Do you think epic love is random?
Is it just a twist of fate for people in the right place at the right time?
Is real love only for the lucky?
The short answer to all of these q’s is…nope.
With more than 24 years of psychological clinical experience, my work as a love and relationship expert, and 25 years of being very happily partnered, I’ve learned so much about what it really takes to create and maintain EPIC relationships, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
In this video, I am teaching you how you can build a rock-solid foundation and infrastructure for a lasting, vibrant, EPIC love relationship.
Prefer the audio? Listen here.
How do you build epic love? Well, I can tell you from my personal experience of creating epic love with Vic and spending years in relationships that were way less than epic, it doesn’t just magically “happen”. It takes mindfulness, intention, and, yes, work, but if both people are willing, it is so worth your effort.
Tips for Building an EPIC Relationship
1. Prioritize the Relationship
This doesn’t necessarily mean you put your relationship above all other things all of the time. There needs to be a balance between your own ambitions and individual needs. It also isn’t just about prioritizing the other person.
When you are in a marriage or a long-term relationship you want to last, you’ve got to think of it as 3 entities – there’s you, there’s the other person and there’s the union itself. When you are making decisions, think about things in terms of how it will impact the other person and how it will impact the union.
There needs to be a mutuality in how you will prioritize the relationship. The shared goal is healthy interdependency.
2. Create a Partner’s Shared Vision
Your Shared Vision is a combination of flexible agreements and the dreams and goals you and your partner have for your life together. It includes deciding how to spend your time, energy, and resources. You’ll talk through big picture things like do you want children? Will you share your money or keep it separate? And you’ll talk through the fun things too like dream vacations and bucket lists!
You can make a special date to create it together, and then, plan to discuss and revise it at least once a year because sometimes we need to renegotiate or revise our proposed plans and that’s okay! The Shared Vision process is a great way to stay on the same path as you each evolve as individuals.
Inside this week’s downloadable guide, I’m walking you through the steps on how to create your very own Shared Vision! You can download it here now.
3. Institute a State of the Union
For epic love to thrive, effective communication skills are absolutely mandatory. It is essential to learn how to talk true and voice your preferences, needs, and desires inside of your relationship. It’s not about asking for permission, it’s about being partners.
To keep the communication open and to normalize talking about all of the things, you can meet once a week to have what I call, the State of the Union (get it? ?).
This is about an hour each week to take the temperature of your relationship. It’s dedicated time to share gratitude for what is working, talk over grievances, and make any requests you may have. Having a standing date to openly discuss anything and everything is a way to practice and hone your communication skills inside your relationship. The more you talk the easier it gets and the closer you become.
Vic and I do it on Sunday mornings. ?
4. Be Polite
This may sound obvious, but I don’t think it is. Commit to being polite to one another in every interaction. Speak and act with kindness, respect, and affection. Strive to hold your partner in high esteem in every way.
When I think about all the things Vic does for me to make my life easier (and it’s approximately a zillion!), I look at each and every one of them as a gift. He doesn’t work for me and your partner doesn’t work for you (or vice versa). I don’t take him for granted and so I regularly verbally express my gratitude. Even for the little things. Thank your partner when they make the bed, do the dishes or switch the laundry over.
It might sound overly formal or like those things aren’t a big deal, but feeling appreciated and acknowledged is something we all need. Saying please often and expressing gratitude and admiration for your person makes regular deposits into the well of goodwill between you.
You’re going to need to draw on that well when life gets hard because when the sh*t hits the fan, the actions you’ve taken to build strength and durability in your relationship really matter.
5. Apologize Often
It’s critical to have the flexibility within a relationship to be sorry – to be able to apologize, and accept each other and not throw past mistakes back in one another’s faces. Epic love makes room to be sorry and to be forgiven.
Healthy remorse means you can acknowledge when you are wrong and when your partner is right. When I am right, I don’t gloat. When I’m wrong, even over the little stuff, I readily admit it. Being able and willing to say you are sorry (and mean it!) is another way to put deposits into the well of good feeling and goodwill of your relationship.
6. Learn How to Listen to Understand
Inside a loving partnership, effective listening is THE skill to deepen intimacy, encourage vulnerability, and strengthen trust.
Strive to be an athletic listener. That means being actively engaged in what your partner is expressing and not just waiting to talk. Can you listen and not poke holes in the other person’s argument or micromanage the story they are trying to tell? Can you make it a practice not to interrupt?
When you can learn to listen with the intent of understanding the emotions, ideas, thoughts, and dreams of your partner, love and intimacy blossom.
Mastering the art of listening to each other is one of the most powerful things you can do to create the infrastructure for epic relationships. It is truly an art and it takes practice, so keep at it!
7. Treat Each Other with Respect
Respect means appreciating and acknowledging each other’s differences. You assume the best of one another. You’re not trying to convince or change the other person. It is committing to holding one another in high regard, even when you’re angry or frustrated.
Respect can also include creating rules of engagement and sticking to them, even when you are in conflict. Can you agree to disagree? Can you bring more reverence in the way you communicate with and about each other? An epic love mindset needs to be: it’s not me against you, it’s us against the problem.
8. Have Fun and Have Sex
Keep it interesting. Go on adventures. Be spontaneous. Try something new in and out of the bedroom.
Prioritize being sexually intimate. Listen, there are going to be ebbs and flows in your physical intimacy and how sexual you or your partner are feeling at different times of your life together. Pregnancy, menopause, stress…so many things can affect how desirous and how desirable you each feel.
But when you think about it, in a way, sex is the thing that makes your relationship different than a friendship, right? So prioritize it, flirt, make out, book a hotel room, plan dates and go for it! And, if you are struggling in this department, I highly recommend checking out my brilliant friend and sex therapist, Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus.
Bottom line: healthy relationships require prioritization and work. Real, lasting love isn’t effortless and it’s not only for the lucky. It is mindfully and intentionally choosing one another each day. It’s mutually committing to the effort it takes to build something beautiful, meaningful, and EPIC.
I’m happy to put in the effort because I love my person more than I love anyone else in the world. After 25 years, he is still the most interesting human being I’ve ever met AND I find a way to be interested in what he is interested in. He does the same for me.
We’re going through some hard times in this world and don’t we all just want our relationships to be a soft place where we can land again and again? I know I do.
I hope this episode added value to your life and if it did, please share it with the folks in your world. I hang out mostly on Instagram, so if you please, connect with me if you have comments or q’s! Thanks for being a part of my crew, because I really do appreciate each and every one of you.
I hope you have an amazing, EPIC week and as always take care of you.