 200% before...

As far as relationships, it sounds like you're not married... trust me, get married and once the newborn arrives not only is giving 200% possible it's more than likely on a daily basis than one would think.

Like Fred (Mr.) Rogers said to a group of us venture philanthropists in Pittsburgh at our keynote address... "The myth of the self-made man is all around us.  But the truth is that credit for success is never limited to 100% and all of us owe an untold number of people a debt of gratitude for our success, every step of the way..."

So if 100% is giving everything you can give! is 200% giving way more than you can give?

Mr. Rogers is right: Success has many parents.

Way, way more... it's basically transforming into something more than you were--like Conan the Barbarian.  The Arnold version....

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