Relationships take a fair bit of work. Everyone, no matter how long they have been together, whether they just met or have been married for years, will have to work at their relationship with their partner at some point.
If you want a really, strong, loving relationship which brings joy to both partners, read on! The following are the top tips on how to ensure your relationship LASTS and is strong enough to deal with any conflicts that arise.
Relationship Tip #1 – It’s ALL about being a Friend!
Romantic love does not always last. Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood to be all “lovey-dovey, cuddling by the fireside,” romantic with your partner. This is not to say that romance is bad, just that you can’t maintain it 24/7. If you think romance is all there is to a relationship, you’re looking for trouble. To have a strong relationship, even when the romance is not present, you need to be really good friends.
Good friends are the people who are there when times are bad, living through the tough times with you, and giving you a shoulder to cry on and support when you need it. Good friends are there in the tough times as well as the good, fun times. Your spouse or partner should be your very best friend, being with you through good and bad. You need to do the same for them.
This way, when romantic love is not as strong, you’ll still stay together and eventually, the romantic love side will come back and you’ll have the joy of falling in love again with your closest friend.
Relationship Tip # 2: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
You can’t be a best friend in your relationship, unless you can follow this relationship tip. You need to be able to communicate your feelings and thoughts to your partner or spouse. Many couples, especially those who have children, find themselves living in easy companionship, often talking through or about the children, but without touching on their own deepest emotions, fears and joys.
A good, strong relationship will feature communication of all sorts, sometimes “deep and meaningful” and sometimes about the every day things that make up life.
Relationship Tip # 3: Accept Each Other
Your relationship is precious. It is the one place you can truly be yourself, flaws and all! This acceptance of each other, only happens when you can be free to be yourself without worrying about judgment. Remember, your spouse or partner in the relationship is the only one who sees you naked, and often the only one who sees the ‘front’ you sometimes put on for other people. They are still with you and love you despite your ‘flaws’. No-one is perfect, so you have to accept some ‘flaws’ from your spouse too.
Be aware here that I am talking about recognizing the slight imperfections every one has and still loving your spouse, things like “he’s getting slightly bald, but he still loves to cuddle me”, or “She’s put on weight since the kids, but she still makes me laugh and see the fun side of life”. I am not talking about abusive relationships or accepting ‘flaws’ that are destructive to you and each other in any way.
Relationship Tip # 4: Spend Quality Time Together
Freedom to be yourself, good communication and joyous friendship can only happen in relationships when you spend time together. Find something you both like to do that encourages activity, turning off the television and actually talking to each other. Spending quality time together is an investment in your future relationship. You can really only feel loved and loving towards your partner if you are with them.
Time is money and many people work hard these days to pay the bills. Children are also good ‘time-eaters’ in that they demand a lot of your time and energy every day. However, your spouse needs you too and your time together is precious.
Try for a ‘date’ once a month – going out to dinner or a movie or even just a coffee in your favourite café, without anyone else or the children. This precious few hours will give you a chance to recharge your relationship and invest in the future.
If you don’t take up this relationship tip to spend quality time with your spouse, you could find yourself waking up some years from now and thinking “Who is this stranger sitting at the breakfast table? I don’t know him / her as a person anymore!”
Keep Your Relationship Strong
If you invest in your relationship now, you will find you enjoy a strong relationship that will see you through the worst times in your life, and give you much more joy in the good times. You’ll need to keep working at it though. Hopefully, these few relationship tips will help you to keep your relationship strong.