Are you having relationship trouble or just looking to keep it healthy? I’d like to share with you 3 effective ways to make your relationship work. Relationships require a lot of time and a lot of effort, whether your relationship is on the rocks or or riding high.
Amazingly, many couples give up when they encounter bumps along the road not realizing that there are easy strategies that could have helped them withstand the pressures in their relationships. Make your relationship work by keeping it exciting, improving your communication, and learn to masterfully handle relationship conflict.
Keeping It Interesting
Couples that play together stay together. Share in mutual interests with your partner to help your relationship grow or stay strong. It’s important to have common interests other than your love for each other.
In the beginning, passion may be enough to keep your love going, but once your relationship matures, it becomes important to share common interests or activities so that your relationship stays fresh.
You should work on sharing hobbies, whether you cook together, go camping together, or share in a good book that you can both read.
Have a couple culture project. Have a movie day every week, or create your own mini-book club. This can motivate you to learn new things together and help you keep conversations interesting.
Keep individual interest and friends. Balancing time apart with time together promotes interdependence. You both need it in order to maintain your own interests. Plus, you will be more grateful when your partner is around.
Make your relationship secure enough so that each of you can get some space every now and then.
While it’s important to share passions, you should still have something that’s just yours whether it’s a weekly yoga class visit or game night with your friends.
Find inner joy. Don’t depend on your partner to bring you happiness. You should be sure new partner will make them happy. This is an unfair and unrealistic expectation, and only causes the relationship to suffer.
Don’t expect your partner to bring you happiness. Set goals for yourself and take action to reach them. Build a strong support network outside of the relationship. Do work that adds meaning to your life.
Be appreciative and support your mate. Even if you think your love is rock solid, never take your partner for granted. No matter how busy you are, make time to catch up on each other’s day.
Compliment your partner at least once a day. Find something new to say every time.
Tell your date or partner “thanks” when they show up with a gift. Showing appreciation reinforces positive behaviors
Hype it up in the intimacy department. Be sure to build interest to your love life with amazing dates and love-making. It’s easy to fall into a rut and think you’re no longer attracted to your partner merely because the two of you never do anything new.
Schedule weekly date nights where you spend time together. These don’t have to be fancy—go to a movie, have dinner in your home, or window shop at the mall..
Check in with your partner often to ensure they’re content in the romance department. Start by sharing your own feelings like “Our date last week was awesome! It was nice to be with you. What did you think about it?”
Engage at your own pace. Let your relationship develop in its own time without trying to hurry up to some far-off finish line.
Just because your best friend moved in with her boyfriend of three weeks doesn’t mean that you and your partner have to go apartment hunting ASAP.
On the other hand, be wary if they delay making a commitment. Talk to them to ensure that you both have the same goals. Ask, “Could we talk about where we see our relationship going?”
Be Good Communicator
Be open with your thoughts and feelings. If something is bothering you, let your partner know so you can work the problem together. On the other hand, your communication shouldn’t exclusively revolve around discussing issues. Spend time sharing your opinions, ideas, and dreams, too.
Set aside time daily to chat with your partner other. Pick the right place and time to talk, somewhere without distractions.
If discussing an issue, stick to “I” or “we” statements. The use of “you” can be a trigger. These minimize any fault-finding and allow you to take ownership of your feelings.
Be an attentive listener. The best relationships are undermined when partners listen to respond rather than listening to understand. When your partner is talking, make them feel like they are the most important person in the universe. Turn to face them. Make eye contact. Nod or encourage them to continue.
Rephrase what your partner said to ensure that you got the right message. It may sound like, “So, it sounds like you’re saying…”
Consider your partner’s feelings when communicating. Validate their emotional Be honest and trustworthy. Although the truth is can be painful to hear, the only way to preserve trust and integrity in your relationship is by being honest. Admit it when you’re wrong. Apologize when you make a mistake. Your partner will appreciate your truthfulness and see you as more trustworthy
Request your partner to do the same, but don’t demand it. Oftentimes, your partner will return the honesty if they see it coming from you first.
