We become whole through relationships and through letting go of relationships.

~ Sigmund Freud

Do you enjoy healthy relationships? Are you involved in a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with a man or a woman? Do you give and receive love easily?

David Richo, author of How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving suggests that to be successful parents, friends and partners five elemental qualities are required: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. “Attention leads to self-respect,” he says. “Acceptance engenders a sense of being inherently a good person. Appreciation generates a sense of self-worth. Affection makes us feel lovable. Allowing gives us the freedom to pursue our own deepest needs, values and wishes… These five A’s are essential ingredients of love, respect, security and support. In addition they form the essence of spiritual practice: what we cultivate in meditation and the path of compassion… they are the components of building the virtue of love in ourselves… to love is to become loving.”

Whether you are questioning your relationship now, may have done so in the past, or find yourself doing so at some point in the future, Richo offers a series of questions that can serve to support, guide and clarify…

Do you and your partner show one another love, respect, and support by giving and receiving the five A’s?

Do you enjoy and feel safe in one another’s company?

Do you regularly make time for one another?

Is this relationship fully in keeping with your own deepest needs, values and wishes?

Are you remaining faithful to one another?

Do you trust your partner?

Are you and your partner willing to work on conflicts together?

Are you keeping agreements with one another?

Regarding past hurts, do you now live in an atmosphere of mended failures rather than of stubbornly held resentments?

Does your partnership match what you always wanted for yourself in an intimate relationship?

Are you together by choice rather than because of history, family, social convention, financial security, religious influence, the absence of an immediate alternative, or the inconvenience in or fear of separating?

When you describe how you first met or how you first knew you were in love, is it with detail, enthusiasm, and a sense that it was fortunate?

Does your inner trio – heart, head, gut – assent to continuing the relationship?

“Oh I demanded so much of you

In this short lifetime.

Maybe we will find one another again

In the beginning of the next.”

~ Sixth Dalai Lama