In the business world, there are studies here and studies there. You can find validation for your hypothesis in research conducted somewhere, and validation for the exact opposite of your hypothesis in research conducted somewhere else. It can be maddening!
As far as research goes on the topic of relationships though, the vast majority all point to the same thing - the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life on every level. Well duh. Thanks science.
Harvard's longest study on adult development, helmed by Dr. Robert Waldinger, came to the conclusion that good relationships do indeed keep us healthier and happier. "Our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships, with family, with friends, with community," Waldinger said.
And I'm sure you have probably heard the quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. in his "21 Suggestions For Success," where he states “Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.”
As a man who has gone through an awful gut wrenching divorce, that wrecked my business, forcing me into bankruptcy, and losing literally everything, I gotta say, he's definitely onto something there.
Having clawed my way back from that terrible downfall, to not only survive, but thrive and find my true perfect mate, I truly see the validity in the hypothesis. And boy does it make life more fun when you marry your best friend! The amount of support you get from living with someone who is your biggest cheerleader, is the best ROI you will ever receive. You can see a bit of our journey on the Netflix docu-series "Being Dad" from the Chicken Soup for the Soul Production co.
Not only that, but having a positive, grounded, and stable relationship is the best foundation from which to build a business. Just like building a house, that foundation must be solid to support the weight of all that goes on top. Build with an unstable spouse, cracks will appear, multiply, and inevitably collapse the entire structure.
So, how do we choose the right spouse? Eeenie meenie miney moe, is not a suitable selection process. Choosing a spouse based solely on looks is quite sketchy, and can possibly lead to restraining orders and/or golf clubs to the old Escalade side mirrors. And the old idiom of "opposites attract" is almost completely flawed, as research has shown that they most certainly do attract, for about 6 months, then they start to repel.
The best way I have found, in my years of relationship research and training, is a combination of mutual attraction, interests, values, respect, active listening, similar personality types, and a never ending process of learning and self improvement. There, it's just that simple.
Okay, it's obviously not simple. But it is completely doable, and here are some tips and tools to help you find exactly the right person.
In my Relationship Sales Dynamics™training, I teach businesses and individuals how to Clear-Connect-Close. The underlying theme on all of those modules is communicating with people. If you are not heard, then nothing else matters.
Communication is the key.
I thought I had great communication and connection with my first wife. Finding her in an affair with my best pal, cured me of that particular delusion. And set me on a mission to learn to REALLY communicate in the future.
Knowing how your intended mate processes the information that you are sending to them, is of paramount importance. For example, have you ever sent a text with what you believed was a crystal clear message, that was completely misconstrued on the receiving end? Yeah, me too.
There are three particularly effective ways I have found to really connect and communicate with my amazing wife, who is my biggest cheerleader. (In full disclosure, we were both actual cheerleaders in school). Hopefully you can utilize them and find your biggest cheerleader.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). What exactly is NLP? Neuro refers to your neurology; Linguistic refers to language; programming refers to how that neural language functions. In other words, learning NLP is like learning the language of your own mind. Or a simpler version is that NLP is the study of excellence and deconstructing the processes involved.
I'm not talking about getting deep into NLP strategies and techniques here, which requires a lot of study and training. I am talking about the very simple aspect of representational systems, or how we receive information. We all receive data from the outside world via the same pathways - our senses, yet the intensity on each individual sense can vary hugely between different people.
The main 4 ways we collect info are Visual (V), Auditory (A), Kinesthetic (K)(feeling), and Audio Digital (AD)(self talk). One of these 4 is usually the primary receiver with another in a close second.
For example, I am a strong AD with Visual next. Meaning I need data and have a lot going on in my head, and I like to see things clearly. My wife is primarily Audio, with Kinesthetic being next. For her, she gets her input strongly from sound and feelings. So what the heck does that mean in practice?
I know a hug and telling her softly that I love her, is far better than a card or flowers. I know that when our baby is crying, it is grating on her nerves like crazy, while I am able to tune it out for the most part. I know if I say I'm sorry, it has to be at very low volume with sincerity to be actually heard. Being emphatic is not a good thing here.
She knows I am constantly "in my head," working things out, and I like to see things in action, not hear about how great something is. I learn better while actually doing something, and watching a video rather than audio only. I also tend to get lost in instructions and details, causing analysis paralysis.
There are a myriad of ways NLP can enhance a relationship, I am only touching the very thin surface here. Learn your partners representational system and it will pay great dividends over time. Get your free NLP Representational Systems test HERE.
The Five Love Languages (LL). In his book, Gary Chapman spells out the 5 Love Languages we speak to one another. These cover how we give and how we receive love. And just like with NLP you have a primary and a secondary language.
The 5 Languages are:
Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Understanding yourself and how you receive and give love is just as important as knowing your partner's language. Often they are completely different. Speaking the wrong Love Language can leave you saying the opposite of what you think you are saying.
