To attract a person to be in a relationship with and to hold on to a relationship once it begins, it's necessary to develop your character.
Some of the excitement of a relationship is because of a belief that if we pair up with somebody and fall in love with them that all of our interesting character quirks (a polite word for character defects) will somehow melt away.
There's an element of truth to that in the beginning of a relationship. Because we’re in love, we are hopeful, we are probably happy, we have a feeling of gratitude, and we have a feeling of faith. When that's the case, the negativity that fuels our character is not as much at work as it would be otherwise.
When we’re in love with another person and are in a basically healthy relationship with them, we’re usually focused on self-improvement. That’s the case because we wish to be the best we can be both for ourselves and for the person that we are in a relationship with.
A big part of self-improvement is prayer. Prayer is a very powerful tool that will help us, even if we don’t believe in God or are unsure of who or what God is. I’m not going to give you my thoughts about God because I’m assuming that a person who is interested in another’s thoughts about God would purchase a book about God rather than a book about relationships.
I advocate that a person should pray regardless of their belief in God (or lack of it). I was introduced to prayer the second time in my life at age 15. At that time I didn't think about who or what I was praying to. I was just taking an action that I was told to take. I've continued praying for 36 years.
I'm still not clear about who or what I'm praying to. But it's very clear to me that I need to pray.
I need to pray, and sometimes I do so without words, without expectations, and without a list of demands. I pray while standing in the shower. I pray while I'm at the gym. I pray when I'm walking down the street. I pray by the side of the bed and by the side of the couch, and I pray for different things.
Sometimes when I'm in an anxious state of mind I pray both to stop being anxious and to have clarity about why I am anxious. Sometimes I pray on my hands and knees with my hands clasped. Sometimes my prayers are deadly serious. I have prayed during some of the hardest times in my life that I could be free and liberated.
Don't ask why. Don't intellectualize. Pray to look inside. Pray for an answer. Pray for silence. Pray for focus and concentration. Pray to do what's right. Pray to surrender attachments that are destructive to your life.
Pray to be in the moment. Pray for the unveiling of reality. Pray to move from fantasies, narratives, drama, jealousies, anger, doubts, and fears that beset you.
Perhaps you're a person of faith already. If so, by all means pray to your God. But make sure that you pray some prayers that are your own in addition to prayers that might be required of you in accordance with the tenets of your faith.
Pray for a union with God. If you don't believe in God, pray for a union with yourself.
Faith is not something that needs to be exclusively practiced by religious people. Faith is a state of mind. You could have faith in the process of life. You could have faith in your own desires and dreams. Faith is a powerful uplifting force, and this is the case because it is a positive state of mind.
Another very positive state of mind is that of gratitude. Some people struggle with having gratitude, and even with the term itself, because it seems like denial to them. Perhaps that's true to some degree. We have faith while we're in the midst of struggles, problems, and worries. We can switch such faith onto positive things little by little, and doing so is part of what gratitude consists of. There's something in every creature's life to be grateful for. At the moment I'm grateful that you can read what's written in this book. I'm grateful for my consciousness, and perhaps you can be grateful for yours.
We all struggle with negativity to some degree. You may be a person who's constantly plagued by negative thinking, or you may be someone who just occasionally thinks negatively. In either case, when a thought comes into your mind about what you're not grateful for you should immediately divert your thought back to gratitude. This should be a continual practice that you engage in. But it really isn't denial per say. If you suffered a loss of some sort, you can be grateful for having had for a period of time what it was that you lost.
Negative thinking patterns are addictive. We need to fight them. We indulge negative thoughts at times because they are connected with things that we think we have to work through, and sometimes we do need to do such work. But oftentimes there really isn't a concrete problem and the negative thinking isn't appropriate.
One thing that's helpful is to pray for an unveiling of the curtain that will enable you to see the reality of your past and how it connects to your present feelings. You might put a picture in your mind of how negative thinking grows into a giant tree, but rather than becoming a tree that bears beautiful leaves it becomes a tree that is empty, cold, and dying.
If you're locked into a pattern of negative thinking, it's very likely connected with childhood trauma. Pray, write, and talk about this. When you do so, you can unlock subconscious connections and begin to release them. You then put yourself on the path of liberating yourself from mental suffering.
If your tendency towards negative thinking is adversely affecting a relationship that you're in, you should pray for improvement in that situation. Or perhaps you're single and lonely. If that's the case, pray to become ready to get into a relationship with an ideal mate. But even if you're an agnostic or an atheist, understand that prayer is a valuable tool that can help liberate a person's mind from suffering.