Assumptions are
the termites of relationships.

Henry Winkler


Most people enter into relationships with an eye toward what they can get out of them, rather than what they can put into them.  The purpose of a relationship is to decide what part of yourself you'd like to see "show up," not what part of another you can capture and hold.  The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you; but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.

Neale Donald Walsch

In my early professional years I was asking the question:  How can I treat, or cure, or change this person?  Now I would phrase the question this way:  How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his or her own personal growth?

Carl Rogers
Our relationships are our sacred responsibilities, for they are the framework within which life is lived.  They show us where we have more learning and loving to do.  Our interactions with others call up the disabling beliefs and negative patterns of behavior we need to release—the cynicism, anger, resentment, and jealousy that block love’s flow.  Our relationships are our mirrors; they reflect where we are in consciousness.  And if we are willing to face the truth about ourselves, our relationships offer the lessons that lead to our greatest transformation.

Susan L. Taylor

An intimate relationship does not banish loneliness.  Only when we are comfortable with who we are can we truly function independently in a healthy way, can we truly function within a relationship.  Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship:  it takes two wholes.

Patricia Fry


 To know when to go away and when to come closer
is the key to any lasting relationship.

Doménico Cieri Estrada


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The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.

Anthony Robbins


That's another lesson I've learned the hard way.
All relationships will die if they aren't nurtured.  Just
as a flower will die if it's not watered. Because love is
demonstration, not declaration.

Patti LaBelle


Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive,
we must cultivate the science of human relationships. . . the ability
of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world, at peace.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone
that we can have a real relationship with them.

Anthony Storr


Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that
most people enter a relationship in order to get something:  they're trying
to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only
way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that
you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.

Anthony Robbins


By asking for what you need, you reveal your fragility as a human being
and you invite the person you love to share her or his fragility.  The reaction
to an expressed desire not only brings to the person who needs help the
pleasure of seeing a need filled, it also brings to the person who fills the
need a feeling of effectiveness as a person and a sense of being capable of
giving happiness to someone else.  In such moments, each of you have the
opportunity of sharing your love and your humanity.

Daphne Rose Kingma



Relationships are the hallmark of the mature person.

Brian Tracy


Remember that the best relationship is one in which your
love for each other exceeds your need for each other.



The more connections you and your lover make, not just between
your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls,
the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and
the more real moments you will experience together.

Barbara De Angelis

When you make a commitment to a relationship, you invest your
attention and energy in it more profoundly because you now
experience ownership of that relationship.

For over 75 years, Harvard's Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations:  456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard's classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers.  Since before World War II, they've diligently analyzed blood samples, conducted brain scans (once they became available), and pored over self-reported surveys, as well as actual interactions with these men, to compile the findings.

The conclusion?  According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance:

The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this:  Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.  Period."

reported by Melanie Curtin,
Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience,
tolerance, optimism, joy in the other's achievements, confidence
in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.
We need to accept the fact that it's not in the power of any
human being to provide all these things all the time.  For any of
us, mutually caring relationships will also always include some
measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance,
pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

Human relationships are primary in all of living.  When the gusty winds
blow and shake our lives, if we know that people care about us,
we may bend with the wind. . . but we won't break.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers


When we experience meaningful connections with other people, life is
good.  Positive relationships contribute to better physical and mental
health, longevity, and, yes, happiness.  Without positive
relationships—whether at home, within our social circles,
or at work—our happiness and health suffer.

Deborah K. Heisz
Live Happy:  Ten Practices for Choosing Joy


Take refuge in the constant.  If you seek security in anything
that passes, you will be sad upon its departure. This does not
mean we are to distance ourselves from relationships, deny
ourselves the joy they bring, or rebuff sorrow when they depart.
To the contrary, knowing that one day those close to you will
not be here enriches relationships while you have them.  When
you are with people you love, imagine you may never see them
again.  Be fully present with them. Speak the words you wish for
them to hear.  Thank, honor, acknowledge, and celebrate them.
They are in your life for a blessed season that bestows its unique
gifts. Don’t miss a moment of loving.  Leave nothing unsaid or undone.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy

A Course in Miracles refers to our relationship partners as our saviors—
but not in the way we have been taught to believe that someone will save
us. Our partner becomes our savior when we choose to see the light in him
and love him for who he is, not who we want to change him to be. Likewise
when we accept her as a complete and radiant soul, even if she doesn’t
match a cover-girl image. Thus we are saved from our illusions and
projections and we create a relationship with the person God created,
not the story we made up about him or her.

