Want long-term relationship success?
You will need to cultivate two qualities.
Humility and awareness.
Why these two?
A successful relationship requires growth.
There will be times that your ego will feel threatened. You will want to be right. To get your own way.
A good woman will challenge you. She will expect more from you.
She will call you out when you’re being obstinate or childish.
Will you be the bigger man, or fall back into your old adolescent ways?
It’s not easy receiving feedback (that can feel like criticism). Especially when we need to hear it the most.
If you blow up, make a scene, throw a tantrum… Sooner or later she will stop playing that role. She won’t want to deal with your immature nature.
You must cultivate humility.
Be humble enough to take constructive criticism (and even the non-constructive kind) from others. To be challenged on behaviors that have become part of your personality.
That doesn’t mean you have to accept everything she says.
We’re not talking about blindly surrendering your will.
You can still practice critical thinking. But you must be ready to calmly hear her input (and that of others).
Then, in a quiet moment when you are alone, you can consider her words. Take them to heart.
Is there truth there? How can you use this feedback to become a better man?
Awareness is the other key element here.
Without it, you will miss the clues and cues life gives you.
How did she react when you told that story?
You may think it’s hilarious, but she was embarrassed in front of your friends.
Did you notice?
Do you have the awareness to feel how your choices affect yourself and others?
What is it that women wish men would do more?
That is what awareness is. Listening on many levels.
With your body, heart, and the rest of your senses.
To listen, we must become still in ourselves. It’s hard to listen when you’re talking loudly. When you’re busy defending yourself or trying to prove to others why you’re right.
Check in with your senses.
What are you picking up on? Can you notice when her body language changes? When her tone shifts?
There is another vital need for awareness.
Go back to what we said earlier, about receiving feedback from others.
Without awareness, your words and actions can get away from you.
What do I mean by that?
When you get triggered and your emotions get fired up, a healthy level of awareness will warn you that you’re feeling annoyed and are about to react.
This allows you to catch yourself. To take a deep breath, to get some space, to make a choice.
Instead of reacting and doing what is habitual, you will have a brief moment to choose a different path.
This offers a path where you calmly consider what is being said, instead of blowing up or stonewalling (or whatever your habitual thing is).
When you combine awareness and humility you will be someone that she wants to be around.
Someone she can respect.