Relationships are easy to start, but hard to maintain. Romantic relationships are especially challenging when the two partners find the romance fading and the reality setting in, unless they work at finding a deeply lasting working philosophy that both can agree with and work with. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to stay in and strengthen a current relationship:
It’s all about teamwork
Most relationships work best when each partner learns how to defer to the wishes of the other, and learns when that may not be the best idea. Most of the time a good relationship requires both partners to work by consensus, agreeing on how to handle each situation as it comes up on a case by case basis. Then over time the partners learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can begin to fill in the gaps and sit back occasionally to let the other partner run the show. Working as a team means cutting out all gossip about each other with family and friends. It means loyalty. “It can hurt, but in the end it makes any relationship stronger” according to the CEO of the exclusive matchmaking service Kelleher International.
Keep things private
Wise couples will tell the whole world that they love and respect each other, but never say a peep about any little foibles or fallouts that are a part of every active relationship. Well-meaning friends and family members often want to horn in with advice and admonitions that they think will be helpful. They also are all ears when it comes to tittle-tattle. Smart couples will politely thank those who want to run their lives for them and then do things the way they’ve already planned. Happy couples never seek outside consolation and vindication when things go wrong, as they do in every kind of relationship from time to time. The strongest relationships are usually the most private.
Talk to each other
The “Silent Treatment” is not only foolish and hurtful, but a complete waste of time. Should a partner do or say something that rubs the other partner the wrong way, the smart way to deal with the situation is to speak up. Not yell, but to quietly state the problem or the negative emotion being felt and seek ways and means to have a calm and meaningful conversation about the subject. Never go to bed angry. Always find a time and place that is pleasant and soothing for both parties. Keep respect in the tones and words used. But above all — talk to each other. Silence may be golden, but not when there’s a relationship at stake.
Tell the truth
Some people have no trouble telling the truth. But others are less concerned with the exact facts. Whether a partner speaks straight from the shoulder or likes to play with hyperbole, no relationship can long survive the deliberate use of a lie to cover up a mistake or to ‘get even.’ Just remember that there are always two sides to every story and that there are shades of meaning in even the simplest of words and phrases. Partners who trust each other will just assume that each one is telling the truth. If that trust is lacking, then that partnership needs to do some immediate work on resolving the issue. Remember that too much fiction always causes friction.