The Relationship Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things you want to do or experience in your
lifetime. Just as it is inspiring to have your list of top things you must “do”
before you die, suggest you can create a Relationship Bucket List of things
you want to “be” or have in your relationship before you die.

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares four relationship skills
you should master before you “kick the bucket”.

These might not be the things you currently possess but perhaps, more
importantly, are things that are worth stretching for, that you would really
have to put your mind to to make happen. These are things in your
relationships that you want to have mastered before you end your earthly
journey. Your relationship bucket list should not be a list of things that
your partner needs to give to you, but instead should be a list of what your
heart is telling you that you need to acquire to be the partner you need to
be. Here are four things you might want to include in your Relationship
Bucket List.

An Open and Teachable Heart

As a parent, one of the most fulfilling parts of my life is to be able to teach
and help my children to improve in some area of their life. Similarly, no
part of my parenting relationship is more difficult than trying to teach
someone who isn’t open to learning or wanting to change. All relationships
are constantly in flux and changing, so the more adaptable and teachable
you are, inevitably the better off your relationships will be. Nothing seems
to create more hope in a relationship than to see your partner adapting,
improving in their abilities, skills and interactions. By seeing your
relationships as improvable, you will usually end up working harder to
actually become the changes that are necessary, instead of waiting for
everyone else to change.

· Are you open to feedback, new things, change and improvement?

· Do you actually ask for feedback on your performance, and do you
actively seek to be better at relating with those around you?

· Are you seen by those around you as easily instructed or are you hard
headed as a mule?

To Be Predictably Present with Others

Nothing frustrates my wife more with me than when I’m not present in the
conversation, interaction or relationships. How many times in the middle of
a family meeting or interaction have you been distracted by your phone or
other things, and never really returned to the conversation mentally, even
though your body was fully present? How important is our life really if
we’re never consciously present in our head? What is the benefit of living a
life that we never really pay attention to? Or having a partner around that
is never really present? Just as you can drive your car across town,
consumed with some other thought, and never really pay attention to the
actual road conditions, too many of us are living our lives without
conscious engagement. One of the most important concepts in the
relationship Bucket List is to “Get In” your life and relationships. Start now
to truly focus in on the relationships and conversations you are engaged in.
Actually listen, look at the people you are talking with and notice the power
that has to change your life for good. Here are some questions to
determine how effective you are at being present.

· Do you feel connected to the people you’re talking to while you’re
talking to them?

· Do you consistently forget what was discussed with the people you talk

· What does your mind focus on when engaged with those around you?

To Love Without Conditions

No trait is more essential to healthier and happier relationships than the
principle of unconditional love. Unconditional love is exactly what it
purports being, love without any conditions. Far too often in our world we
feel a need to put boundaries, conditions and requirements on the people
and things around us. It seems that much of our life is spent trying to get
our spouse, children and those we “care” about to be the kind of people
“we” want them to be. When people don’t conform or meet our
expectations, we tend to pull away because we feel hurt or let down, which
in turn appear for some as if our love is no longer available. In my
estimation, many of the relationship problems we’re experiencing would all
go away if we knew we were loved unconditionally. The problem with
being conditionally loved is that it makes us more fearful of our own
humanity. We know that if we fail or make mistakes with someone who
loves us conditionally, than the love just won’t be there. This makes us
more inclined to hide our mistakes or not discuss our weaknesses. In the
end, the growth stops, because there isn’t a safe enough place to be you.
By loving others unconditionally, you don’t measure your love from what
you do or what others do for you. Instead you love them fully without
conditions, which unlocks the highest form of human relating.

· Do people complain that you are too hard to please?

· Do people say that you just don’t seem to care?

· Do you know that you distance yourself from those who don’t do what
you want them to do, or do you draw closer to those people?

To Have An Infectious Appreciation for Life

Somehow while we journey on this big ball of mud, each of us has a choice
about how we will orient to the world. Do we see the world as inherently
good where we sometimes make some bad decisions now and then, or are
people inherently bad where a few people overcome the dark side and
make good decisions? In the end, however you choose to orient,
determines everything you will feel, do and become. I personally believe
that we are all very good people, with an inherent orientation to do and be
good. Those that don’t seem to perform so positively have just lost their
way and need our good examples. The reason our appreciative orientation
is so important to decide is because it will determine what you focus on
and measure in your relationships. The rule is that whichever outlook you
focus on will grow. When you have an appreciative outlook, you will grow
more positivity in your life and will see more things in your life to
appreciate. If you are constantly focusing on the good in your
relationships, you will be more able to find the good. You will also be able
to interpret the others in your life in healthier and more forgiving ways
which inevitably makes you a more attractive partner.

· Do people comment to you about how and why they love being around

· Do you notice that you can see much more good in others than bad?

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