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If you are like me, you have seen all your closest friends recently posting their engagement and wedding photos on Facebook. If you have, you may be thinking to yourself “what are they doing right and what am I doing wrong?”

Take it from the President of The Marriage Doctor, Dr. Vivian M. Jackson, you may not have the tools yet to build a strong relationship. One key mistake Dr. Vivian has seen many of her clients make time-and-time again is valuing one-day expressions of love like Valentine’s Day become more important than normal everyday interactions. Yes, who doesn’t want to be wine-and-dined on holidays and birthdays. However, if you can not have a healthy and productive relationship for the majority of the year, well, Dr. Vivian suggests you are allowing your narcissism to destroy any chance of a successful relationship.

So what can you do to avoid making this common mistake? Below are the 10 key suggestions Dr. Vivian says every meaning relationship should start with to be successful.

1.  Steer clear of pettiness. Be kind to one another. Ephesians 4:32

2. Avoid folly. Listen to understand, NOT to respond. Proverbs 18:13

3. Keep an open heart during conflict. Extend unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Matthew 18:15-22; 1 Corinthians 13:5b

4. Be brave. Tell the truth regardless of the circumstance. Proverbs 10:9

5. Acknowledge the need you have to be touched in a right way. Hug each other often for no reason. Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12

6. Calm yourself. Rid yourself of the “ill grill.” Smile when you are stressed out. Proverbs 15:1-2

7.  Extend yourself. Ask The Lord to help you be “the friend” your friend needs. 1 Corinthians 13:5a

8. Treat your friend the way they want to be treated; not the way you think they should be treated.

Romans 12:9

9.  Be generous. Give without manipulation. Luke 6:35

10. Develop a realistic perspective about yourself. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Romans 12:3

Do you have what it takes to apply these 10 steps? Do you see your friends that have successful relationships apply these steps themselves? Let us know below.

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