One of the challenges we face in this world is having a loving and lasting relationship with another person. Because we are all so very different and we come with all of our issues and quirks, getting to know another person and forming a long-term relationship takes patience and a commitment to see things through. It’s very easy to give up when things get tough, but if you are committed to your relationship, here are five tips that will help you achieve the lifelong relationship you desire.
1. LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. One of the best ways to show your partner they are important is simply by listening to them. That means taking the time to give them your full attention. Turn away from the television (or better yet, turn it off) or stop doing whatever you’re doing for a few minutes while your partner is talking about his or her day. Your partner will appreciate you for it and your relationship will be better for it as well.
2. STAY IN A PLACE OF GRATITUDE. So many times, when we share things about our partner with our friends, it’s usually the things that irritate us or something they have done wrong. If you continue to do that, eventually all you will see and come to expect from your partner are negative things. Instead of complaining to your friends about your partner, tell your friends what you love about them. Then, share with your partner what you appreciate about him/her. Tell them 2-3 reasons why you are grateful that they are a part of your life. Begin to make this a daily routine and watch your relationship blossom.
3. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. We go into relationships with expectations. We expect our partner to know how to treat us and when they do not live up to that expectation, we get angry with them. What’s happening is we are making an assumption that our partner knows exactly what we need from them at all times. Well they don’t. It’s important that we let our partner know what we desire. Also, if you’re unsure about something your partner has done or said, instead of assuming, ask. You will drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the why’s behind some of your partner’s behaviors and in order to save your sanity, just ask. Please note, however, that you cannot change anyone but yourself, so don’t waste your time trying to make your partner into someone else. Besides, if you truly love him/her why would you want them to be someone else anyway?
4. CHOOSE LOVE AND PEACE WHEN CONFLICTS ARISE. Conflicts are inevitable in relationships. First, choose your battles wisely. The small things are rarely worth fighting over. Second, if there is conflict, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Most of the time, conflicts come from miscommunication. We think our partner said or meant one thing when in fact, they meant something totally different. So instead of focusing on being right, focus on understanding your partner’s point of view. Finally, be the first to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean you’re condoning your partner’s behavior. It means you’re freeing yourself from the anger by being willing to let go and move on, and that takes courage.
5. BE HONEST WITH YOUR PARTNER AND YOURSELF. A relationship cannot thrive without honesty. It is one of the vital foundations on which great relationships are built. Let your partner know your likes and your dislikes and keep in mind that honesty should begin at the onset of the relationship. People tend to put their best foot forward in the beginning and may not show their true selves. This tactic may, unfortunately, weave a web of deception throughout the relationship. It takes more effort to be who you are not versus whom you truly are. Also, we must be honest with ourselves in our relationships by making sure we love who is in front of us and not who they have the potential to be.
A beautiful, long-lasting relationship is something anyone can have so long as you are committed to honesty, to love and simply treating your partner the way you want to be treated. If you follow these tips and choose love every step of the way, you will gain more peace, joy and longevity in your relationship than you could ever imagine.
Susan Thomas, Master Certified Coach, www.thesoulutioncoach.com