Why Are the 3 A’s Important in Your Relationship?

Why Are the 3 A’s Important in Your Relationship?
Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

Recently we went away for a day and night for no reason. It was wonderful just to be together and to step outside of our daily lives. It made us more consciously aware of the peace and loving calm we derive from our relationship.

That trip was perfectly timed, as since then, we’ve been somewhat challenged in our day to day life. We’ve been worrying about friends with life-threatening illnesses; we’ve both been ailing ourselves, though we weren’t seriously ill or bedridden; we’ve had a house full of guests, and the political situation continues along its knife-edge of crisis.

We know that our burdens are not much compared with those of other people, but they still weigh us down. Yet they are so much easier to bear because of the strength we draw from our relationship, and we have been looking anew at what we get from it and how it works.

Phil has pondered why people are in relationships at all and sees three factors.

  • Companionship is the sense of connecting with someone else, someone who is both like us and different from us.
  • Sex is the sense of merging with someone and transcending your identity.
  • Support is the sense of strength – that two people together achieve more than two people separately, and a sense that it is not just you against the world.

It is in sex that we lose ourselves, but in companionship that we find ourselves. For us, the acceptance that we have for each other allows us to express ourselves fully and thus dive deeply, find our true feelings and stand rooted in them.

The strongest glue between people are the three A’s: to be accepted, appreciated and acknowledged Share on XWe have shared frequently about the astonishing effect that this can have on a relationship, and there are two more factors that help: acknowledgment and appreciation.

In our latest book, How Two: Have a Successful Relationship, we close the chapter on acceptance by writing about these three A’s:

In any relationship, the strongest glue that brings union between people are the three A’s: to be accepted for who we are, to be appreciated for who we are, and to be acknowledged for who we are.

This chapter has been about the importance of acceptance, but that is not enough by itself. Appreciation is important as well. It goes beyond acceptance; it is a positive feeling about the other, a positive pleasure in aspects of the other person.

And yet, if you never communicate that, the other person has no idea; your good feelings stay locked within you. Just because you see it doesn’t mean that your partner telepathically knows it. When you acknowledge the good things in your partner, they feel seen and appreciated. Say it in words and show it in actions.

Through the last couple of weeks we have been sustained by this place of peace and love that we generate together, and you, too, can find strength through acceptance, acknowledgment and appreciation.

When you are seen and appreciated by your partner it creates a center of unassailable balance and a sense of freedom from the vicissitudes of life that is quite astounding.

When your partner relates to that part of you we will call your “higher self” for these purposes, it supports you in being that highest part, it calls forth your best. When you both truly see each other this way and relate to each other with eyes that see the best of the other, it becomes a powerful springboard to reach your potential, to be your best.

When you are not having to dodge boulders in your stream thrown in by your partner, you will feel the serenity of the stream’s flow, and this calm will carry you through many of life’s twists and turns.

Again, you may feel this is all oversimplified, as we are all so used to thinking that much can only be attained through struggle and hardship. Yes, we all go through many challenges and many decisions along our path. When our relationship supports us rather than chips away at us, we can sit more easily in our center and use this to face each situation with love, spreading peace one relationship at a time.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Tell your friends!

4 Comments on “Why Are the 3 A’s Important in Your Relationship?

  1. Margie wrote: Thank you both for your interesting and on the spot newsletters. William and I have the three A’s down pat.

    • Great to hear from you Margie. So glad you can relate to our newsletters and congratulations on having the 3 A’s functioning so well in your relationship!

  2. ‘When you are not having to dodge boulders thrown in your stream by your partner,’ and when a relationship supports us ‘rather than chips away at us,’ are a couple of artful uses of the English language. I always appreciate your dive-deep writing style, and your unique metaphors.

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