All relationships that are effective have several things in common that make them strong, durable, and worth the effort. And it doesn’t always take a massive amount of effort to commit to these rules. Here are eight essentials to keep a relationship alive and healthy:
The element of teamwork
Properly understood, teamwork is the ability of one person to listen to another, accept what they are saying, and then give positive feedback on what they’ve heard. When a consensus is reached then the team moves ahead with action towards a clear goal. This is effective for marriages, corporate teams, sports teams, and any other relationship that needs to accomplish important objectives.
Set outside boundaries
There are always going to be external elements in any relationship that can become disruptive. The key is to minimize such outside disruptions without alienating in-laws and others. The best way to do this is to set clear rules about what, when, and how an outsider can interrupt a relationship. Share these rules at the very beginning of a relationship to avoid hurt feelings.
Keep it verbal
Effective partners talk to each other, and don’t rely on body language or pre-knowledge of a situation when there are conflicts and tensions. Keep language respectful and positive, and just about any clash can become a learning experience for both parties.
Tell the truth
No one has the energy or wit to sustain a lie forever. The truth eventually comes out, no matter what — so always start with the truth with a partner to keep things uncomplicated.
Don’t neglect the physical element
Sexuality is no longer a hidden agenda for any physical relationship. Partners need to be aware of each other’s needs and frailties, and be willing to give each other a wide variety of personal space when necessary. Never equate sex with love; the two are entirely different matters, although the harmonious blending of the two can lead to wonderful long-lasting romance.
“Always make time for ‘date-night’. In my experience, the couples that keep their relationship a priority, have the longest and most fullfilling relationships.” – Relationship Expert Amber Kelleher-Andrews
Give the ego a vacation
There’s no need to love each other’s hobbies and interests like a maniac. But the ego needs to be parked outside occasionally. Because there is definitely a strong need to show sincere interest in and respect for each other’s interests. Nothing weakens a relationship faster than overt disinterest or even boredom in a partner’s diversions and occupations. That’s why is so important to know what makes a prospective partner tick before making any long term commitments.
A partner or teammate is not going to be perfect. But that doesn’t give anyone a license to criticize or complain behind a partner’s back. Once this vital rule is understood and completely committed to, the relationship can weather just about any problem that comes along.
Building each other up
Isolation is a terrible thing. It’s actually torture, as anyone who has endured solitary confinement can testify. A healthy relationship always consists of two people who are dedicated to building each other up, of rejoicing when a partner achieves a goal or receives recognition and awards for their work and insight. Pushing each other up is easier, and more fun, than putting each other down.