Relationships are hard work. Sure there is a honeymoon period but when this is over your differences can cause friction in the relationship. I have put together a detailed guide to help you have a happy, strong and successful relationship.
Don’t get into the habit of thinking your partner knows you love them so you no longer have to show it. You can show physical affection, do something nice for them such as cooking dinner or do something they will appreciate like the hoovering or washing up. Be random and spontaneous when it comes to showing your love and affection.
Do not lie to your partner. Be honest and open about your feelings, life and past.
Make sure your partner knows they can trust you and also rely on you. When possible make sure they feel like they are your number one priority in your life.
Accept people for who they are
Never try to change someone. Chances are they will never thank you for it. They are a grown adult and had a whole life before you met them so you should not expect them to change themselves just to make you happy. If you pressure someone to change and make them feel bad for being themselves then they will start to hate you for it and it will cause arguments. You will both be unhappy. Only date someone if you can live with them just as they are. We can only change ourselves, not other people.
If you have something on your mind then tell your partner. Always be very conscious of the tone of voice you use when talking to your partner. Avoid sounding aggressive or like you are ordering them to do stuff. One person in the relationship should not have all the authority. Use the terms please and thank you as much as possible so your partner feels appreciated. Ask for things in a nice way and express gratitude. If you are having an argument then good communication skills are more important than ever. Stay calm, be respectful and avoid shouting. The best way to sort things out is to talk them through calmly.
You won’t agree on everything and you will both have your own way of doing things. So for a relationship to work and last you have to learn to compromise.
No one is perfect
You and your partner will both have flaws. If your expectations and standards are too high then it means that no one is ever going to meet them. Standards that are too high can put substantial pressure on a relationship and the other person to be something that they are not. This can destroy any relationship.
What do you want?
You should discuss at the start of the relationship what you both want from it so you can make sure you want the same things. For example do you want a committed long term relationship, casual encounter, children, marriage or you simply might want to travel the world. It is important that you both want the same things from the relationship and have the same expectations and life goals.
Support your partner
One of the main places that people look for support is their partner. Often your partner can need emotional support or need you to believe in their goals and dreams. When you are someones partner you are one half of a team. You are stronger when you stick together and support each other. Build the other person up and together you will become great.
You both need space
Allow your partner to have some time by themselves to simply relax alone or go out with friends. Spending time alone and also learning to be happy with your own company is part of a healthy relationship.
Admit when you are wrong
If you have done something that has hurt or upset your partner whether it was intentional or by accident then own up to it. You should really mean it when you own up to it or apologise for your actions. Sometimes just hearing the other person acknowledge their wrong doings and how they understand that their actions have hurt you can be all we want to hear. Say something simple like “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” or “I’m sorry and I understand why you are angry”. These are a great start to sorting things out. Take responsibility and don’t try and make others feel bad for your own wrong doings. If you notice yourself apologising for the same stuff then commit to changing your behaviour and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner if you need it.
Don’t break promises
If you make a promise make sure you keep it. If you say you’re going to do something then do it. Don’t forget about it or choose not to do it as this destroys trust. Your words will have no meaning. As they say “actions speak louder than words”. If you are a forgetful person then write stuff down to help you remember. Think before you speak. Don’t make promises that you might not be able to keep.
It’s not just your partners job to make you happy. Your partner will try to please you and make you happy as much as they can but ultimately it is your responsibility to make yourself happy. Learn to enjoy and be happy in your own company as you cannot spend all your time together.
No one has a perfect relationship with no arguments. If you want or are in a serious relationship then you need to accept that arguments happen and they can be big. You just have to find effective ways to deal with arguments and conflicts. If you are always arguing and the relationship makes you feel bad most of the time then you should question whether you are better in the relationship or leaving it. If the answer is yes it does make you feel unhappy most of the time then you should have a discussion with your partner and let them know how you are feeling and see if you can try and make things better.
Laughing makes us happy. It can be an aphrodisiac and feel comforting. It also puts us in a good mood. So find ways to laugh together.
Don’t put up with bad behaviour from your partner. If you’re partner does something that you are not happy about then discuss the issue with them. If you are not happy then you won’t have a happy relationship.
Making your partner feel appreciated increases how much they appreciate you in return. So it’s worth the effort to let them know how special they are to you.
Don’t hold grudges
If you have a big argument then give yourselves time to cool down and then find a way to move on. Your relationship is often more important than an argument which will probably seem trivial in a few days time. Learn to move on from arguments fast. A relationship is supposed to make you feel happy so don’t spend most of it arguing and holding grudges. Let them go.
Make an effort
Every day life can be busy and we can’t always look our best. Every so often we should make an effort with our appearance as a treat for our partner. Keep the romance alive.
Agree to disagree
Every human being is different so it’s impossible to agree on everything. There is no need to argue about a difference of opinions or something you will never agree on. Know when to stop the conversation and agree to disagree.
If you have a difference of opinions then don’t just argue. Try to understand their point of view. It can diffuse a situation if the other person feels listened to.
Make time for each other
It’s important that you make time to spend together every week to spend time as a couple. Maybe have dinner together or watch a film. Avoid using mobile phones or talking about work during this time.
Compliment your partner
If they do something different with their hair or are wearing something new then tell them how great they look. Make sure you compliment your partner often. This will make them feel good and reassure them that you still find them attractive.
Let them know you love them
It is always nice to know one hundred percent in a relationship that your partner loves you. So let them know every so often, especially after arguments.
Work through the bad days
No relationship is perfect all the time. There will be good and bad days guaranteed. A strong and healthy relationship comes from being able to work through your problems effectively with good communication skills.
Your partner is naturally likely to want to talk to you about stuff that is going on in their life including personal and important stuff. Make sure that you are a good listener and try to off support or advice when needed. Sometimes no advice is needed, just a listening ear to share things with or rant to is all that is needed.
Don’t get caught up in everyday life and lose time for romance. At least once a month you should go out (just as a couple if you have kids) and have a lovely relaxing evening to unwind and just enjoy each others company. This will also give you something to look forward to and an excuse to get dressed up.
Remember all special occasions. If you are forgetful then write them down in a list and keep it somewhere safe, write it on a calendar or set reminders on your phone.
Some people lack this. But it is a vital part of a healthy relationship. Even if you don’t agree with someone you should have the ability to imagine what they are feeling and try to understand things from their point of view. For example in an argument if you said “I understand why you think that and I understand why you feel that way” then this can calm an argument down. You don’t have to feel the same way as them but just try to understand their reasons for thinking the way they do. Sometimes people just want to feel understood.
When you first meet someone you are on your best behaviour and remember to use good manners. As a relationship progresses standards can slip. Don’t let this be the case. Remain polite and respectful of one another. This will ensure your partner still feels valued.