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The Journey to ‘I Am’ With Tolu Falode: 5 Secrets To a Thriving Relationship

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TOLU FALODEEver wondered why some relationships survive the tide and others sink? These 5 secrets are at the root of their happiness or misery.

A house that is divided is a house that cannot and does not stand. Where there is no trust between you and your partner there will be no room for your relationship to grow. Where growth does not take place, there is room for communication to denigrate. Trust is activated where there is consistency, communication and commitment. These are the 3 C’s required to make a recipe for unity.
Trust is the product of that mixture. So a practical example would be to make sure you and your partner are in constant communication on a daily basis. Ensure that there is consistent connection and this in turn would foster commitment. These are the three strands that would enable your relationship to stand.

Another important aspect of a successful relationship is attraction. Where there is no attraction there is room for distractions. To nurture the natural chemistry that is at the root of your relationship, you need to feed it and make sure it is fostered continually. You ensure this happens by spending time with your partner, making room for a connection to be fostered through conversations, activities, adventures that naturally build on the original energy that is at the base of your relationship’s identity. This will enable attraction to not only grow, but for it to bloom and when attraction blooms it is attractive. To understand this better, imagine a plant that is nurtured and cared for. As a result it grows not only stronger, but finer. Hence, when you allow attraction to be nurtured in your relationship, your relationship in itself becomes attractive to both you and your partner.

To ensure your relationships survives and thrives there needs to be security. Security requires trust and attraction which is why this is the third step. Where there is trust, the foundation for security is formed and it is strengthened by attraction. This is because attraction allows for confidence to be instilled in the relationship. Confidence is rooted in trust; it forms the perfect combination for security to be formed.

Security is the reason Taye does not feel the need to browse through her man’s phone when he leaves it unattended. Security is the reason Ayo does not feel the need to monitor Fola’s steps whenever she tells him she is spending the weekend celebrating with her friends.
Security is the reason Bola does not share her relationship’s secrets with all her friends even while they are spilling the beans freely, because she understands to protect her relationship she needs to keep her lips sealed. And that is exactly what security does. It is to keep possession of an important asset, to keep it safe.

Hence when your man/woman shares their problems with you, don’t go running your mouth all over town to your friends, sisters and their cousins. You discuss it between yourselves; that is the essence of security.

This is why the more vulnerable your partner is with you, the more secure your relationship is. A lot of relationships have been buried because of lack of vulnerability which is usually due to lack of trust/attraction. So imagine vulnerability as the object, security as the safe and trust and attraction as the combination. You don’t share your combination with just anyone because your partner would feel exposed meaning they would feel betrayed-betrayal ruins relationships.

Where there is security, there is a sanctuary. Going on from the analogy above, security is the safe, and the sanctuary is the room. A sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or safety. You have to become your partner’s safe space. Do you play that role in one another’s lives?

The reason this question is so important is because relationships rot from the root. And this process begins when your partner no longer sees you as their sanctuary but begins to view you as their prison. So are you your partner’s sanctuary or prison? To answer this question pay attention to how your partner acts around you-are they more withdrawn? Do they speak more freely? Are they eager to be in your presence or do they make excuses?

Where your partner no longer views you as a sanctuary you would notice it in the language of familiarity surrounding the relationship’s physicality. In other words, the structure of your relationship begins to shift. Where there was once communication, there is now silence. Where there was once attraction, there is reticence.

This is because you have become a prison and no longer a sanctuary. To return to the realm of refuge, there needs to be peace. A sanctuary is synonymous with peace. You have to learn to forgive and let go of where you have been hurt, what they have done that has caused you to withdraw and where you have felt pain.

The reason for these steps is so many burdens become tattooed in our expressions. Where there is a lack of peace, it affects how we communicate with one another. It even filters into how we relate, and this changes the environment of the relationship from a sanctuary to a prison.

Think about it like this: you don’t have the same tools you find in a sanctuary, in a prison. If you are working with the tools in a prison – i.e routine and regimental communication, lack of expression, lack of colour instead of the elements found in a sanctuary, which include serenity, comfort and room for expression and disclosure, don’t be surprised if your relationship has stalled in its tracks.
It is important your partner sees you as a sanctuary so they can finally reach the point of viewing you as their peace.

A lot of relationships suffer because where there should be sacrifice there is selfishness. Sacrifice means selflessness. This means that if you, Tope, decide you want to attend your friend’s party, on the same day and time Tade has made clear over and over again that he would like to go and see his favourite football team play, you go and watch the game. Not only because he wants to watch it, but more importantly because he wants to watch it with you. The same thing applies to the men. If you know your woman has put aside time to spend with you, she has decided to forfeit going out with friends, hanging out with her family or whatever else, just to be with you, and you decide that is the date and time you and your friends must tear up the whole town. Choose your woman before you lose her as a result.

I want you to come to the place of understanding relationships have nothing to do with your wants but everything to do with what you both need-to reach the point of satisfying your needs equally you have to pass the place of concentrating on your individual desires.

This means the more you satisfy your partner’s needs through sacrificing your wants, the more your relationship will reflect your desires. When both parties put each other ahead of the other, there is stability, there is unity, there is trust. As a result, there is a thriving relationship.

What do you think are other essential elements of a thriving relationship?

Tolu Falode is a Relationship Counselor with over 6 years experience counseling couples and singles on having an amazing marriage. She shares dating tips on Instagram: @fantheflame and YouTube: Tolu Falode. Email: [email protected]

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