When someone brings up the topic of relationships and dating, everyone will always have something to say. It’s a subject where everyone has an opinion, but many still seem to be completely clueless when they’re in the actual battlefield.
Being in a relationship can be exciting and satisfying. However, healthy relationships require continuous effort and commitment from the people involved. So, what do you need to know to create a strong foundation with your partner?
1. Learn something new about your partner everyday
Before committing to a relationship, you should first get to know each other deeply. After all, it’s counter-productive to get involved with a person if you don’t know them well enough to date them. Strive to know something new about each other every day. Remember, some people don’t show their true self right away during the first stages of the relationship. It’s quite normal to only want your partner to see the best parts of you early on. However, as the relationship progresses, it’s important for your partner to see your true character.
As you’re evaluating each other’s character, personality, and values, you’ll learn to accept your partner for who they really are, even if there are some less desirable aspects. If you think you and your partner work well and have the potential last for a lifetime, you’ll learn to see past the parts you don’t really like, like the way they chew their food or the way they snore. After all, being in a relationship is not about having the perfect partner, it’s about being with the person who knows you well and wholeheartedly accepts you.
2. Acknowledge and appreciate each other
There’s no space for selfishness or self-centeredness when it comes to relationships. The moment you decide you want to be in a relationship with that person, then it’s not just about you anymore. Learn to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s efforts, even the seemingly inconsequential ones. It’s important that you make each other feel wanted and valued.
Shower your partner with sincere compliments every chance you get. Remind them how much you care for them. When you’re emotionally ready and sure, then profess your love to them. There’s no rule on how soon is too soon to say I love you because all relationships are unique. But if you’re ready and willing to commit to the next stage, then don’t be afraid to say so.
3. Learn to communicate openly
Open communication lines between two people in a relationship is very essential. A relationship is not a guessing game, nor is your partner a mind reader. If you have needs, speak about them clearly. Issues will be resolved more quickly if you discuss them right away, instead of hiding them or keeping your disappointments to yourself.
Another important aspect of communicating is listening. This is where most couples fail. When you’re only talking and speaking up for yourself without listening, you won’t fix anything. Listen attentively and without any judgment. Better yet, try putting yourself in your partner’s shoes so you can better understand where they’re coming from.
4. View yourself as a team and know how to manage differences
In the first place, you’re in a relationship with each other because you both think you’d work out well together. It’s inevitable that you’ll have differences, but use these things to your advantage. You are two unique individuals who have different perspective and strengths.
It’s important that you know how to manage your differences too. Don’t turn them into a hindrance to your potential as a couple. Don’t use your differences against each other. When faced with conflicts and disagreements, talk about it. You’re a team, so you must fix your problems together. Ignoring issues will not fix anything and it would just make it worse. Learn how to handle each other especially during your worst times. Apologize and forgive.
5. Maintain mutual respect
Mutual respect is important in a relationship. This happens when you accept, admire, and respect each other for who they are and what they’d love to do. You respect their hobby or their chosen passion and career. You accept what they’re capable of doing and support them when they need your help, and same goes to you. You should let each other develop as an individual person. Remember, a relationship is a give-and-take process.
The most important thing about being in a relationship is growing together. You know you’re in the right relationship when you both encourage one another to be a better version of yourselves. You strive to be better independently, as well as for the future of your relationship. Start setting goals, making plans, and work harder to achieve these goals together. A healthy relationship is about two individuals working hard both together and independently.
There are a lot of guides and books out there with tips, tricks, and strategies about making relationships work. But at the end of the day, there’s really no hard-and-fast rule that you need to follow. What constitutes a healthy relationship varies from each person and each couple. Just follow your gut, and do what you think is good for the both of you. Listen to whatever your heart tells you, but don’t forget to take your brain with you too so you won’t lose yourself.