The definition of loyal is faithful allegiance. So, what does that mean in relationship?
Knowing you have loyalty in a relationship is knowing that your partner always has your back, and that you can count on them through thick and thin. This provides stability and a strong foundation that’s imperative for any relationship to go the distance.
A great example in how this shows up in a relationship is when after a hectic day at work, your partner provides a sounding board to vent your feelings and emotions from the roller coaster you experienced. This not only enhances interpersonal communication, but provides another crucial layer of vulnerability in your relationship.
Some foundational characteristics of loyalty are respect, communication, affection, intimacy, vulnerability, and compassion.
Loyalty is being dedicated to not only your partner, but to the relationship and each other. To know that you are fully committed to one another, and to realize how any individual decision must be considered in how it impacts your partner and your relationship.
In my relationship, this shows up by not just the ‘big things’ we do for each other every now and again, but in the ‘little things’ we do for each other on a daily basis that adds to our emotional Love Bank Account.
One idea for filling the emotional bank account is to create a jar of things you love about your partner. You can give this to them as a gift and have them draw one item out each day, so they are reminded of why you love them. Reading it out loud will remind you as well.
Loyalty is a beautiful alchemy of respect and reliability. It’s the maturity in knowing that all relationships have their ebb and flows, the good and not so good times. Are you going to just throw in the towel when things get rough? Or do you roll up your sleeves and figure out how to improve your relationship and truly be there for your partner? The key in reliability is knowing unequivocally that you can always count on having each other’s backs no matter what.
Loyalty is making your partner your best friend. You are 100% committed to them and on their side. You may not always agree, but you don’t hold each other’s hostage by making the other person wrong. This is the person you want to spend most of your time with. While it’s okay to have separate hobbies and interest, your partner is the first person you want to call when you have good news. They are also the first person you want to call when you need help.
Loyalty is the desire to see your partner and your relationship succeed. Everything you do, everything you say, and all that you are is invested in your relationship with your partner. You’re determined to be a successful couple living your fairy tale love story together.
You are your partner’s staunchest advocate and your desire is for them to be the best version of themselves in order to push you to be your very best that ultimately makes you the happiest couple you know!
Table of Contents
The Keys to Loyalty in a Relationship
Being Authentic to Yourself and Your Partner
In the beginning of a relationship, if you try to be who your partner wants you to be, they may later feel like there was bait and switch.
My marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. For many of those years, I felt betrayed by my ex who showed up initially in the relationship to woo and court me. After we were married, those romantic gestures became fewer and farther between. In the end, I felt deceived, as the man I thought I married, was actually very different than the man he was at his core.
So be sure to be true to yourself and your partner.
In romantic relationships, the first thing that comes to mind is fidelity. If you and your partner are loyal in your relationship, you will be monogamous. Sometimes disloyalty comes in the form of an emotional affair which is just as dangerous. Having an emotional bond or connection with someone else is a form of being unfaithful.
How do you know if it’s a relationship to avoid? Some signs are if you have a physical attraction to your friend, whenyou share intimate thoughts or details about your romantic partnership with them. Other signs include If your mate is unaware of your relationship; and if you behave differently around your friend if your mate were present. These are all warning signs that you are involved in an emotional affair or are on the slippery slope of one.
Never Having to Hide Anything From Your Partner
Standing by your partner in both good and bad times even when you may not agree with their actions. It’s standing by them and supporting them even when the going gets tough.
How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship
While we have gone over some of the common ways to show loyalty in relationship, people are different and have different beliefs and values.
Before you can build trust and loyalty, you need to understand what it means to your partner and be on the same page to build a long-lasting relationship.
1. Keep Promises and Secrets
Be sure to keep your promises and don’t keep secrets from one another.
2. Leave Your Judgement out of It
Be sure to respect each other and your differences without judgement. Although you may not understand why certain things are important to your partner, what is important is that it matters to your partner.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
Honesty and vulnerability are keys to building loyalty and trust in relationship. In fact, there’re plenty of benefits for being vulnerable: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable
When you live your truth, your partner will be more comfortable living theirs.
4. Be Forgiving
Forgiveness is essential in building and maintaining loyalty. We all make mistakes, and being quick to forgive is important. Don’t hold grudges about past transgressions as this will only erode the relationship.
Letting go of the hurt, accepting the apology, and moving on builds a trust based on truth and love. Knowing that we are human, that we make mistakes and our partner will accept us as we are is key to building trust and loyalty.
5. Be Committed to Working on Yourself
Personal growth and development not only make you a better person, but significantly improve your relationship. It’s important to grow as individuals and to grow together as a couple.
Like they say on the airplanes, place your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we certainly can’t be there fully and completely for our partner. This ultimately creates a deeper bond and significantly adds to the Love Bank Account.
Always remember, you’re either ripe and rotting or green and growing.
Here’re some tips to help you:
The importance of loyalty and continuing to build upon it are crucial in allowing a relationship to not just survive, but to ultimately thrive.
We all desire the safety and security of a loyal relationship that brings out our best qualities individually as well as those as a couple. It’s this warmth, comfort and deep knowing that our bond and commitment can survive any adversity that comes our way.
More Tips to Enhance Your Relationship
We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.
The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Living in the Moment
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha
While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.
Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:
By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being.
Improve Your Relationships
Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?
Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.
How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.
By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.
You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier.
Why Do We Worry?
Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.
When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.
Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.
Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.
3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment
Step 1: Overcome Worrying
In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:
Calm Your Mind
When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.
The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.
In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.
Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems
Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.
People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.
If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.
Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment
In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.
Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.
You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.
If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.
Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past
None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.
So how do most people cope with painful emotions?
By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.
In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.
Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.
A Wandering Mind
From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.
Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.
Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities.
Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future.
Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.
Step 3: Practice Mindfulness
So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?
Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.
The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.
When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality.
You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.
This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.
To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.
If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.
You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.
Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.
Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.
You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.
This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article:
While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.
You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.
Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)
Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?
Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?
Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.
You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.
In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.
You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.
Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.
The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.
Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss.
So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:
- Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
- Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
- Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.
You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating
Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.
Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.
You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.
Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.
Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.
The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.