Dating Tips | Relationship Advice | Love Strategies


ex•cel•lence: 1. reaching the state of superiority or outstanding quality or merit. 2. in the context of romantic relationships, when each partner receives tons of pleasure and value consistently and across many areas. 3. what every man and woman wants to experience in their love life forever.

An honest male perspective: Love starts to go downhill when one of the partners doesn’t feel as important to the other person as before. By consistently focusing too heavily on things outside of our primary relationship, we plant the seeds of doubt in our partners. The solution lies in finding simple, everyday ways to reinforce your partner’s importance to you. Use your creativity to find unique and abundant ways of demonstrating appreciation for your partner. In order to keep your relationship at a high level of excellence, a couple must make each other feel important every chance they can.

Do you remember receiving your report-card back in grade school? When I went to Ridgecrest Intermediate School in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, we were graded on basic subjects like English, social studies, math, science, foreign language, and physical education. Although I was regarded as a very smart kid, I never did receive the ultimate recognition of being a “straight A student.”

The grading system back then was pretty much the same as it is now. If you receive an “A,” it stood for “excellent.” If you didn’t do as well, then you would either receive a grade of “B” for “above average,” a “C” for “average,” a “D” for “below average,” or an “F” for “failure.”

The report card was meant to let your parents know how well you were doing in school. But I remember that poor grades on a report card were also used as a warning that you might not make it to college. Hence, the poor grades were also a threat that you would never become a success in life.


If there were such a thing as a report card for relationships, what would be the basic subjects and what kind of grades would you receive?

After tossing around this idea with some people, I came up with the following subjects for individuals in relationships to be “graded” on:

Communication: Speaks clearly, listens attentively, and understands the partner caringly.

Chemistry: Works on securing and maintaining a strong physical attraction and healthy sex life.

Compatibility: Pays attention to having a lot in common in regards to lifestyle, interests, and goals.

Caring: Acts with consistent warmth, patience, and kindness towards each other.

Commitment: Makes and keeps sincere promises of responsibility towards the relationship.

Conflict Resolution: Handles anger, upsets, and disagreements with effectiveness and respect.

Growth: Is involved in a never-ending search for new areas of common interest for the future.

Trust: Deals honestly and faithfully with each other throughout the relationship.

Being graded on these subjects would give a person a general idea of how well they are working on the relationship. And like school subjects, your own performance in a relationship can be greatly improved if you study and practice what you need to know in order to do well.


In your school days, you could achieve short-term success by “cramming” for your final grades with a last-minute push of massive energy and single-minded focus. But in romantic relationships, a person needs to have a steady inner pull of enlightened short-term and long-term motivation.

Most relationships begin to fail when each partner starts to take the other one for granted. They both begin to do less for their partner and gradually give the impression that they care less about the relationship than before.

One woman gave me the following example of how she’s starting to fail in her love relationship:

“I’m really starting to resent my husband and now I’m afraid that our once-great marriage is finally falling apart. We’ve been married for over seven years now. When we first met, I told him that I was a modern kind of woman with high material stan dards. For example, I told him many years ago that I wanted a new washer and dryer. When our second child came along, I told him that we needed a bigger house. Our second child is four years old now and my husband has done absolutely nothing to make our lives any more comfortable --- no new washer, no new dryer, and no new house! About a year ago, I told him we needed an interior paint job and new carpeting for the house. He finally agreed to the paint job, but I’m still haggling with him over the new carpet. I can go on and on about all of the other things that my husband has let me down on. I’m feeling really lost at the moment. I used to be so in love with my husband, but now I’m really starting to resent him more and more as time goes by. Can you help me figure this all out before it’s too late?”

If you want to get “straight A’s” in your love-life, the natural way to do so is to care about the relationship by remaining grateful to your partner. We demonstrate our gratitude best by reminding ourselves daily about what we appreciate in our relationship. When we show our partners consistent sincere appreciation, it keeps our love revitalized. Therefore, with an unlimited reservoir of gratitude, we can automatically maintain the love we so deeply cherish.


Here are some important reminders to help you keep a steady flow of gratitude in your love life:

Be the first one to give. Sometimes we feel inclined to wait for the other person to do something good for us before we reciprocate back in a similar manner. The more enlightened approach is to initiate the process of giving and receiving by being the one to give first. Don’t let an opportunity to make another person’s day special slip away. Be proactive in your life by adding value first.

Don’t overlook the small things. A Greek proverb reads, “Nothing will content him who is not content with a little.” When we notice and appreciate the little things in life, we can make every day something special to anticipate and cherish. Take the time at the end of each day to be grateful for any small acts of kindness, brief moments of thoughtfulness, and simple things of beauty. That way, your heart will always be open to give and receive love.

Remember that things could be a lot worse. We can experience more joy in life if we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Sometimes it is useful to remind yourself how much worse your current circumstances could be. But unfortunately, most people only use the power of contrast to make themselves unhappy about how much better things “should” be. Remember that not being happy usually means that you’re not being grateful.

Appreciate what really matters. We commonly make the mistake of wasting major emotions on relatively minor things. Instead, we should enjoy more of our success and happiness and less of the things that aren’t quite perfect yet. When we value our good health, the people we love, the accomplishments we’re proud of, the new activities we’re excited about, and what makes us happy, we remind ourselves of those things of which we are most grateful. That way, we can save our heart and soul for the things that truly matter in our lives.

Treasure all of your moments. Some memories in our past are better than anything we will ever experience in that realm again. The past --- with all of its rewards, foolishness, pleasures, and punishments --- are with each of us forever. With the proper attitude, we can let the past furnish us with deep roots that can support us through the toughest of times. When we treasure our moments, the memories give us the strength and inspiration to live our lives more fully.

Gratitude makes you a better person. When you live by a philosophy of “living is giving,” you become a valuable person to society. You also become recognized as someone of value who deserves to be appreciated and trusted. Some people operate by the mistaken belief that the more you take from others, the more you have. But more enlightened souls fully realize that the more you give to others, the more you receive back for yourself. One of the biggest payoffs a person can receive by being a giver of love, warmth, and kindness is the gift of becoming a more loving person. This is something that you can take with you throughout the rest of your life regardless of how your circumstances --- romantic or otherwise --- change in time.

Give thanks to the heavens. Gratitude brings peace of mind to the soul. Whenever we feel overly anxious, afraid, lonely, or unhappy in our love relationships, we’ve made the mistake of losing perspective on the gift of life that our Higher Power has given us. Experiencing both pain and pleasure in our relationships is all part of our remarkable journey in this world. Our gratitude is simply an acknowledgment that we appreciate the privilege to be here in the first place.

In a day and age when nothing seems to be enough, a sense of gratitude is what makes a small thing seem significant and an occasional act of love more than satisfying. By maintaining an unlimited reserve of gratitude, you can automatically keep your relationship at its highest standard for long-term success and happiness.


Think for a moment about a time when someone did something nice for you. That person may have bought you a gift, said kind words to you, or even provided a helping hand in a state of emergency. If that person happened to be a stranger, their actions were probably much more noticeable to you because the thoughtfulness was unexpected.

Now think of your most intimate relationships in the past or present. Have the people you loved done similar acts showing kindness, gratitude, and/or generosity? Did you acknowledge them or not?

Realize that every relationship offers plenty of chances to show our sincere appreciation for the other person. All we have to do is seize the opportunity to be thankful, generate more love, and create more joy in everyone’s life.


Love sucks when you lose your appreciation for each other and fail by not giving it your all. But love rocks when you maintain your gratitude for each other on a daily basis with simple and creative acts of kindness, warmth, thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and joy.