Choosing to create an extraordinary relationship

How your focus and decisions determine the quality of your relationship

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When it comes to relationships, many people think that there’s some sort of finish line – and that once you finally find your person, you’ve somehow “made it.” But in reality, it’s just the beginning. We’re all really good at falling in love. We want to impress the other person. Dazzle them. But exciting, passionate relationships in the long-term take mindfulness. 

In fact, this is the only area of our lives that we treat as if it will magically just “happen.” If we’re not happy with our careers, we find a new one. If we want to get healthier, we make the necessary lifestyle changes. We know that these things are choices. So why don’t we treat relationships this way? The truth is, love is also a choice. It isn’t about choosing the “right” person or finding your “soulmate.” It’s about making a choice to create a long-term, exciting, passionate relationship.

Relationships, like any area of life, require attention, intention and mindfulness in order to thrive. And who doesn’t want a wildly passionate, intimate relationship in which we’re challenged, cherished and cheered on? When you actively engage yourself in your relationship and focus on becoming the best partner you can be, on giving all that you can to your partner, you’ll discover a love like you’ve never known.

That’s really what it’s all about: focus. What’s the story you tell yourself about your relationship – especially when you hit a rough patch? Do you tell yourself things like, “Maybe we’re not meant to be”? Or do you choose to be? Choose to focus on your relationship. Choose to focus on your partner’s strengths. Choose to look for what’s working instead of what’s not working. Choose to create an extraordinary relationship. Meaning is everything. What meaning will you give to your relationship?

In this episode, we’re talking to Dr. Cheryl Fraser. She’s a clinical psychologist, sex therapist and Buddhist teacher – and has conducted extensive research on what causes relationships to succeed or fail. She’ll teach you the three components that lead to life-long passion and a truly exceptional relationship:

  • Intimacy is the friendship aspect of a great love affair. With strong intimacy, we’re intrigued and interested by our partner, we feel connected and trust them. Many couples are excellent at intimacy – but too much intimacy is the death of desire.
  • Thrill is the rush of an erotic attraction. It’s the butterflies and the excitement. It’s very common when falling in love but is the most difficult, elusive component for long-term couples. Thrill thrives on novelty – and it’s the reason why affairs happen.
  • Sensuality includes not just sex but the entire spectrum of eroticism. It’s how you relate through body, voice, touch, sound. It’s the little, special things we do: holding hands, cuddling in bed in the morning. It’s one of the keys to passion, and one of the first things to go in long-term relationships.

Listen to the podcast to hear more from Dr. Fraser on:

  • How to stop treating your marriage like a business
  • Techniques that you can implement to become a more mindful lover
  • Giving – and receiving – apologies
  • How to approach conflict and avoid arguments


[01:59] Episode introduction
[03:10] Falling in love is easy, staying in love takes mindfulness
[03:49] Exceptional couples cultivate passion
[04:21] The 3 keys to passion: Intimacy, Thrill, Sensuality
[04:35] Intimacy – the friendship aspect of a great love affair
[05:08] Thrill – the rush of an erotic attraction
[05:53] Sensuality – the entire spectrum of eroticism
[06:46] Exercise: evaluate where you are on the passion triangle
[07:08] What happens when you fall into Marriage, Inc.
[07:48] What happens when your triangle is unbalanced
[09:25] If your relationship is suffering, it’s up to you to change it
[10:08] It’s up to each of us to make our relationship great
[11:00] What it means to be an awakened lover
[11:36] The problem with “we’re not meant to be”
[12:08] Daily routine: Setting loving intentions
[14:18] A critical relationship skill: managing conflict
[15:03] How to start a difficult topic in a skillful way
[16:00] The example of forgetting to take out the trash
[16:50] Formula for success: I feel X about Y and I need Z
[18:00] Get up to 45% off a Date with Destiny ticket with promo code DWD45
[19:21] The art of the mindful apology
[19:55] The apology giver and receiver are both responsible
[21:10] The formula for giving an apology
[22:29] The formula for receiving an apology
[24:23] How to anchor an apology into action
[24:14] How mindfulness plays a part in the passion triangle
[26:08] Why thrill is most difficult for couples
[26:35] Thought experiment: Waking up next to your spouse
[27:38] Exercise: How to enjoy the moment
[28:17] Why affairs really happen
[28:50] If you’re bored, train your mind
[29:23] Example: The cocktail party conversation
[29:57] Exercise: How to focus on sensation
[30:54] Example: “He never compliments me”
[32:34] It’s up to you what you want to focus on
[33:00] Don’t change your mate, change your mind
[33:54] Approach your relationship like a hobby
[35:14] Great love begins and ends in the mind
[35:39] Love is a choice, and the choice is yours

Our society emphasizes falling in love, but falling in love is easy. If you would like to learn more about how to create love and passion that last a lifetime, check out Dr. Cheryl’s Passion Masterclass – where you’ll learn how to re-ignite great love, romance and sex so you can fall in love all over again – with the one you are with!

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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