For example, my main LL is Acts of Service, then Physical Touch. I DO things to show my wife how much I love her - clean things, do the dishes, cook, watch the baby, help her in any way I can, etc. That is me giving her love. It is also how I wish to receive love. Not just physically, but in her DOing things to help me. Those dishes aren't going to do themselves, right? (Note, I actually do ALL the dishes, you can watch my Dishwashing Zen videos to prove it. :)
My wife's dominant LL is Words of Affirmation, then Physical Touch. She loves telling people how great they are. This is part of what makes her a great coach. She is indeed a Sparkly Badass Cheerleader! This is also where things can get tricky in communication.
You see, she can tell me all day how she is proud of me or that I am great, or nifty, or even the sexiest fella alive, but if I have not DONE something to feel I deserve it, the compliment can come across as veiled patronization. Similarly if I DO something for her, but don't TELL her how I feel, or give her a compliment, my efforts are all for naught. This could lead to fights if you are not aware of the languages.
You can see how you may not be speaking the right Love Language to your partner, and this could be the cause of a major rift between you. You truly may just be speaking a different language. Google translate that shizzle right now and get on the same page. Find your Love Languages HERE.
B.A.N.K™ - The World's #1 Personality Training System
Imagine if you could know what a person values. Not on the simple surface plane, but on a deep level. And what if you could find out in less than 90 seconds, with scientific validation backing it up? In the business world it is huge. But what is less known, is that on the relationships side, it is saving marriages, healing families, and literally saving lives.
Yes, it is personality test based, but do not be fooled. There is a lot more going on under the hood. Cheri Tree invented the B.A.N.K.™ system as a way for her to make more sales when she was a struggling commission only salesperson. She had to find a way to make more sales when all the other sales trainings out there were not working for her.
She didn't set out to change the world, or help couples communicate better. She wanted to be a millionaire! Well, she did that several times over, because the system works. And yes, I teach it as part of my Relationship Sales Dynamics™ program. So you can make a lot more money, but that is another article altogether.
For keeping your partner happy, B.A.N.K.™ is incredible. In a nutshell, B.A.N.K.™ stands for the 4 personality types - Blueprint, Action, Nurturing, Knowledge. And they can be as different as night and day. What turns one of them on can turn all the others off.
Like the Love Languages, you need to know how to speak to your partner in their Language or they may not understand you. Unlike the Love Languages, there is not simply a dominant and sub-dominant language. We are all completely independent variations of all four B.A.N.K.™ "codes." In order to know how to speak your partners code, you have to crack it first. And you have to know what it means. You can watch the B.A.N.K.™ on relationships video here.
Luckily it is quite easy to understand once you get into it. But let me try to sum it up in a simple example. My code is AKBN. Knowing the codes means I am high Action. My wife's code is ANKB, meaning she is high Action also. This is good news!!! Why?...
When people say opposites attract, they are not wrong. But they leave out the time frame. After awhile, the very things that attracted you to your mate, can start to grind at your nerves. B.A.N.K.™ gives you the heads up so you can avoid that problem. We are both high Action codes. We have similar mutual values.
B.A.N.K.™ is more than a personality test. It is based in VALUES. Know what your partner values and speak to that. There are four codes, each one is a different language. We all naturally speak from our predominant code. When we do, only a similar code understands us. AKBN-ANKB. Our dominant language is the same.
If we were AKBN - NBKA do you think there would be miscommunication? Big time! Unless you understand the codes and can speak the different "languages." There are 12 dominant values to each code. There are over 300 triggers and tripwires that can derail a sale, a marriage, even a family.
We are all made up of all 4 codes. There are 24 different combinations of codes. Meaning you have a little over a 4% chance that your message is being received the way you intended to send it. By knowing your code (your delivery language), and knowing your partners code (their receiving language), you will crack open the Da Vinci Code like cryptex that holds all their communication secrets and take it to the B.A.N.K.™
The Loooooove Bank, awwwwww yeeeeeeeahhh.....
To wrap it up, these three tools and techniques form the basis of my Relationship Sales Dynamics™ system. As you can see it is incredibly valuable in the world of relationships as well as in the business world. Far too few people in business make the crossover connection that training and improving your emotional and romantic side of life can pay even greater dividends than attending that next mastermind, summit, or boot camp.
These three simple tools can be the most powerful foundation for your business. Because without the right partner, you could be on a very shaky foundation indeed. I should know... Oh wait, I do know...
Spike Spencer is an internationally recognized authority on Relationship Sales Dynamics™, bridging the gap between business and dating/relationships trainings. He is a public speaker, author, executive consultant, certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a Level 2 B.A.N.K.™ Master Trainer for business and relationships.
His fun dating/relationships website, “Don’t Kill Your Date (and Other Cooking Tips)”- DontKillYourDate.com, is a site helping guys become better MEN, constantly improving themselves, and their communications with women; utilizing cooking, food, travel, humor and adventure as the medium.