Treating Your Mate Right (It’s easier than you think)

Written by Jermaine Robinson

Making a relationship work consistently appears to be one of the greatest mysteries of the human condition.  However, despite the numerous societal examples of relationship failures, practicing good habits in your relationship will lead to greater success.  A well known American Businessman[1] once articulated that: “The best way to break a bad habit is never to begin one.”  If this is true, then the opposite may also be true, “The best way to create a good habit is to begin one.”   Therefore, the best way to achieve success in our relationships is to practice good habits and stay away from the bad ones. Here are three tips that emphasize good relationship habits:

1) Pray Together.

This habit, which may sound corny to many, is of extreme importance.  It often feels like it will take supernatural intervention for relationships to work.  The amount of love, patience, understanding, compromise, and general hard labor it takes to achieve success in a relationship will sometimes feel like a full time job. However, unlike a full time job, you can never call out sick!  Thus, you will need something extra in your spiritual gas tank to get you to the next mile marker.  Unlike the recent NY City Gas shortage,[2] the power lines of prayer will never be cut off. The Bible tells us: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”[3]  When your mate leaves for school or work in the morning, pray.  When a serious argument has just occurred and is threatening your relationship, pray.  When your partner has achieved something positive and you’re proud of it, pray.  If you haven’t started this habit, begin to practice it today.  Gaining divine wisdom will make some of the challenges in your relationship much easier to manage.

 2) Do New Things.

If you were in a relationship with yourself, you might prefer to spend 8 hours straight watching football, playing video games, or shoe shopping on the weekend.  Essentially, when you are single you can do what you want, when you want.  However, this is a bad habit to continue once you enter into a relationship. 

It is of paramount importance to explore some of your mate’s interests. After a while, you might even like some of them too.  Not only does this build your list of things you have in common, it also works on the intimacy of your friendship, which in turn builds passion within your relationship.  An important caveat is that if you truly dislike the activity, don’t force yourself to do it just to satisfy your partner. He or she should be understanding and it also could be a healthy way for them to get some space as well.

 3) Speak Less. Do more!

Some men think their girlfriend’s talk too much and some women are annoyed at their boyfriend’s lack of communication skills.  However, I am not touching that in this section. 

Instead, I implore you to let your actions in your relationship speak louder than your words. A famous Bible verse tells us, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”[4]

We can use this nugget of wisdom to assert that it is time to lay down your life symbolically for your partner.  To illustrate, stop talking so much about what you’re going to do or how much you love him; it is time to prove it through your actions.  She may remember your deep voice whispering sweet nothings in her ears, but can she also recall meaningful actions that will cause her to reminisce for a lifetime?    He may repeatedly hear how much you miss him, but can he remember the last time you made his day?  Of course, one loves to hear nice things, but it’s also comforting to watch someone’s actions prove that he or she is firmly in your corner.

Again, once you start doing kind things from the heart, instead of just saying themyou will find it difficult to break this good habit and that it is truly better to give than to receive.  Both will lead to relationship improvement.

[1] J.C. Penney 1875-1971

[3] James 5:15 (NIV)

[4] John 15:13 (KJV)

About the Author

Graduate of Stonybrook University and Fordham Law School, Mr. Robinson is an intelligent and well read young Black man. As a lawyer and a professor, he has many avenues by which to gain vital knowledge and know how on this crazy thing we call life. It is always a  pleasure diving into the world of Jermaine, because of his unique perspective on just about everything. He is never one to be rash about situations, so I always contemplate the unique views he brings up in our conversations; so I was very excited when he agreed to write an article about relationships, and as always it is very insightful. 

I hope you all enjoyed!


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