By Dr. David Simon, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Most people envision an ideal intimate relationship based upon shared interests, open communication, mutual nurturing, and passion. When they’re unable to create this level of emotional connection, they conclude that they need to work harder to create “serious” relationships. It has been my experience, however, that lighthearted relationships are generally more desirable and longer lasting. Although there’s no proven formula that applies to all relationships, embracing a few key principles in your heart will reduce conflict and enhance the flow of love. These seven “laws” are valuable in friendships and business relationships, as well as in families, marriages, and intimate partnerships.

1. My relationships are based on equality.

Relationships based upon inequality may survive but will never thrive. Love is the unity that comes from seeing yourself in another and the other in you. Despite inevitable differences in finances, education, physical beauty or IQ, your deep and unassailable self-talk must be, I am not above you or beneath you. We are different expressions of the same underlying being and are therefore of equal value.

2. My relationships are mirrors of myself.

If there is discord in a relationship, ask yourself how you may be contributing. Before blaming the other person, search your heart and see what you might be able to think, say, or do differently to shift the dynamics. If you’re seeking more attention, can you be more attentive? If you’re seeking more affection, can you be more affectionate?

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