Sometimes relationships can seem like a lot of work until you sit back and realize just how much you’ve been given. A thriving, healthy relationship requires some give and take, and is absolutely within your reach if you and your partner are willing to do a bit of work. If you and your partner are right for each other, all the work will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Follow through on your promises. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t say that you’ll cook dinner, or get a birthday present, and then blow it off or simply forget about it. What this does is systematically destroy trust. And relationships need trust in order to thrive.If you’re bad at remembering things, write it down on a personal planner or calendar, and set up reminders on your phone.
3. Admit your mistakes.
If you know you’ve done something to hurt your partner, intentionally or not, own up to it. Humble yourself and apologize sincerely, without making excuses or justifications like “I’m sorry you made me angry.” you have to be responsible for your actions and cannot make anyone else feel guilty for what you have done or didn’t do.
Commit to changing your behavior. If you notice yourself apologizing for the same mistake over and over, step it up a level. Tell your partner that you recognized this mistake keeps happening, and you want to train yourself to stop. Request help and ask for him or her to gently point it out to you when you’re making this mistake again.
4. Be realistic.
Every relationship has disagreements and days when staying isn’t the easiest choice. But what makes a relationship healthy is choosing to resolve those problems and push through the hard days, instead of just letting issues and resentment fester. working through your problems will help you be a much positive person.
Review your expectations. Do you see your partner as a person, with both winning qualities and flaws, or as someone you expect to be perfect? If your expectations are so astronomical that no one could live up to them 100% of the time, you’re setting up your relationship for failure. Learn to embrace their differences. You can learn a lot from them.
Accept that conflict happens. If you expect to be in a long-term relationship, you’re bound to have the occasional disagreement. Remember that one argument isn’t the end of everything, and there’s no person on earth that you’d agree with all the time.
Always ask yourself whether you’re better off in the relationship than out of it. If you don’t think you’re better off in the relationship, then you probably should have a serious discussion with your partner. In a loving relationship, this question almost always gets a simple “Yes.”
5. Listen to your partner.
Sometimes, all your partner wants is for you to lend an ear and be sympathetic about one of their problems. Other times, your partner wants you to actively give them advice. Know which one your partner is looking for, and try to give them what they want. Being a good listener is all about paying attention to what they’re saying and not blowing it off.
You can always ask “Are you looking for advice, or do you just want to vent?”
Listening to your partner will enhance your relationship in many ways. It will help you resolve differences without arguing; let you explore each other’s personality more deeply; and even help you pick out an awesome Christmas present. There are no downsides to listening.
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