Relating and engaging with others can result in a mixed bag of emotions like excitement, fear, anticipation, elation, struggle, closeness, dread, intimacy and loneliness. In a positive relationship, both partners feel valued, loved and nurtured.
To get the most out of your relationship, here are 10 tips to help you be a better partner.
TRUST. Develop the feeling that you can both be seen, heard, understood and accepted.
INTIMACY. Recognise that physical closeness is only one form of intimacy. Intimacy can be verbal (e.g. telling your partner why you love them or things that you love about them), and it can also be expressed by doing special things for one another.
NEEDS. Acknowledge each other’s need to be autonomous and to make your own decisions sometimes. There are plenty of needs that each partner will have, it's worthwhile talking about the needs early on.
OPEN. Take the time to create an open, honest and genuine place that is safe place where you can both express problems, doubts, fears and weaknesses without fear of rejection or judgement.
COMMUNICATE. Be willing and open to communicate with your partner. This can include sharing feelings, needs and wants. Caveat: Listening to your partner’s problems does not necessarily mean you are responsible for solving them.
NEGOTIATE. Be open to negotiate your differences with respect and generosity. Be aware that you are not going to get your own way all the time, relationships are a place to collaborate often.
AWARENESS. Be aware of personal issues that you each bring to the relationship (also known by some as ‘baggage’), and take responsibility for these issues. Secondly, be aware of the expectations you may place on others and assess how realistic those expectations are.
ALONE TIME. Regular time alone gives you the space to recharge and re-balance yourself. This will allow you the opportunity to give more in your relationship in the long-run.
SUPPORT. Maintain and build a supportive network of friends outside the relationship. People have numerous needs and it's important to remember that no single relationship will meet every need.
RELAX. Take the time to relax and learn to not take things too seriously. The things to not take too seriously might include: yourself, your relationship and life in general. Of course these things are all important for a healthy and happy life, but sometimes we need to take the time to relax.