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100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships Part 1

This quote, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships” by Tony Robbins, encapsulates why we need to pay attention to our relationships if we live a happy and fulfilling life.

A relationship is a connection to someone formed out of a feeling of an emotional bond, kinship, or attachment. There are four types of relationships: 1) Family relationships, 2) Friendships, 3) Acquaintances, 4) Romantic relationships. In this article, we will be exploring the romantic relationship between two people, the love relationship.

“Love is the passionate and abiding desire on the part of two or more people to produce together conditions under which each can be, and spontaneously express, his real self: to produce together an intellectual soil and emotional climate in which each can flourish, far superior to what either could achieve alone.”- F. Alexander Macoun

We may think we are in love because of how another person makes us feel, but love is not the happiness in ME, but the self-realization together in the US.

“Love doesn’t come with an on-off switch. It’s made of too many threads of memory and hope and heartache that weave themselves into the very core of who you are.” ― Martina Boone

In his book 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships, David Niven, Ph. D. cited the following secrets for having great relationships.

100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships

1. Small Acts of  Love

A relationship bank is built by tiny deposits made daily. It is small acts of love, small acts showing commitment, respect, and support. These are the mundane but heroic steps to the road of a loving and intimate relationship. It is the wind beneath each other’s wings. It is strong when the other is weak. It is a team in this journey of life.

2. See Possibilities Where Others See Obstacles

The commitment of the two people in the relationship is key. When confronted with difficulties, both need to look past them. Compromise if needed.

Also, attention to their strengths and downplaying their weaknesses will strengthen the relationship and is less stressful. In an experiment by Sullivan performed with couples going through conflict, couples discussing the positive side of the relationship reduces their stress level by 15 percent. In comparison, couples discussing the negative side increased their stress levels to 48 percent.

3. Set Rules For Conflict

Every relationship has disagreements. The problem arises not from the disagreements but how both of you will deal with the conflict or point of contention. For a healthy relationship, the couple should sit down and discuss how you both will deal with disputes in the future. If this is not addressed, when conflicts arise, both of you did not discuss how to deal with it and instead deal with it on their own. That is what causes tension and further misunderstanding.

You both need to set the rules to face the fears and the tough times together and come out stronger. No second-guessing each other because you already both know, making it easy to trust each other.

4. Anyone Can Find a Happy Relationship

Great relationships result not from what you are but who you are.

5. It’s Not How Hard You Try

Working hard on a relationship doesn’t mean having a better relationship. Instead, both need to work smart, be logical, and reasonable.

6. You Have Nothing To Envy

Do not be jealous of the success of your partner. You are not in competition. The success of your partner is not your failure. Instead, celebrate and support your partner’s success. Be the wind beneath your partner’s wings. Be happy and content. This will result in a mutually beneficial and satisfying relationship.

7. Attitude Triumphs Over Outcome

Being good and positive amidst trying times can be hard, but having a good attitude, being a good person will lead you to your happy relationship.

8. Don’t Be Bound by Tradition

For a relationship to work and prosper, you both must live within your standards, not those imposed from another generation, from another time. What worked for your parents, grandparents may not work now. Traditions can change and evolve. Nowadays, women’s and men’s roles have changed. Be open-minded and flexible.

9. The Past Is Not The Future

Your future in relationships is independent of the past because you can learn from your past relationship experiences to avoid past mistakes. We go through ups and downs every day. But tomorrow is a different day. You get up and try again in every way, in every aspect of life, whether it be your personal life or career. Just keep ongoing. We will not let our past experiences define our present.

10. No One Wins The Comparison Game

Let us evaluate our relationship based on our needs, and not against the relationship success of people around us. Our relationships are as unique as the people involved in it. So comparing our relationship’s success or failure by using other people’s relationships as a standard is not unfair and not beneficial at all.

11. See The Love Around You

Whether we are in a relationship or not. We are surrounded by people who love us. Like in the song entitled The Greatest Love of All, there is a famous line that goes like this: “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” Before we go into any relationship, a good foundation of feeling loved and worthy of love is critical if we are to have a fulfilling and loving relationship.

12. Doing Nothing Is Rarely A Solution

When we have a problem in our relationship, do not ignore the problem. Ignoring is not a solution. It is just a delaying tactic that if you ignore or delay too long, the problem may grow far larger and far harder to resolve. It is said that 50% of marriages will end in divorce, and the most significant predictor of whether a couple stays together is how well the couple can work through their differences, how we can talk, argue, resolve conflict through agreement or compromise.

