Creating a relationship that thrives

Some techniques that work for one couple might not work for you and your partner, and that is okay. PHOTO/www.gettyimages.com

What you need to know:

Aside from trust, I think the other important factor in the foundation of a relationship is communication

Relationships are like military missions in that they require strategy, foresight and effort. (Even though I know for many of you carefree people that must sound like a nightmare) With life constantly pulling you in different directions, it is important to maintain your focus and know how to feed your relationship so it continues to thrive.

Aside from trust, I think the other important factor in the foundation of a relationship is communication. Strong relationships are built on effective communication. Make an effort to really listen to each other and share both positive and negative feelings to keep the environment honest and open.

Good communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people know what they want from the relationship and feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears, and desires, it can increase trust and strengthen the bond between you.

Maintain meaningful emotional connections, you each make the other feel loved and emotionally fulfilled. There is a difference between being loved and feeling loved. When you feel loved, it makes you feel accepted and valued by your partner, like someone truly gets you. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without the partners truly relating to each other emotionally. While the union may seem stable on the surface, a lack of ongoing involvement and emotional connection serves only to add distance between two people.

Occasionally, take the pulse of your relationship to examine what is working, what is not and what you both can do to strengthen your connection. Do you wish spending time together was a higher priority? Do you share the household work? (If you live together)? Discuss the changes that will bring you into harmony and decide together on the compromises you are willing to make.

Romance should be an ongoing part of your relationship, not just special occasions. Take turns planning dates or other surprises to keep your relationship exciting. Be thoughtful in your plans and consider what your spouse enjoys.

Spending time apart sounds counterintuitive as a way to improve your relationship, but take a break from your partner. Everyone needs their own space and quality time outside a relationship, time apart gives you clarity without any distractions or expectations from your partner.

Individuals need time on their own for personal growth and to maintain independence within the confines of a relationship. While individuals flourish, the relationship itself benefits. In fact, it is key to a successful relationships.

Expectations of how your partner should behave or feel can wreak havoc in a relationship. It is helpful to remember that your partner is not an exact copy of you and has their own wants, needs, boundaries, and goals. Learning to accept them for who they are, including perceived flaws, can build mutual feelings of respect and love.

If you are tired, overwhelmed, or constantly giving much and getting little in return, you might not have the energy or desire needed to nurture your relationship.

Taking time to practice self-care, even if that includes time away from your partner to hang out with friends or engage in hobbies you like, can help promote healthy boundaries and the overall health of your relationship.

Relationships are complex, and each one is unique. So, some techniques for building a strong partnership that work for one couple might not work for you and your partner, and that is okay.

If you are unsure where to begin, having a mutual willingness to put in the effort necessary for a strong bond is a great start. Once you have both committed to strengthening your bond, you can then begin creating a relationship that stands the test of time and gives you and your partner the joy and happiness you both deserve.

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