10 Relationship Tips to Transform Your Love Life
Although every relationship is unique, they are characterized by having a healthy component. Research has demonstrated that relationships that promote personal growth and increase satisfaction significantly reduce stress and boost happiness.
Even though every romantic partnership is unique, there are some fundamental things that can be done to keep partnerships strong.
1. Keep expectations realistic.
While it is true that any relationship will have its ups and downs, the best relationships have a balance in which both partners can thrive. This means being realistic about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and to allow for time away from each other as needed.
2. Talk with each other.
It can’t be said enough: communication is essential to healthy relationships. As couples get older, it is important to take the time to talk. This can be a difficult thing to do in this age of technology, but there is nothing more important than communicating with your partner.
- Take the time. Really be there.
- Genuinely listen. Do not interrupt or plan what you’re going to say next. Try to fully understand their perspective.
- Ask questions. Show you are interested. Ask about their experiences, feelings, opinions, and interests.
- Share information. Studies show that sharing information helps relationships begin. Let people know who you are, but don’t overwhelm with too much personal information too soon.
3. Be flexible.
If you are trying to work things out, be flexible and willing to compromise. If you are having a disagreement with your partner, try to find a middle ground that both of you can agree on. It is natural to feel uneasy about changes. Healthy relationships allow for change and growth.
4. Take care of yourself, too.
Many couples go through periods of time when one or both of them are sick, pregnant, or recovering from an accident. It is important that each partner takes care of himself/herself during these times. This can allow for more time to work on the relationship with the other person.
5. Be dependable.
When you say you will do something, do it. Don’t promise more than you know that you can deliver. Even if your partner is doing something wrong or he or she has a problem, don’t leave the relationship.
6. Fight fair.
Conflict is common in interpersonal relationships. It merely indicates that you hold different opinions regarding a particular topic; it does not necessarily imply that you dislike one another.
- Cool down before talking. The conversation will be more productive if you have it when your emotions have cooled off a little, so you don’t say something you may regret later.
- Use “I statements.” Share how you feel and what you want without assigning blame or motives. E.g. “When you don’t call me, I start to feel like you don’t care about me” vs. “You never call me when you’re away. I guess I’m the only one who cares about this relationship.”
- Keep your language clear and specific. Try to factually describe behaviour that you are upset with, avoiding criticism and judgment. Attack the problem, not the person.
- Focus on the current issue. The conversation is likely to get bogged down if you pile on everything that bothers you. Avoid using “always” and “never” language and address one issue at a time.
- Take responsibility for mistakes. Apologize if you have done something wrong; it goes a long way toward setting things right again.
- Recognize some problems are not easily solved. There are some disagreements and challenges that cannot be overcome. You are two distinct individuals, each with your own set of values, beliefs, routines, and personalities, which may not always coincide. Although communication can go a long way towards helping people understand each other and addressing concerns, there are some things that have deep roots and may not alter considerably no matter how much you talk about them. It is essential to determine what you are capable of accepting for yourself as well as when a relationship is no longer good for you on your own.
7. Be affirming.
This is not easy, but it is important. The best way to show that you love another person is to affirm him or her in the good and the bad.
8. Keep your life balanced.
This includes having good friendships, hobbies, interests and other relationships. It is important to have friendships and interests outside the relationship, too.
9. It’s a process.
It might look like everyone around you is happy and connected, but most people share concerns about fitting in and getting along with others. It takes time to meet people and get to know them. Healthy relationships can be learned and practised, and keep getting better.
10. Be yourself!
It’s much easier and more fun to be authentic than to pretend to be something or someone else. Healthy relationships are made of real people.