Alan Cohen
A Course in Miracles Made Easy


As we endeavor to practice with relationships, we begin to see that
they are our best way to grow.  In them we can see what our mind,
our body, our senses, and our thoughts really are.  Why are relationships
such excellent practice?  Why do they help us to go into what we might
call the slow death of the ego?  Because, aside from our formal sitting,
there is no way that is superior to relationships in helping us see where
we’re stuck and what we’re holding on to.  As long as our buttons are
pushed, we have a great chance to learn and grow.  So a relationship is
a great gift, not because it makes us happy—it often doesn’t—but
because any intimate relationship, if we view it as practice,
is the clearest mirror we can find.

Charlotte J. Beck
Everyday Zen


The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we
say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions
come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic)
rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will
sense that duplicity. We simply won't be able to create and sustain the
foundation necessary for effective interdependence.

Stephen R. Covey

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.

Anthony D'Angelo


Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you.

Mike Murdoch



Life is relationships; the rest is just details.

Gary Smalley


Relationships are all there is.  Everything in the universe only exists because
it is in relationship to everything else.  Nothing exists in isolation.
We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.

Margaret J. Wheatley


You must first have a good relationship with yourself before you can
have a good relationship with others. You have to feel worthwhile
and acceptable in your own eyes. The more independent you are,
the better you'll be able to connect and relate with others.

Gary Emery

Articles and book excerpts on relationships:

The Houdini Syndrome      Bob Welch
Capital Expenditures      Gail Pursell Elliott

Connect or Contact:  A Call to Community      Jance Hain

Doing Dishes      tom walsh

Father's Day      Gary Barnes

How Do You Treat Others?      Robert Taylor

How's Your Mental Health?      Dale Kiefer (for people with newborns)

How to Hold a Grudge      tom walsh

How to Open up While Staying Safe      Rinatta Paries

Listen Closely. . . .      tom walsh

A Matter of Choice      Asoka Selvarajah

Put a Little Z.I.P. in Your Relationships      Chris Widener

Produce a Quantum Leap in Your Life Fast      Asoka Selvarajah
Sixty Years, Headed to Forever      Staci Stallings
Why Am I so Fond of Mrs. Mann?      Marc Wiltse

Start Living in Prime Time      Denis Waitley

The Teachers in My Life      tom walsh

Ten Ways to Inspire Others      Michael Angier

Three Wondrous Answers      Lev Tolstoy (retold by Thich Nhat Hanh)

When You See "Red"      Rhoberta Shaler

The key to long-term relationships is letting someone be different today
than they were yesterday.  I think one of the main reasons for divorce is
that couples don't always create the emotional space between them to
allow for constant and continuous change.  When people say, "We grew
apart," it's often a sign that when they entered the marriage, their emotional
contract didn't include this clause:  "I'll let you grow.  You'll let me grow.
We'll learn from each other, and we can grow together."

Marianne Williamson

Your closest relationships are often the ones that have the most effect on you,
but they are frequently the ones most difficult to change.  These relationships
are complex and have long histories.  Lifetime habits of avoiding being really
present with each other may exist in many of them.  Family members, for
instance, might want to support you, but will not necessarily know how to
genuinely listen or be present with you in a way that is enlivening. . . . Even with
the best intentions, it can be very difficult to get beyond the past and into the Now.

Richard Moss


An honorable human relationship--that is, one in which two people
have the right to use the word "love"--is a process, delicate, violent,
often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the
truths they can tell each other.  It is important to do this because in
so doing we do justice to our own complexity.  It is important to do
this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

Adrienne Rich


Relationship problems are opportunities to grow and mature.  Such
problems can be character building if you don't let them defeat you.
That's why it's important not to isolate yourself.  No one can exist
apart from others.  Remaining aloof from others cultivates
selfishness, which accomplishes nothing.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day

The reality is that all relationships inevitably will be dissolved and broken.  The ultimate price exacted for commitment to other human beings rests in the inescapable fact that loss and pain will be experienced when they are gone, even to the point of jeopardizing one's physical health.  It is a toll that no one can escape, and a price that everyone will be forced to pay repeatedly.  Like the rise and fall of the ocean tides, disruptions of human relationships occur at regular intervals throughout life, and include the loss of parents, death of a mate, divorce, marital separation, death of family members, children leaving home, death of close friends, change of neighborhoods, and loss of acquaintances by retirement from work.  Infancy, adolescence, middle age, old age--all seasons of life involve human loss.

