12 December 2011

How to Make a Relationship Work


Decide to love. Infatuation is typically what sparks loving relationships, but the excitement fades and warm feelings diminish unless both partners make conscious efforts to uphold their companionship. Once love is established in a relationship, actively expressing love to each other will maintain and increase the loving feelings in both partners. Conversely, refraining from expressions of love allows one's devotion to dissipate. If you are aiming for a long-lasting, successful marriage, you need to commit to your partner's emotional well-being, even when it isn't easy.

Communicate about anything and everything. Have deep and meaningful conversations once in a while. Discuss what's going on in your lives right now, whether social life, school life, or family life, and learn about each other's pasts and childhoods. Celebrate accomplishments, encourage goals and ambitions, and explore each other's values and beliefs. Share your deepest thoughts, needs, wishes, hopes, and dreams. Know each other inside and out.

Establish trust on all levels. Mutual trust is founded in respect and loyalty toward each other. Strive to understand and respect your differences. Share and clarify your differing perspectives, and try to empathize with each other's point of view. In some cases, it is better to simply agree to have differences of opinion or your own ways of doing things. Pressuring your partner to do something that they really don't want to do, or neglecting or abusing them (whether emotionally, verbally, physically, or sexually) undermines your ability to trust and rely on one another. You should be able to trust each other in everything, keeping private your partner's innermost secrets, fears, and struggles.

Support each other. Be there through the good, happy, sad, and bad times—no matter what. Be willing to provide hugs, kisses, and emotional comfort in all circumstances. If your partner resists your attempts to comfort them and declines to talk about it, you should ease off of the subject and wait until they seem to be in a better mood before returning to it. Feel like you can count on each other; be reliable and loyal, and be emotionally available when you need each other most.

Be completely honest with each other. A truly emotionally intimate relationship requires open and honest communication. Keeping secrets from your partner creates a barrier between you that limits your mutual emotional trust. Honesty can be scary, but if you want your relationship to thrive, then you both need to become comfortable discussing your feelings, insecurities, and frustrations.

Spend time together. Carve out date times for togetherness as a couple. Spend time talking with each other and going out on dates, and doing other relationship-building activities. Really get to know each other and build a connection between you that's strong and enduring. Make an effort to see each other (in-person) and talk on the phone maybe once a day or every few days.

Spend time apart. Be independent and keep your sense of self, never losing yourself or your voice in the relationship. Don't suffocate each other. You should each continue to grow as individuals—not just as a couple. You should have your own space, too—physically and emotionally. Do your own things separately once in a while. Spend time with friends and family, and by yourself pursuing hobbies and other things. Just ensure that no other relationship or pursuit crowds out your partner from being your first priority.

Settle disputes peacefully. Apologize, forgive, and make up with each other. If you threaten to break up with each other after every fight or argument, you will never really resolve anything. Take breaking up off the table. Talk through disagreements as long or as many times as it takes until the issue is resolved and both of you feel comfortable moving forward.

Keep most things private between you two. When your partner shares with you and confides in you (emotionally and physically),especially when they share something about another person; resist the urge to disclose sensitive details to anyone without permission. You should treat it as something special, personal and private between you two, out of respect for your partner. A relationship is between two people—you and your girlfriend or boyfriend (or spouse), not anyone else. Don't involve others in intimate matters, however close you may feel to them.

Make continual efforts to maintain your relationship. Work on it. Work hard at keeping it positive, upbeat, healthy, and the very best it can be. Work on it every single day. Whatever you can do to improve your relationship or make it healthier, do it! Try thinking about, and then doing, at least one thing each day that will make life a little easier, brighter, or better for your other half. By challenging yourself to do at least one nice thing for your partner every single day, you stay focused on keeping your love front and center.

Be romantic. Romance is essential to have at least some of the time. Candles, candlelight, compliments, stargazing, watching the stars, sunset or sunrise, fireworks, romantic bubblebaths, showers, and romantic dinners are good ideas. Make some things you do and some places you decide to go to on dates romantic.

Remember that every person, couple, and relationship is different. Don't compare your relationship to anyone else's—not your parents or other family members, friends, coworkers, that couple whose relationship seems perfect, etc. Every couple makes their own love rules, love agreements, love habits, love routines, and so on. Just focus on you two and making your relationship the best that it can be.

Show affection. Hold hands, kiss, hug, cuddle, snuggle, or wrap arms around shoulders or waists. Become close and really comfortable with each other physically and emotionally. Share every part of yourself (your heart, mind, and soul), not just your body.

Remember that intensity of emotion can ebb and flow over the years. There may be times when you are less aware of your loving feelings, more into your own interests, perhaps things have even become a little become very selfish and routine. Those are the times to remember all the wonderful things you have done together, and still want to do. You choose to feel committed and close, so when you feel yourself drifting or taking your love one for granted or even becoming unkind or disrespectful, plan a romantic date night, do something special for your love, and just remind yourself of all the wonderful qualities he or she possesses that made you fall in love in the first place.

See family as one, not two. Include each other in decisions. One's worry is the other's, because both will be affected by it.

Make sure you're there for your partner no matter what, if they call you then answer your phone, if they text you then reply. Do not avoid or be distant from your partner as this will cause them concern as to weather or not you're serious about them and could lead them to feeling a sense of not trusting you.

Never cheat or be disloyal. Whatever you do behind your partner's back, imagine them doing it to you. Treat others how you want to be treated.

Never be selfish, Your wants and needs are just as important as your partner's, if you give nothing of yourself, then you'll get nothing in return. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Actions speak louder than words.

Don't play games or intentionally act distant to seek control over your partner. This is a form of abuse. If your partner speaks to you, reply with compassion. Never stay silent and avoid them.


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