13. You’ll Forget The Disagreement But Remember The Disagreeing

When we disagree and argue with our partner, we need to be careful about hurting each other’s feelings. Because we will remember the pain, how we felt even though we do not remember what we were arguing about. To maintain respect and look at the issue from each other’s perspective.

14. Pursue What You Need Forever, Not What You Want Today

A happy relationship is not a process of immediate satisfaction of wants, but a means to achieve your fundamental needs. As a couple, it is expected that you stay together every day. But being a couple should not stop you from pursuing your dreams and sacrificing being together all the time. A couple who is willing to sacrifice to fulfill a need over a want will have a stronger and healthier relationship. Because we don’t get to spend a lot of time with each other, the opportunities we have to spend with each other are cherished more.

15. Seek Harmony In Your Life

When we are having a difficult time in our personal lives, we tend to retreat to our careers to find fulfillment and vice versa. But in reality, we carry out thoughts and feelings from one area of life to another. For us to have a fulfilling life, we work on balance and harmony in all aspects of our lives.

16. The Relationship Test: Are You Lonely?

If we are in a relationship and ask ourselves the question: “Are you lonely?”, and we say yes, then our relationship is not fulfilling our fundamental needs. A healthy relationship is where we think of each other and what we can do to make each other happy. We consider their thoughts, feelings when making decisions. We have a partner, not just a companion.

17. It’s The Little Things That Matter The Most

Every relationship has its ebbs and flows, but what counts are the day to day things that happen and how we deal with them together. The little things that we do for each other. During stressful times, think before reacting. Put things into perspective. This will prevent unnecessary outbursts, angry words, which will harm the relationship if done continuously, and long-term.

18. A Relationship Requires Two Equals

A relationship will fall apart under the weight of imbalance. One person cannot make all the sacrifices, all the decisions, all the work because feelings of resentment will follow. Both of you should be equals, or there is no relationship. You should value each other and treat each other as equals. Take turns taking good care of family matters and not just one doing it all the time and expected to do it all the time. Share in the chores, rotate duties.

19. Beware of Fairy Tales

In a study by Lockhart, he found that elements of fairy tales such as Cinderella were present in 78 percent of people’s belief about romantic love leading to disillusionment, devastation, and anger in their relationships gave less credence to fairy tales.

20. Cultivate A Common Interest

It is crucial to develop a common interest between the two people in the relationship. Having something that you both can enjoy together will foster fun and better communication. It also strengthens the sense of connection you have for each other.

Researchers Bachard and Caron found that couples who stayed together were 64 percent more likely to be able to identify multiple shared interests.

21. Treat The Disease, Not The Symptom

Arguments are unavoidable in any relationship. And to try to resolve them, we quickly fix the complaint. Generally, though, significant arguments are mere symptoms of a bigger problem. So look at the bigger picture, look at treating the root cause of the discussion.

22. There’s No Point In Putting On A Show

People are unhappy and have feelings of discontent about their relationship but choose to stay. Why is that? They like the presentation value to family, friends, and colleagues of being in a relationship and but putting on a show of being in a relationship us unsatisfying, unfulfilling. What’s the point of staying in a relationship where you do not meet your needs.

Nock said that one in five married persons reported that they found their relationship unsatisfying but did not wish to make any changes because of the status of being married.

23. You Make Your Own History

Just because you see a lot of failed relationships around you does not predict your current or future relationships, learn from what you see, but you are a different person with different life experiences and circumstances. You make and live your own relationships; you live your own life.

24. Maintain Your Sense of Control

Our decision shape our lives, no matter what is happening around us. We control our reaction to the circumstances and not let conditions control us.

25. Money Can’t Buy Love, But It Can Buy Stress

Financial matters are a significant source of conflict in any relationship, regardless of income level. But know that money is superficial and we should not let it get in the way of what is truly important to us. Put money where it belongs, a second to what matters.

26. There Are No Mind Readers

We need to disclose our feelings and the situation as we see it. Say that you want their support. We can’t just expect then to know when they do not understand what we are thinking.

27. There’s No Need To Hurry

Relationships are not a race. Take your time.

28. Friends Speak From Experience–Their Own

Value friendship but know that their advice applies to themselves. They speak from their experience, not from yours.

29. Drink Less

Excessive alcohol consumption is not only bad for our bodies but also threatens our relationships.