James J. Lynch

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

Relationship are part of the vast plan for our enlightenment.

Marianne Williamson

Building a sound foundation is hard work.  And I still look to my garden
when I forget my lesson.  So many times I have blamed my potential life
partners for not being perfect when in act it has been me who hasn't made
the commitment, who hasn't taken the time to get to know who they are
before I made big demands of the relationship.  I rely on my expectations
and dreams to provide the foundation on which I build my goals.  And
then, of course, I'm disappointed when I don't harvest the perfect
relationship in no time at all.

Vivian Elisabeth Glyck
12 Lessons on Life I Learned from My Garden


In a relationship, it is demeaning to constantly seek your partner's
approval.  Such relationships are bereft of real caring, depth, or
even love.  For those of you who find yourselves in relationships
where you are not treated the way your heart says you should be,
I hope you will have the courage and dignity to decide that you are
better off risking the scorn of your partner than
enduring unhappiness with him or her.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day


Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.


When we enter into any relationship with the premise that we
are empty and the other person will fill us in, we are sure to fail.
We can only win when we proceed from wholeness.

Alan Cohen

A relationship is like a garden.  If it is to thrive it must be watered regularly.
Special care must be given, taking into account the seasons as well as any
unpredictable weather.  New seeds must be sown and weeds must be pulled.

John Gray


I am a big believer that you have to nourish any relationship.
I am still very much a part of my friends' lives and they
are very much a part of my life.

Nancy Reagan


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A complete sharing between two people is an impossibility, and whenever
it seems, nevertheless, to exist, it is a narrowing, a mutual agreement which
robs either one member or both of his or her fullest freedom and development.
But, once the realization is accepted that, even between the closest human
beings, infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can
grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes
it possible for each to see the other, whole and against a wide sky!

Rainer Maria Rilke

The "veritable life" of our emotions and our relationships also is intermittent.
When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same
way, from moment to moment.  It is an impossibility.  It is even a lie to pretend
to.  And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.  We have so little faith in
the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.  We leap at the flow of the
tide and resist in terror its ebb.  We are afraid it will never return.  We insist on
permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life
as in love, is in growth, in fluidity--in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free,
barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.  The only real
security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in
hoping, even.  Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it
was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but
living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.  For relationships,
too, must be like islands.  One must accept them as they are here and now,
within their limits--islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continually
visited and abandoned by the tides.  One must accept the security of the
winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea


Happy relationships depend not on finding the right
person, but on being the right person.

Eric Butterworth

Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance,
optimism, joy in the other's achievements, confidence in oneself, and the
ability to give without undue thought of gain. We need to accept the fact
that it's not in the power of a
ny human being to provide all these things
all the time. For any of us, mutually caring relationships will also include
some measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance,
pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment.

Fred Rogers

When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?  Will you
hug that college degree in the walnut frame?  Will you ask to be carried to
the garage so you can sit in your car?  Will you find comfort in rereading
your financial statement?  Of course not.  What will matter then will be
people.  If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now?

Max Lucado


The people we are close to are important.  We should treat them
as our treasures.  When dealing with others, we should always be
sincere and polite.  Nothing is stronger than sincerity.
I have made many friends around the world and made them all with
the same sincerity.  A relationship built with sincerity will never be
destroyed, but relationships built by means of tactics and
scheming always collapse in the end.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day

Relationships with other people are necessary to escape loneliness; however, relationships do not guarantee freedom from pain.  Nurturing a meaningful relationship with another human being takes patience, even when we don't have any.  It takes tolerance, even if we don't feel it.  It takes selflessness, at those very moments when our own ego is crying for attention.

Yet, we need relationships with others; they inspire us.  We learn who we are and who we can become through relationships.  They precipitate our accomplishments.  Our creativity is encouraged by them, and so is our emotional and spiritual development.

Karen Casey
Each Day a New Beginning


Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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