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How to Maintain & Improve a Relationship
Apply these principles and see the incredible difference it makes on your relationships

  

By Rick Freedom

Newfound love can feel magical.

Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship would probably agree with this statement. Finding that special someone seems to put an extra pep in your step, and there’s nothing better than anticipating the next moment you two will share. In a relationship’s infancy, every new experience together is a novelty, but what happens when that novelty fades? How do you go about improving your relationship?

Many people make the mistake of assuming that love is nothing more than a feeling, and they couldn’t be more wrong. More than the sensation of butterflies in your stomach, love is also a choice. Ask any couple that has survived the test of time, and they will tell you that it takes work. The novelty fades, and in the end, you have to choose to improve your relationship. You have to choose to love, and in this article, you will learn six easy steps to take towards doing just that.

Trust

Trust (or a lack thereof) often stems from our history of personal experiences. Previous relationships turned sour can negatively impact the success of a new relationship. Add onto that the media’s emphasis on infidelity, and it can be a challenge to trust anyone wholeheartedly. But if you want your relationship to thrive, you’ll do just that.

If you feel you have reason to suspect that your partner is cheating, bring your concerns to the table. Otherwise, do not waste time and energy by feeding suspicions or jealousy. If your partner treats you well and makes you happy, that should be enough proof of his or her sincerity. Without trust, no relationship can survive.

Freedom

Once you’ve established trust in the other person, you must then allow them to be free. Ever since you were a child, you desired independence. This goal then carried itself over into your adulthood, when you couldn’t wait to move out and start your own life. The need for independence is a typical characteristic of human nature, but on that same note, the desire to control is also inherent.

But unconditional love does not control. Unconditional love trusts, and therefore, grants the freedom to grow and change. Think about any time you felt unjustly regulated by another person. What was your response? In any type of relationship, one surefire way to drive away the other person is to hinder his or her freedom.

Respect

Respect and freedom often go hand-in-hand. After all, how can you allow someone their freedom if you don’t respect them enough to do so?

Consider the following scenario: Your spouse is considering a career change that you don’t entirely agree with. On one hand, you enable their freedom to make the change, but on the other hand, you do so very disrespectfully. “Do whatever you want. I’ll be here to say ‘I told you so’ when you fail,” you say. In this situation, the freedom granted to your spouse was compromised by your lack of respect for their feelings and capabilities. A much better response would be to encourage both their freedom and ability to succeed. Respect your partner, and improve your relationship at the same time.

Commit

Commitment to your partner goes beyond remaining faithful. True commitment means dedicating yourself to the betterment of the relationship as a whole. Couples which lack a strong commitment often fail as the result of a disagreement or argument. If you truly want your relationship to grow and improve, you will find ways to survive any difficulty that arises.

The only thing that’s constant in life is change, and as people, we are constantly developing into ourselves. Relationships (like anything else worthwhile in life) require constant effort. No successful couple would be foolish enough to say they’ve enjoyed each other’s company one-hundred percent of the time. What they would say, however, is that they found a way to understand their differences, work through the obstacles, and strengthen their relationship in the process.

Equality

When you were a child, you were no doubt subjected to your parents’ rules and standards. Even now as an adult, you have certain authority figures you must answer to in the workplace to ensure smooth business operations. Outside of the office, however, equality is essential to any successful relationship.

No couple can consider themselves partners if they are not equal. Equality means giving and receiving the same amount of respect. This, in turn, feeds you commitment to support one another and survive any difficulties in your relationship. Listen as much as you talk, and consider the other person’s point-of-view before jumping to any conclusions. Make this a regular practice, and there will be no obstacle you two cannot overcome.

Conflict Resolution

Equality also means healthy conflict resolution. So many divorces have been the result of “irreconcilable differences,” which basically means the two parties argues (like every couple does from time to time.) If people were more honest with themselves, they would admit that there was very little attempt at resolving the differences with their partner in a healthy manner.

The first step towards doing so is to decide what the issue at-hand is. Make it a practice to sit down with your mate, removing all outside stimuli (television, radio, etc.). Take turns discussing how the problem makes you feel, all the while refraining from placing blame on the other person. Once both you and your partner have spoken and listened to each other, it is a good idea to make a list of all possible solutions. Together, decide what the best course-of-action will be, and ensure that you both follow through with it.

These six steps do not come easily, but then again, neither do healthy relationships. But with care and practice, you can incorporate these actions into your everyday life, and reap the benefits that they have to offer. Remember that love is more than a feeling…it is also a choice.

Rick Freedom is an aspiring author and entrepreneur whose interests include communication, human relationships, love, dating and philosophy. If you liked what you read, check out http://www.i1datingadvice.com/Dating-Books.html. For more dating advice, visit http://www.i1datingadvice.com

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