In the beginning of a relationship, you may feel like it’s completely indestructible. The chemistry, the passion and the butterflies will intoxicate you beyond the point of recognizing issues and working on those. Eventually, however, you’ll have to tackle the challenges that stand in the way of eternal bliss.
Strengthening your relationship is a proactive endeavor.
You can’t just wait for issues to resolve themselves on their own. Rather, you’ll have to put in the work when it comes to communication, compromise and conflict resolution.
Don’t Try to Change Them
If you’re viewing your partner like a long-term project, it’s not going to work.
It’s very wrong to get into a relationship with someone, thinking of all the ways you can change them in the future.
Psychologists have long warned their clients that anticipating change is a huge mistake. If there is something you cannot put up with right now, you shouldn’t be with that person. A strong relationship involves two people recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and being ok with those.
It’s one thing to evolve together as a couple and it’s a completely different affair actively attempting to mold someone into what you like.
Many relationship counsellors advise their clients to assume that nothing about their partner is going to change in the future. Do that simple exercise and make the assumption. Would you be capable of living with that person in the long run, regardless of their faults? If the answer is yes, the relationship has a chance.
Know That Conflict Will Happen (and Deal with It)
Guess what, even the happiest couples get in disagreements and fights.
The fights themselves aren’t the problem.
Your way of handling those will either make or break the partnership.
People who are in strong, happy relationships know how to fight effectively.
Conflict involves telling your side of the story but also listening to the other person’s input. It also necessitates apologies whenever these are warranted.
Obviously, we can all get hot-headed and react in an emotional way in the heat of the moment. If you don’t hold that against your partner and they don’t hold it against you, reaching the next stage would be easier. That next stage should involve a rational conversation about what caused the fight, why the two of you are in disagreement and what kind of compromise can be reached to avoid a similar situation in the future.
Understand the Power of the Physical Connection
For many people, sex isn’t the most important aspect of a relationship but it’s definitely the glue that holds a couple together.
Good sex is a very important ingredient for a happy, fulfilling and long-lived partnership.
In the beginning, good sex will happen naturally.
In time, it may lose a bit of its appeal. Even the best sex can get boring if you’re not willing to try new stuff, explore each other’s sexuality and embrace all the amazing ways of having intimacy together.
Don’t be afraid of sexual fantasies and straying away from vanilla sex. Explore kinkier toys like pegging dildos, which you can get from sites like HotCherry. Also, let your guard down and be vulnerable. While that’s scary in the beginning, it can build the foundations of a wonderful relationship that’s based on mutual trust.
Forget about the Blame Game
Two people are involved in a relationship. Both people have some input in it working or breaking apart.
We are all guilty of playing the blame game every once in a while. It’s much easier faulting someone else than doing a bit of introspection and acknowledging one’s contribution to a problem. Understanding that you have affected the respective situation also necessitates strength and confidence.
Blaming your partner is not going to improve anything.
Instead of taking the easy way out of a difficult scenario, do take some time to think about your input. Chances are that you’re also to blame for whatever went on.
Once you take full responsibility for the part you play in relationship issues, you can start working towards eliminating those altogether.
Always Ask Questions
Making assumptions is one of the easiest ways to destroy the trust in the relationship. Even if you’ve been together for years and you have intimate knowledge of each other, you can’t assume you are fully aware of your partner’s thought process.
When in doubt, ask questions.
Making assumptions will lead you down a slippery slope. You can hurt the person you love by generalizing and eventually learning that you’re wrong.
Open and honest communication is the number one prerequisite for a strong relationship. If you don’t have that, you can’t really build trust.
Learn to Have Fun Together
The best relationships involve people who aren’t just romantic partners – they’re also friends.
Ask yourself an important question – do you feel comfortable talking with your partner about the stuff you’d typically share with your friends? If the answer is no, you have quite a lot of work to do.
Romantic partners need to trust each other completely, share details of their everyday life and have fun with each other. Your partner should be one of your closest friends. You should share interests, hobbies and favorite activities. In the absence of such, you will find it quite difficult to bond and spend quality time together.
Even if you don’t feel you’re on the same page right now, try to explore the things that your partner enjoys. Who knows, you may discover new fun ideas that will broaden your horizon.
Focus on What You Like About Them and Make That Known
As human being, we naturally focus on the negatives. Sadly, we’re much less vocal when it comes to acknowledging the things we like into someone else.
When you feel down, take some time to focus on everything that you like about your partner. What were the reasons you fell in love with them? What do you find most attractive or endearing?
Drawing your attention to these characteristics isn’t enough. It’s also a good idea to vocalize what you adore. Let your partner know why you love them. Eventually, people start taking each other for granted and they express such appreciation less often. By consciously trying to verbalize your positive feelings, you will definitely be making your partner feel special. In addition, your openness will make them much more likely to reciprocate.
Final Bonus Tip: Cultivate Patience
Being hot-headed and impulsive is not good for a relationship.
In the heat of the moment, you may say things that you don’t really mean. Such words, however, will have a profound impact on your partner. Very often, it would be impossible to take the outburst back.
Work on cultivating patience for a stronger relationship. The same applies to your partner.
You are two different people. You have your views, preferences and pet peeves. In order to live peacefully together, you need to stop sweating the small stuff.
By cultivating patience and compassion, you can significantly reduce the number of angry episodes you go through as a couple. In time, you will learn how to coexist peacefully and in spite each other’s differences. In the formative years of the relationship, however, you’ll need to hold those urges to fight or say something nasty. If you manage to do so, you’ll definitely enjoy the fruits of your patience later on.