To avoid any confusion, this advice on relationships is aimed specifically at couples, rather than in general, as with your mother, sibling, friend, workmates or business partner etc.
These can be defined as two people who live together or spend most of their time together. Given that every human being is different, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that no two people are going to agree about everything all the time.
Seek advice on relationships before you commit.
You might say “Well it’s too late for that” never the less it could still be worthwhile to read this article.
If it is “Too late for that” and you are already in a relationship that is falling apart, I suggest you get expert advice. As a first step this does not have to be dragging your other half along to counselling.
Here is a free report compiled by experts on
“Breathing Life Back Into Your Marriage/Relationship”
Having similar ideas and interests is a plus, but doesn’t guarantee that relationships will work. Unfortunately, there is no secret or magic formula for a long and happy relationship. Every couple has to work out their own strategy.
However, the good news is there are many couples enjoying long and satisfying unions, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them.
As is so often the case, it is the small, ordinary, everyday things that make the difference. If we can master the small things that are the fundamentals of a good relationship, then overcoming the bigger problems becomes less of a challenge.
Here is a list of things that could be considered as the foundation blocks of a relationship.
The ability to communicate
Communication is probably the single most important thing between couples. Voicing your concerns and discussing them in a rational manner allows you to actually work on solving a problem. If you can keep the lines of communication open your relationship will stand a better chance of survival.
Respect for yourself and your partner is of paramount importance. It defines who you are and how you view your partner. Courtesy and respect might seem a bit old fashioned in today’s world, but the truth is they have never gone out of fashion. Basically the old saying “Treat others as you would have them treat you” is pretty hard to beat.
- When you speak, you like people to listen.
- You like your idea to be considered
- You want to be valued for yourself
All these things that you feel, also apply to your partner as well. We all want to be respected and held in high regard by those we love, so this must be reciprocated.
Caring sounds pretty ordinary doesn’t it? When you care about someone you want’ the best for them. You want to ease their pain, sooth their sorrows and do things for them. Not because you have to, but because you want to. You want them to be happy, their wellbeing is important to you.
They say giving is better than receiving, and you know what? It is true. Doing something that makes the person you most care about happy, is a truly rewarding experience. Caring is very important; it brings real love and companionship into a relationship.
Trust is fairly self explanatory, and yet people really don’t understand the full meaning of trust. For a lot of people trust is a one dimensional word which they associate with infidelity. Trust though encompasses so much more.
Do you trust your partner with the day to day stuff? Such as making decisions, taking responsibility. Do you trust them to do the right thing? Do they know you trust them? Knowing they have your trust makes them feel confident instead of fearful and anxious.
Relationships without trust are seriously flawed, and once trust has been broken, it is very difficult to restore. However a couple that has a relationship with solid foundations can weather some tough storms. We aren’t perfect and understanding human frailty goes a long way to helping us to overcome our obstacles.
Privacy is a funny subject for couples because a lot of people seem to be under the impression that there shouldn’t be any secrets once you start living together. This might be ok in theory, but it doesn’t always work in practice.
A major hurdle seems to be previous relationships; if yours is working well, there is no need to dwell on the past. Some people have no secrets, and tell everyone everything, which is fine, as long as they don’t expect their partner to do the same.
Human nature being what it is means that some people have things that they would rather keep to themselves. It all comes down to what is acceptable, if you are living with a partner in an open way there is not a lot that would give cause for concern.
However if your partner is being very secretive and even furtive then you must call on other strengths like communication and trust to overcome this. Don’t though expect to know everything, we are all entitled to a level of privacy.
Personal privacy is also important. For instance, does being in a relationship automatically give you the right to delve into your partner’s wallet or purse or open their mail? Personal property is just that, personal. You wouldn’t rifle through a strangers belongings, by doing it to your partner means you are not showing them respect or courtesy You might know exactly what is in the desk or cupboard, but if it is your partner’s personal space, you should respect it as such.
Humor and Romance
These are also worth a mention, and like courtesy and respect often fall by the wayside when a relationship becomes familiar. A little humor can sometimes diffuse a tense situation and is well known that to laugh is good for us. Be prepared to see the funny side and laugh at yourself sometimes. Don’t always take it as an insult if your partner laughs at you.
Romance doesn’t have to mean candlelit dinners and champagne, quite often it is the small gestures that are most meaningful. Make sure you know what will please your partner most, and go out of your way to do it. Keep the love and romance alive, don’t allow your relationship to become stale and uninteresting. Put in the time and effort to make it work.
If you are experiencing major problems help can be obtained from counseling. These people are trained to deal with specific relationship situations such as violence or abuse. If on the other hand the problem is about money or a lesser problem, then coaching is a good alternative.
If you feel you would rather work things out for yourself, and this should really be your first approach, then here is a simple formula to follow that brings a lot of success.
Choose a time when you and your partner will not be disturbed, turn off the TV and sit down together in a relaxed frame of mind. Remember you are looking for solutions here, not to apportion blame. There will be no right and wrong but choices you will make together.
Write down the problem in as much detail as you can. You may even find that solutions are coming into your mind as you do this.
Now, brainstorm ideas for the solution to the problem. Write them all down; don’t at this stage rationalize them, and try to think outside the square. Even if the idea seems off the wall, put it down.
Put this aside now and on another sheet of paper draw a line down the middle then head one column” FOR” and the other “AGAINST” Take each idea at a time and analyze it, debate it and put your answers in either the for or against columns. The idea that has the most for and the least against it is probably the solution, but by now, you should have enough information to base your choice on.
This little decision maker works well for all your major, important courses of action. Try it and you will be amazed at how much it clarifies things for you.
When you are thinking about how your relationship is working try to avoid thinking in stereotypes. There is no set way to do things, and even if most couples seem to operate the same fashion, that is no reason why you should if it doesn’t suit. As long as you both agree on the course of action then don’t bow to pressure or convention. If it will save or enhance your relationship, you owe it to yourselves to do things as you would do them.
If you are not sure what is happening in your situation, discuss it together and take control. It is good to discuss your plans regularly even if they are progressing well. That is just part of good communication.
Here are some key issues you could discuss to keep you relationship on track.
- What are your long term plans.
- Are you both working towards the same goal.
- If you argue what is the primary cause.
- If it is about money do you :
- Have a budget
- A savings plan
- Do you each have specific responsibilities
- Do you share your money
If you would like to “Work it out yourself” but need more guidance, try this free six part course. Just click on the image below.
should be fun and rewarding, but they are also work, you must constantly work at and renew your commitment to the relationship for it to endure. If you do this the rewards are phenomenal.