By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
We all come into our relationships with items from our past which have an affect on our relationship. Some of these things make us better partners and some do not. Learning what to keep and what to let go of is a lot like learning how to travel light and still keep everything first class.
Take only what you really need. Children, healthy behaviors, and the ability to admit when you are wrong are some of the things that successful couples say are a must for a successful relationship.
Choose high-quality baggage. Only bring the things from your past that will make your present and future better. If there is someone or something that makes your current partner uncomfortable choose to leave it behind.
Never check your bag. Your relationship is your responsibility and no one else’s. Do not put it into the hands of anyone who might damage it. If you need help seek it from a qualified and licensed professional.
Enjoy the sights. If you let the pain of the past get to you it’s really hard to treasure the present. Let go of whatever is was that your ex hated and learn to see things through the eyes of the one you now love.
Double-check your essentials. The most important thing in a relationship is communication. If you’re not talking about the deeper issues or even some of the smaller ones re-check your priorities and start the conversation.
Be prepared for delays. Things seldom go as we would like. Normal tasks and everyday problems can take on gargantuan proportions if you keep thinking that life needs to go the way you planned. Relationships are full of unexpected events so learn to enjoy the journey.
Call your partner every day. Sometimes work and the tasks of daily living can be so overwhelming that we may forget to talk to the one we love during the day. These phone calls aren’t a means of keeping tabs on your partner, they are an important way of maintaining the connection.
Enjoy the sights. Traveling through life with the one you love is a lot nicer if you can enjoy the beauty in your life that your partner provides. Life is short, do whatever you can to enjoy the trip.
Pay attention to the emergency instructions. No matter how much you plan, there are going to be mishaps along the way. If you are aware of what to do when turbulence strikes, you and your partner will be able to remain comfortable and secure.
Always carry something that reminds you of home. A photo or keepsake of those you love should never be out of reach. These things serve to keep us in touch with what is most important.
Letting go of useless baggage will make your journey through coupledom a first class adventure. When you sit down to reminisce about your life you’ll find that a great relationship is the best trip you’ve ever taken.