Acknowledge your personal boundaries. Personal boundaries define the line where your partner ends and you begin. Even though the two of you are close, you will still have different needs, wants, and limitations. Each of you should take time to figure out what your boundaries are, and then communicate them to each other.
Share your boundaries in a calm and respectful manner. For example, you might say, “I have been thinking about my personal boundaries and I wanted to share them with you…”
Boundaries can be any principles you want to live by. These may include making sure your partner respects your privacy, allows you time to yourself, and acknowledges your values and spiritual belief
Except there will be conflict, but choose your battles carefully. Many couples have a tendency to sweep problems under the rug because they fear conflict. In truth, conflict is a normal and necessary aspect that allows a relationship to grow. You and your partner are going to have disagreements. That’s fine. However, your entire relationship shouldn’t be marked by arguments.A healthy relationship should involve primarily positive interactions. If either partner is always complaining or nagging, your relationship could be in jeopardy. Know when to lay off on the nitpicking.
Approach your partner with issues that compromise your values or the health of the relationship. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a week, a month, or a year?” If not, let it slide.
Pause before saying something you’ll regret. Follow the 48-hour rule when resolving conflict. Anger can corrode communication and lead to words being exchanged that you later wish you had kept to yourself. Take time apart to cool off before rehashing an argument.
Give yourself a day or two before discussing the problem with your partner. Let go of the need to be right for a moment. Take care of yourself emotionally during this time. You could even jot down your thoughts about the disagreement.
Once you’re feeling calm, bring up the issue in a courteous tone. Use “I” statements like “I was really disappointed that you flaked on my performance the other night. It was a big deal to me, and I’d hoped you’d be there.”
Be willing to accept a compromise. You shouldn’t be keeping score of wins and losses because if your partner loses, so does the relationship. Don’t develop a need to be right or always get your way. Learn the art of compromise. Stand up for what you believe in, but within reason.
When you disagree on an issue, decide who cares about the issue the most. If it’s not that important to you, give in and compromise with your partner.
Remember you both should be willing to compromise. If you’re always the only one compromising, it’s time to have a talk.
Stay alert to catch small issues before they blow up. If you want to avoid having big serious talks all the time, remember that if something small ticks you off, you can tell your partner without making a big deal about it. That way, you can avoid being passive-aggressive or having built up tension.
Choose a time to sit down each week and discuss your relationship’s well-being. Write down any feedback, both positive and negative.
Point out the positive aspects of your partner and relationship, and offer advice on how to improve the negative aspects.
For example, you might say, “I noticed that you’re still having trouble keeping up with your part of the housework. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Accept your partner’s differences. The worst thing you can do is view your partner through a distorted lens. Acknowledge and accept who they really are rather than your idea of them. Respect their unique background and experiences as different than your own. Keeping in mind that you have different histories and therefore different perspective can go a long way towards resolving conflict.
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt always. It’s easy once you’ve known someone for a while to start assuming what they did or didn’t do. Avoid this tactic and give your partner the liberty to evolve with time like anyone else.
Be Future Bound. In order to make your relationship work, you have to drop old hurts and let the past stay in the past. Whether you are hung up on your partner’s past relationships or dwelling on old arguments, this type of behavior can lead to a split. Once an issue has been resolved, take down the rearview mirror and don’t bring it up again.
Give issues time to resolve. For example, if your significant other has an annoying habit, don’t expect it to go away overnight.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should forgive and forget everything. For example, if your significant other is abusive, it may be time to exit stage right.
Seek couples counseling. You and your partner may have trouble getting over disagreements. Conflict resolution is a learned skill; it doesn’t come naturally. If communication and conflict resolution are shortcomings in your relationship, have the courage to get help.
Professional counseling may be just what the two of you need to build healthier communication patterns and make your relationship work.
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