The Five ‘Cs’ of Sustainable, Committed Relationships


I happen to like the letter ‘C”.

After all, I come from a long line of Capocellis  and …(lol).

Establishing, building, and nurturing a sustainable mutually fulfilling, committed, romantic relationship takes a lot of work.

Hopefully, my five ‘Cs’ will help us all (yes I need reminders too!) to stay on top of things and do what it takes to make our relationships thrive.

The Five ‘Cs’ of Right Relationships


A deep commitment is an essential component of a long term, mutually fulfilling romantic relationship.

“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.”

Source: unknown

A deep unwavering commitment always enlists the support of the universe.

“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.”

Source: Goethe, a distinguished German poet and dramatist (1749-1832) who had a profound influence on modern philosophical thought.

For more on how commitment enlists the support of the universe:

Renewing your commitment to your love is an important aspect of keeping your precious relationship fresh and alive.

While I highly recommend random acts of kindness, the giving of love notes and flowers, and spontaneous, fun outings that involve shared activities enjoyed by both partners, nothing can replace positive daily interactions that demonstrate your deep commitment.

Actions speak far louder than words.

 Live your commitment.


We all know that keeping the lines of communication open is essential to the success of any committed relationship.

Really listening to your partner when they are frustrated and you are tired and just want to be left in peace is another matter.

However, if you can dig deep and garner the forces to really connect with and listen to your partner in times like this the long-term benefit to your precious relationship is huge.

I would like to emphasize some important points:

  • Respect is the minimum expression of love, strive to always give you’re your full attention to your partner when they are speaking, allowing your mind to wander is a form of disrespect, be present
  • Always strive to be honest, transparent, and clear
  • Question to understand rather than challenge
  • In times of stress, it’s usually best to focus on substance and support rather than on ‘the details’
  • If you know that you didn’t ‘get it’, ask questions to be sure that you do
  • Always acknowledge your partner’s efforts – it’s the striving that matters
  • Be big enough to admit that you were wrong
  • Never go to bed angry – better to ‘cave’ and say that you’re sorry than to let frustration ‘fester’ all night robing you both of rest and peace
  • Choose your battles carefully – some things simply are not worth getting all worked up over
  • When feelings are expressed, accept and honor them for what they are- always remember when it comes to feelings there is no right or wrong
  • Always make sure that you connect, when appropriate offer physical affection
  • Please be open to receive physical affection and support- when your partner reaches out in this way, it is very important that they get the benefit of physical connection- “it is giving that we receive”
  • It’s the relationship that matters – no ‘relating’ translates to no relationship – do whatever it takes to stay connected


When one observes couples that really have the whole cooperation thing down it is amazing to note how smoothly all of the material things get done.

Knowing what times of the day are stressful for your partner and doing what you can to make their life a little easier is one way to cooperate with your partner.

Being aware of when your partner needs help and what things they prefer to do by themselves is another aspect of cooperation that is often overlooked.

Keys to cooperation

  • Slow down and pay attention
  • If in doubt about if or how to support your partner – ask, don’t assume that you just know how they would like you to help
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Be open to take direction
  • Talk about things when they go well and when things don’t go so well
  • If children live with you, model how you would like them to lend a hand and directly ask them to contribute
  • Remember to thank your partner and any children involved for their efforts
  • Be present!


Collaboration and cooperation are really too sides of the same coin.

Folks often forget that doing things together is often far more rewarding than doing things alone.

It’s not always about what’s most efficient.

Our busy, time pressured lives often simply don’t provide sufficient opportunity for meaningful connection.

Finding ways to collaborate can really help to slow the pace of life down while carving out the time to be together and restore/revitalize your connection with each other.

Think about it.

Time together is time together.

Life is fleeting.

Here today.

Gone tomorrow.

Just ask anyone who has recently lost a close personal friend, spouse, or, heaven forbid, a child.

Carpe diem, “Seize the day”

If you have young children, asking them to help you wash the car will no doubt take longer and require more of your energy and effort than if you did by yourself, but the time spent together is worth it!

The same is true with tasks around the house with your partner.  The more you can do together, the more time you spend together.

Isn’t that one reason why you’re in the relationship in the first place?

While some ‘division of labor’ makes sense and is frankly necessary, I recommend striving to include your partner as often as possible.

If there are children living at home get them away from their Ipad, video game, or ‘screen’, and enlist their assistance as much as possible in whatever needs to get done.

They need to be involved in meaningful work.

If they object, find a way to enlist heir support them any way!

When it comes to managing children, a family is not a democracy.

It is the parents’ responsibility to set boundaries, assign tasks, and enforce limits. 

Love makes the effort to help children to learn how to be in the world.

Household chores present a great opportunity to build family solidarity.

By collaborating as much as possible, you avoid what I call ‘the parallel life trap’.

In our age of ‘individuality, independence, and self advancement’ couples and especially families can fall into the routine of simply doing their own thing because its easier that trying to muster the forces to do things together.

I call this pattern ‘the parallel life trap’.

From my perspective couples and families who fall into this trap are really missing out on time spent together doing meaningful work.

Not to mention that it can contribute to clearly avoidable and unnecessary feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Collaboration can also mean that partners can conspire to create alone time for each other.


Yes, people do need alone time.

Couples who have mastered the arts of cooperation and collaboration just seem to be more sensitive to their partner’s needs for “alone time’.

Learning when and how to leave your partner in ‘freedom’ to have alone time is very important to sustainable long-term committed relationships.

That’s why ‘man caves’/work shops, and sewing/craft rooms were invented!


No discussion about building sustainable, committed romantic relationships would be complete without mentioning the need to cultivate, and be fully present with, just how grateful you are for your precious relationship to begin with.

As my old Yoga teacher used to say, ‘The curse of a Yogi is forgetfulness.”

This is one reason why I encourage folks to keep a gratitude journal.

You may even want to establish a tradition of reviewing your gratitude journal every week.

For couples and families, establishing the tradition of a weekly gratitude/ acknowledgment sharing time is a great way to stay present with the blessings of being part of a family.

I know.

It seems like just another thing to do.

However, in our age of ‘individuality’, independence, and self-advancement’ what appears to be a rather ‘artificial ritual’ can pay huge dividends, especially when children are involved.

That’s it for now.

I sincerely hope that you found this post inspiring and practical.

Live, Connect, Love, and Prosper.

See you next week

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Comment by stephen light
March 20, 2013 @ 4:47 am

Another great post Ron

A great way to implement this is to consciously design with your partner and work on one of these for a week for 5 weeks. Be clear on what they mean for both and work at it.

Love & Courage
Stephen Light

Comment by Ron Capocelli
March 21, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

Stephen, As always you make such helpful comments.
A great recommendation: have an open discussion with your partner and see if you can enlist them in the idea of ‘working’ on one of the five ‘Cs’ each week for five consecutive weeks.

I would add, that it might be a good idea to journal on each one individually and to openly discuss what each of you discover.

Offered in support of conscious, loving relationships.

To Love & Courage!

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