Friday, August 10, 2012

Guest Blog Post: Relationship Bliss: It's all about wise execution (from Papa Ridley)

Recently, my son asked me for my thoughts for a college paper concerning the critically important ingredients for a great and lasting relationship for a couple. After reflection - and following decades of personal experience - I offered what life has taught me.

For love to develop and thrive, a couple must have the 5 C's, firmly secured on a foundation of mutual Respect, all wrapped in Trust. If any of these characteristics is missing or incomplete, the relationship is destined to languish.

The initial and importantly catalytic element in a relationship is Chemistry. Both partners need to be physically attracted to each other. The birds and the bees have been around a long time. Without Chemistry, the relationship can not get off the ground.

If the 5 C's comprise a sort of relationship solar system, Compatibility  is the Jupiter of this solar system. Compatibility extends to the broadest array of personal characteristics including: intelligence, independence, spirituality, intellectual pursuits, down-time preferences, outgoing vs. shy personality, sports preference (if at all), and on and on...

The next most important C is the ability to Compromise. This is the Saturn of our relationship solar system and a very close second in importance to Compatibility.  When conflict has the potential to emerge, think about this: The person I love is the person I want to be in a loving relationship with ten (10) years from now. Assuming that we are Compatible, is whatever that is potentially causing conflict worth threatening our loving relationship? Whatever threatens to disrupt the relationship needs to be resolved through Compromise so the relationship can not only survive, but thrive. Remember, "stubborn" in a relationship can be a four-letter word.

The fourth C is Commitment. Many people say they are willing to make a Commitment, whether this is actually workable for them or not. What is more important is whether both partners are able to make a lasting commitment. Sometimes this can not be known until the relationship ship has sailed.

The final C is Communication. This is the glue that keeps the relationship together as well as the essential mortar that helps build the budding relationship into a fortress relationship, one that is resistant to all manner of travails in life. Once again, being able to communicate effectively is the operative ingredient here. Meaningful Communication takes focus and a continuing, sincere desire to enhance the relationship, which can lead to true joy in life.

Mutual Respect is the gravity that holds the relationship together and   keeps it solidly grounded.  It provides the foundation upon which the loving relationship can grow and thrive. Trust is the sun in this relationship solar system. Without it, there is no light or energy for the relationship.

The key to a successful relationship lies in the synergy of having all of the ingredients working together, having all of the 5 C's + a foundation of mutual Respect + Trust that wraps around everything in the relationship.

Having said all of this, remember that it's all about wise execution in sustaining loving relationships. Knowledge is being aware that a tomato is a fruit; wise execution is not serving it in a fruit salad. Keep in mind what Tatiana Ridley once said, "Health and love are the greatest gifts." Wishing you the gifts of health and love as well as wise execution in your romantic relationship. 

Sam Ridley is a retired investment banker (previously with Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley) and former senior executive with Polaroid and US WEST. He is an avid golfer who typically walks 9 holes daily and has a "scratch" handicap. He recently shot a hole-in-one on Friday, July 13, 2012 (173 yards, 5-iron) at The Silverleaf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Follow him onTwitter: @sridley01.

Thanks, Papa Ridley, for imparting your pearls o' wisdom! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY in T-2 days, August 12th :)

Blissfully Yours,

Tatiana Ridley, CHHC, AADP