100 Practices For Great Relationships – Charlie and Linda Bloom

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100 Practices For Great Relationships – Charlie and Linda Bloom


When my husband Charlie and I conducted our study, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples about Lasting Love, these are the practices that respondents told us had held them in good sted to grow their exemplary relationships.

As you read through the list, assess your own strengths and growing edge. Congratulate yourself for the areas where you shine.

This list will assist you in identifying where your work is still required to become eligible for a great relationship.

  1. Cultivating vision by asking yourself, “What available? What’s possible here?

  2. Risking by growing courage and assertiveness

  3. Showing up for what's happening

  4. Accepting/Letting Go/Surrender to what is

  5. Staying on top of incompletions

  6. Being able to change channels is flexibility

  7. Being able to distinguish truth from imagination

  8. Letting go of guilt and see its source

  9. Allowing yourself to receive and be supported: Being a gracious receiver

  10. Creating a community of support by accepting physical and emotional support and connection

  11. Practicing gratitude, especially when you’re resentful or feeling self-pity

  12. Practicing compassion for yourself and others when there is mistreatment or unkindness

  13. Being open and vulnerable

  14. Having trusting relationships with others who can see what you can't

  15. Telling the truth

  16. Refusing to lie and refusing to lie to yourself

  17. Practicing patience when we are tired of waiting

  18. Regularly checking in with yourself and with your partner

  19. Setting boundaries and stopping before you get to your limit

  20. Not withholding love

  21. Willingness to feel the pain

  22. Creating a close primary relationship through giving and loving abundantly

  23. Living with authenticity

  24. Willingness to feel

  25. Letting others know how you feel

  26. Acknowledging vulnerability, fears, needs, and desires

  27. Dis-identifying with the ego/body

  28. Taking solace and comfort wherever you find it

  29. Creating work that you love and that heals you as you do it

  30. Being involved with your kids' friends

  31. Outgrowing the need for others' approval

  32. Not taking on others' projections

  33. Practicing acceptance of the little pains and losses

  34. Using all experiences in life to deepen spiritual practice

  35. Staying current and complete with everyone in your life, all the time

  36. Trusting the truth of your experience

  37. Refusing to accept a victim identity

  38. Taking responsibility for everything in your life

  39. Refusing to engage in blame of self or others

  40. Staying away from bad therapists

  41. Staying out of the mainstream

  42. Making a big space for the dark shadow, to include your craziness, weakness, helplessness, vulnerability, hatred, ignorance, and prejudice

  43. Taking care of your body

  44. Cultivating self-love and self-acceptance

  45. Practicing humility

  46. Knowing how to replenish and refuel and do it!

  47. Trusting your body not your mind

  48. Knowing what feels right and going after it

  49. Continuing to give no matter what

  50. Working if you can; if you can't, don't

  51. Doing whatever it takes to get you through the night

  52. Practicing generosity of spirit

  53. Finding something to be grateful for always

  54. Accepting love from others even if you doubt you are worthy or deserving

  55. Avoiding comparisons

  56. Reducing attachments to preferences

  57. Finding the teachings and blessings in everything

  58. Saying "yes" to everything life brings you

  59. Living in such a way as to be worthy of trust and respect

  60. Participating fully in grief-work

  61. Experiencing feelings and emotions, expressing, acknowledging feelings through journaling, group-work, therapy, and looking for opportunities to communicate feelings

  62. Living with mindfulness, presence, meditation

  63. Finding your courage, risk challenging yourself and pressing the edge

  64. Going outside of your comfort zone

  65. Asking for help, requesting support

  66. Containing or holding feelings (this is not repressing or suppressing them)

  67. Expressing spontaneously

  68. Checking in with self and other

  69. Checking your intention, stating intention

  70. Taking down-time or soul-time

  71. Living a life of service, contribution, volunteerism, generosity, giving

  72. Committing to compassionate self-care

  73. Drawing boundaries

  74. Saying “no” without explanation, justification, rationalization or excuses

  75. Uncovering and recognizing the fear

  76. Making requests

  77. Only making agreements you are committed to keeping

  78. Going on a “should" fast

  79. Checking in and only doing what you can do without feeling obligated

  80. Doing only what you want to do, rather than acting from a sense of duty or obligation. If there isn’t a desire, don’t do it

  81. Playing. Doing activities for no reason other than they provide fun or pleasure

  82. Looking at your motives and intentions with keen self-examination

  83. Witnessing in the state of non-judging awareness

  84. Allowing yourself solitude

  85. Spending time in nature

  86. Forgiving when you’ve been wronged or wronged another. Forgiving everyone

  87. Breathing consciously

  88. Identifying and cultivating and strengthening talents

  89. Setting goals. What do you want to experience? How often?

  90. Slowing down and examining the fear of slowing down

  91. Holding the tension of the opposites

  92. Withholding opinions, advice, and philosophy unless it is solicited

  93. Taking time outs such as, “I need a moment to think about that.”

  94. Declining requests and invitations

  95. Finding and honoring your own pace and rhythm, rather than going along with others

  96. Practicing non-judgment by going on a "blame" fast . This will prompt learning to distinguish the “judge” from your authentic self

  97. Building strength, both physical and intellectual

  98. Discovering the gold in the shadow and befriend it rather than resist it

  99. Looking for the growth opportunity in each breakdown (A breakdown is any situation, which involves a disappointment in expectations of self or others or circumstances. Seeing it as a means of strengthening specific character traits.)

  100. Becoming a better/more loving/stronger/ more whole person.


Linda and Charlie Bloom’s Bio:


Married since 1972, Linda and Charlie Bloom have been working with groups, individuals, couples and organizations to enhance the quality of their relationships and communication skills since 1975. They both have Master’s degrees in Clinical Social Work and have lectured, led seminars and provided consultation at universities and learning institutes throughout the United States as well as internationally. They have written and published three books, Happily Ever After…and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Stories from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger in the Broken Places.

Their organization, Bloomwork is dedicated to promoting healthy, fulfilling, and successful relationships for individuals, couples and organizations. They have served as psychotherapists, marriage counselors, consultants and seminar leaders since 1975. In addition to their academic and professional training, the Blooms’ expertise in the field of relationships stems from experience in the crucible of their own committed partnership of over 45 years. Their best-selling book, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last has been translated into several languages and distributed world-wide. Since its publication in 2004 it has sold over 100,000 copies.


Charlie Bloom, MSW &  Linda  Bloom, LCSW are relationship counselors and authors who have dedicated their work to helping couples work through challenging times. They have written four books, including the best-seller: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last. 

Interested in learning more? Check back in for more blog posts from Charlie & Linda. Don't forget to check out our upcoming workshop, Love, Sex, and Intimacy scheduled for October 6th. For more information and to register click here!