At this year’s Grammy’s Beyoncé and Jay Z stole the show with their heated rendition of Drunk in Love. But it wasn’t Beyoncé’s smoking hot bondage inspired outfit or even the racy lyrics that set the stage on fire; it was the vision of two incredibly powerful people sharing the experience together; they embodied everything it means to be a power couple. Not all of us can be multi-billion dollar superstars, in fact Queen B and Mr. Carter are probably just superhuman, however we can all learn a lot from their attitude towards building and maintaining a successful relationship. They have found the secret formula when it comes to supporting one another, while dedicating time to their own careers.
So what makes successful couples, so successful?
FORGET GENDER STEREOTYPES
Rule number one; throw gender stereotypes out the window. In order to build a powerful relationship you need a partner who believes in total equality. If you’re both going to succeed in business you need to be able to lean on each other in every way. Find a man who will respect your opinions, who believes that women should be smart and ambitious and, in return offer them the same respect. Power couples value fairness; they share all responsibilities and work together as a team – yes, women can be the main breadwinners and yes, men can do the laundry!
SUPPORT EACH OTHER FULLY
Without the total, unwavering, all encompassing support of your other half you are going to find it much harder to reach your goals. Power couples make the ambitions of their partners just as important as their own – a perfect example of this being Bill and Hilary Clinton. While Bill was running for and serving as president, Hilary was his number one wing-woman. A couple of years down the line, in 2008, he returned the favor. In order to become a truly successful couple you have to be willing to back each other’s aspirations fully, even if you have to take it in turns.
HAVE YOUR OWN GOALS
In order to be one half of a successful couple, you need to have your own aims and ambitions. If you are constantly striving for the same thing, your good days and bad tend to correlate and it’s all too easy to become disheartened and lose enthusiasm. By having your own interests and career paths you both bring something different to the table. Look at Michelle and Barack Obama, Victoria and David Beckham, Melinda and Bill Gates – they all have their own interests, foundations, businesses – and when those differing passions are married together power sparks fly. They inspire each other, give each other fresh ideas and what’s more, there is mutual respect for the others capabilities and talents.
If your relationship lacks honesty you are destined to fail. Successful couples not only support each other, but become each other’s key confidantes. You need to trust your partner to tell you the truth, whether its about a logo design, a new business plan, or your reaction to someone else’s comment. If you have someone by your side that is always honest, who will provide constructive criticism and who plays devil’s advocate to help you analyze you own decisions you are far more likely to make the right ones.
GIVE EACH OTHER PERSPECTIVE
Successful people don’t let themselves get overwhelmed; they see solutions where other people just see problems and they enjoy a challenge. Having said that, it can get lonely at the top and it’s easy to blow things out of proportion. Power couples offer each other perspective and grounding. If both of you are in an influential position, if you are both equal in your relationship, then you also have the added benefit of understanding what the other person is going through. Unlike the man or women who comes home at the end of the day to someone that is disinterested in career progression, building a business or being the very best in their field, power couples relate to each others determination and don’t have a problem with them spending their evenings behind a computer screen or brainstorming ideas.
REMEMBER TO LAUGH… A LOT
Laughter is the best medicine and successful couples know that. It is always important to make time for fun in a relationship. All work and no play isn’t productive – if you get too bogged down in your business you begin to lose sight of the end goal – you struggle to see the wood for the trees. Get out once or twice a week as a couple, go for a run, go to the cinema, cook a meal together and enjoy yourselves. If you can make each other laugh you have something very special, which will help you overcome any challenges on your path to success.
GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
Independence is important if you are going to be successful in your own right – and in order to be successful as a couple you both need to establish yourselves first. It is also not healthy to constantly be in each other’s pockets – take time out for yourself and give your partner some space at the same time. Take up yoga, go and meet your close friends for a drink, go for a walk or simply take your laptop into another room and give your man full control of the television for an hour. Not only is this good for your own productivity, it will do wonders for your relationship. Plus, a change of scenery is good for inspiration.
If you want to be successful, no matter what field you’re in, you have to have the freedom to network, build relationships and socialize – under no circumstances can petty jealousy get in the way of that. If you don’t trust the person you’re in a relationship with, you need to question the foundations of that relationship in the first place. See your success as a journey you both need to embark on together – if that journey requires your husband to network with other women, see it as something he is doing for both of you, for your collective future – leave the green eyed monster at the door.
DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE GET INVOLVED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Want to know one sure fire way to ruin a relationship? Let other people get involved. The bond you and your partner share is personal, it doesn’t need external influence and it certainly doesn’t need other people sticking their ore in. Never, and I mean never complain to friends, family or co-workers about your relationship – it will backfire. If there are genuine concerns, seek professional (and objective) help. Often though, any creases can be ironed out with open communication. Sit down, talk over any issues and, without apportioning blame, look for solutions together.
Every relationship needs compromise but when you both have demanding work schedules it is even more important. When you are both working hard and striving to meet different deadlines it is not always going to be possible to take that mini-break you had planned. With success comes responsibility and you need to cut each other some slack when it comes to working late, starting early and having very little spare time. Having said that, spending time together is important so you both need to compromise – adjust your schedules for each other where necessary and take it in turns to change meetings and business trips.
Really this should go first. You are not going to become a power couple if you are not one million percent, head-over-heels in love with one another. It is impossible to give someone the support, encouragement, guidance and compromise they need if you don’t truly love them as a person. Love will guide you through the tough days, the sleepless nights, the rejections and hurdles that are part and parcel of a journey to the top, plus, sex is the best stress reliever on the planet!
If you can get it right, being in a successful relationship is exciting; it’s equal, its fun, it brings great rewards and it’s extremely sexy. Enjoy, support and promote each others success and you will achieve great things together.