Sustaining A Great Relationship

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Today I’ve decided to go out on a limb with tips for finding and sustaining a great relationship.

The first thing I will say is that I absolutely do not consider that my relationship is ideal, regardless of the number of times I use it as an example when I trot out advice. I think a very important thing with relationships is there is no one size fits all solution. If that was the case we wouldn’t find it so difficult to find our person! However, I do think that there some guidelines that fit the vast majority of relationships and will give you and your partner the best chance of having a happy, healthy relationship.

– Don’t Be Inseparable

Some people seem incapable of spending any time apart when they become a couple. How many times have you gone out with a friend, only to find yourself endlessly chatting to their partner? I am very much of the opinion that if the event doesn’t interest you, there is no need to go just because your partner is going. Similarly, if you are looking for someone to attend an event with you, ask the person that will enjoy it most, not necessarily your partner. This means that you get regular nights in on your own, you can still go out and see your friends and you don’t have to compromise on what time to go home because one of you is bored. However…

– Keep Trying New Things

Don’t necessarily dismiss an invitation from your partner just because it sounds a bit weird. It is always important to try new things, and it’s good to find new things to talk about. Just as you need to spend time apart, it is also important to spend time together concentrating on each other. Exploring something new together is the perfect way to do that.

– Go To Bed Together

I think couple’s bedtime is the equivalent of family dinner time. It’s the perfect time to have a cuddle and chat about the day and doze off together. So many couples work separately during the day and then also have things to occupy them in the evening. Going to bed together is a great way to reaffirm your closeness without wasting time.

– No Smartphones in the Bedroom

This is a policy that I am currently trying, and failing to implement. I find that the cuddle/conversation is somewhat inhibited by my partner gawping at his smartphone. It’s like talking to someone through really bad mobile phone signal, as he is incapable of checking Facebook and sustaining a conversation. Plus, why do you need to check Facebook during quality time? NO REASON!

– Sustain Physical Closeness

Sex if you can manage it, but sometimes life is too busy and you are just too tired. Try and sit together on the couch, hold hands when you go out and cuddle in bed. It’s inevitable that sex will drop off, but keeping that physical closeness will stop you feeling like you are just friends. Besides, everyone loves to cuddle.

– Split the Housework (Fairly)

Chances are you are in a relationship where one person does most of the cleaning and other one ‘doesn’t notice mess’. Unless Person 1 loves cleaning, I suspect this causes more than a few arguments. I have two solutions to this. I always think that you should split the jobs. If everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, it is so much easier, plus most people have jobs that they don’t mind and jobs that they hate. The second point, however, is when the jobs are done. I prefer to pick a time that we both clean, as that way I don’t feel like I am cleaning while someone else is sitting down enjoying themselves. However, that is not essential.

– Keep Talking

I think that the majority of problems that pop up in a relationship are due to a lack of communication. Obviously you have to strike a balance, but I think that it’s important to let your partner know when you aren’t happy without nitpicking all the time. If something really winds you up, tell them nicely before you get to a level of incandescent rage and end up just screaming at them. Similarly, you should never be in a situation where you are second guessing your partner. If you think there is something wrong, ask them.

– Trust Your Partner

The number of people who believe their partner might cheat on them is astounding to me. I wouldn’t be with my partner if I thought he would cheat on me. If you think that is a possibility, you honestly have to question why you are with that person. If you find yourself casually glancing towards text messages or emails, stop and refer to the previous point. You cannot be second guessing your partner. It leads to insecurity and distress. Talk to them.

– Don’t Expect Forever Romance

Unless you’re willing to be constantly romantic, don’t expect it from others. Your partner will not keep up the permanent great behaviour that you see during the first six months of your relationship for the rest of your life, but more importantly, neither will you. If you aren’t going to come home with flowers and chocolates every night, why expect it from someone else? You’ll only be disappointed.

I think those are all the things I try (and frequently fail to live by). What are your great tips?

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