THE BLOG
05/01/2014 05:35 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2014

5 Essential Steps to a Happy, Enduring Relationship

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So you've found the perfect person you want to commit to? Congratulations! Haven't found them yet? No worries! The information I'm about to share will be priceless when the time comes (and it will!).

It's important to set goals for your relationship if you want a happy, long-lasting one with your partner. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the right goals to establish in order to "drive the relationship bus" to the desired destination of enduring bliss. In fact, many people go into a relationship without any real idea of what they are doing or where they want to be going. To help with this, I've listed five essential things that everyone who is in a relationship (or wants to be) should know -- about themselves, about the other person and about the relationship. The beauty of these steps is that you needn't know them before getting into a relationship. You can be married for years before you learn them -- it doesn't matter as long as you DO learn and subsequently apply the higher aspects of each one.

The five things you MUST KNOW as a means to a happy, enduring relationship are:

1. Your relationship purpose. What is your purpose in being together? Believe me, many people, if they are truly honest with themselves, will find they are looking to get some need(s) met. This is not healthy nor will it create a lasting bond. Your goal should be that your relationship purpose will embody mutual support, appreciative love, sharing of life and synergistic union. NOT to have your needs met.

2. Your primary level of love. There are three levels of love within relationships. The first one is fear -- which isn't really a level of love at all. People who come together (one or both) in a relationship out of fear of being alone, fear of not being able to support themselves, etc. are doomed to failure. This is the least healthy level possible. The second level is ego-based love. This level is still unhealthy as it is based upon illusions and false presumptions. The ego is insatiable which means that you will rarely -- if ever -- find peace and contentment with "the way things are." The ego always wants to find something wrong, not good enough, etc. and will always seek some sort of validation. The third level is soul-based love. This is genuine and pure and is the highest level to attain. Soul-based love comes from wholeness within one's self -- where a great sense of self-love, self-acceptance and self-approval is possessed. You are not looking to your partner for anything other than to share this love and companionship. Period.

3. Your attitude towards giving. Do you give in order to get something in return? Do you always give to the other but never to yourself? Do you give to create a dependency? Or do you withhold out of fear of being taken advantage of? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you've got some work to do. Your attitude towards giving -- and receiving -- should be fluid, genuine and pleasurable, without any expectations.

4. Your method of relating. This is where intimacy comes in. Are you a caretaker or controller with the other? If so, there is no intimacy at all. Otherwise, you may relate with emotional intimacy and/or spiritual intimacy -- both of which should be your goals.

5. Your definition of love. This can be tricky to determine, but I have some common answers. Love can be defined as need (very bad), or as an act of will (OK, but still not great) or as awe and appreciation of your partners' uniqueness (excellent). Make that last one your goal.

Keeping your standards high for and within a relationship is what gets successful results. This shouldn't be confused with keeping your standards high for your partner. There is a distinct difference in expecting your partner to be perfect in every way vs. working towards attaining the goal of an enduring, blissful union. Quite the contrary; your partner must be seen, loved, appreciated and cherished for who they are, as they are. So make sure you do that.

In addition to group education through her relationship workshops, Pamela also offers one-on-one intuitive counseling, healing and support to individuals and couples alike to achieve their relationship goals. Find out more at www.passagetoinnerjoy.com