30. Decide Whether You Want To Win Or Be Happy

Focus on the problem and not the person. In doing so, we work on resolving the issue together and not competing with each other. Do we want to win by showing how right we are, or do we want to come to a resolution together?

31. A Sense of Humor Helps

A good sense of humor makes an average day more fun and eases the burden of bad days. A good joke lights up any day and brings happiness to the teller and the listener.

32. Think Beyond The Engagement

Enjoy the moment, get excited but think about what happens after. Be realistic and prepare to live life after the ceremony.

33. See The Friendship In Your Relationship

Friendship is a good foundation for a stable relationship.

34. The Most Time Is Not The Best Time

Relationships thrive on quality, not the quantity of contact. In general, a little distance every day is necessary for our independent interests and needs. Time apart strengthens the relationship by giving each other a chance to feel an active demand for each other and experience the pleasure of reuniting.

For couples that work together, they need to develop independent activities away from work and each other. When couples work together, they end up being in each other’s space that they lose perspective between home and work.

35. Reduce TV Time

It saps family time. Turn it off and spend time on the relationship instead.

36. The World Will Intrude On Your Relationship

Events outside our relationship will affect our personal life. Recognize this and know how to handle them. Share our feelings with our partner and constantly recommitting to each other will ensure that we will overcome.

37. Gentlemen Prefer The Same Things Ladies Prefer

The core desires that men and women look after in a relationship are nearly identical. The same things you are looking for are the same things your potential partner is looking for too.

38. Love is Blind, But Life Isn’t Always

Expectations about who we are allowed to marry are slowly disappearing. But we must also recognize the challenges and know how to deal with them. We must strive for intelligence and courage to overcome the obstacles.

39. Balance Depends On Which Way You Lean

Strive for balance. If we work long hours and focus on our careers, we need to give more attention to relationships and family time. And where the focus is the family, greater time working outside the home increases the health of relationships and family life.

40. A Relationship By Any Other Name Is Just As Important

Whether you are married or not as long as you in a relationship, what is important is the commitment and support for each other.

41. The Future Matters More Than The Past

A successful history does not mean a successful future. We cannot ignore things that need to be done because we have done them before. Never stop caring for each other. Always put the effort.

42. You Don’t Have To See Eye To Eye On Everything

We do not have to see everything the same way. What is essential is we respect each other’s perspective even though we don’t agree with it. Understand and respect each other’s differences. It’s okay to disagree.

43. Be Open With Each Other

When we have a healthy relationship, we can share what we are going through, good or bad, with our partner. We should not hold anything back. When we can share our life, we form a bond that will help us get through anything now or in the future.

44. Accentuate The Positive In All Aspects Of Your Life

Avoid the negativity and focus on the positive.

45. It Helps To Be Friends

Long term relationships survive and thrive because of the foundation of friendship, a mutual feeling of respect, admiration, and interest.

46. Foundations Are Created In The Beginning

The foundation of trust, love, and respect is paramount if a relationship is to thrive. Without it, the relationship will not survive in the face of challenges.

47. Ambivalence Is A Negative

When we are not sure, we are ambivalent, and we cannot make a decision. Ambivalence in a relationship represents the absence of positive feelings, which will weaken the relationship.

48. Share Housework

Share the workload. It will strengthen the relationship because it shows respect and consideration for the other.

49. A Relationship Starts With Yourself

Be happy with who you are. Be whole. Relationships will not fill a hole in our lives. A relationship will not survive with people that are happy with themselves.

50. Let Go Of The Burden Of Pain

Let go of the pain. Carrying it around revives the hurt. Put it away and start anew.

In Summary

In great relationships such as in a true marriage, two people think more of the partnership than they do of themselves. They face life and sacrifice together for the sake of both. Happiness does not come from individual efforts, but in living life together.

We have gone through the first 50 of the secrets to great relationships. In the next article, we will be exploring the next 50 secrets.



Niven, D. (2006). 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships. First Ed. HarperCollins Publishers. New York, NY

Magoun, F. “The True Nature of Love”. How to Live With Life. Reader’s Digest. p. 41



JoDaMel stands for my two sons and I: Joshua, Daniel and Mel. I have a passion for learning and aspire to be a successful momtrepreneur. My goal is financial freedom. My Plan: Time Management, Self-Development and Online Business. And I want to share my journey with you as I learn, plan, do, evaluate the world of online business. My hope is as I share what I learn, I can help you out in my own little way.

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