Romantic relationships are often times one of the most unpredictable things in our lives. You meet, fall in love or maybe lust, and before you know it you’re on that roller coaster they call “being in a relationship”. Starting a relationship is really the easy part, but sustaining and growing within our relationships is often where things become tricky and despite our best intentions, can sometimes be where things fall apart.
We all know there are no guarantees in love but as we grow older and hopefully wiser, we begin to identify the things we look for in a partner and establish the things we are willing to accept and tolerate within a relationship. It’s fair to say, you’ll usually have to experience a few terrible relationships before you find one that really works well for both of you.
If you are currently in a relationship or hoping to avoid the mistakes of previous relationships, the suggestions below will help you do just that.
* If you think we have missed any, be sure to add your thoughts in the comments*
1.Communicate, communicate, communicate
Can I say it again *COMMUNICATION* and by this, what I really mean is: honest communication. Talking with your partner about the things that are important to you; both in your relationship and life is general is crucial to any relationship. As your relationship matures it can be easy to neglect this type of communication, but at the crux of any successful relationship, romantic or otherwise, is the ability and opportunity to express our needs and wants without judgement. If you are unable or unwilling to do this with your partner, there may be trouble ahead.
2. Honesty is always the best policy
This is still a part of communication, but there can be a tendency when we are in relationships to become a little less honest, not only with our partners, but with also with ourselves as we don’t want to say or do anything that may jeopardise or hurt the relationship. If you are experienced in the minefield of relationships, then you will know full well that it is often the lack of honesty; even for reasons that seam valid at the time, that cause your relationship to get into difficulties.
With integrity and respect , always be as honest as you can with your partner. However, expect that they will do the same and be ready to occasionally be humble and do a little introspection if you find that you don’t like what they have to say.
3. Keep it fun and exciting
When you first met you where both looking for ways to keep the relationship fun, interesting and full of spontaneity. But as domesticity, possibly children and the everyday distractions of life set in, having fun with your partner can become less and less of a priority.
This is a big mistake that many couples make. Companionship, continuity and commitment are all important as they are the pillars of your relationship. But fun, playfulness and doing things together that you both enjoy will help keep the relationship exciting and interesting for both of you.
When was the last time you and your love went out and had such a good time that you talked about it for days after?. If you can’t remember, it’s time to bring the fun back.
4. Keep it sexy, for you and for him
Trips to Victoria Secret and wispy bits of lingerie are not just for your man, or the beginning stages of your relationship when you are going all out to seduce him and have him think of you as the sexiest woman on the planet.
These indulgences are also for you. Knowing you have on nice underwear, are maintaining your body and continuing to make an effort with your appearance will give you confidence, and we all know that confidence is super sexy.
If you have fallen into bad habits in that department, then up the ante, throw out all those undies that should never see the light of day, let alone night; and invest in yourself. It need not break the bank, just as long as it makes you feel good. Trust me, your man will thank you for it.
5. Praise, compliment and appreciate your partner as often as you can
Men can be fragile, ego driven creatures, even those that consider themselves the alpha male and strut around like the king of the jungle. Letting your man know that his efforts around the house, his progress at work, his creative ideas and anything else his brings to the table is not only appreciated, but respected, is an important part of a relationship that we can tend to neglect after a while in favour of complaining, nagging and the silent treatment.
If you want your mans eyes to wander away from you and your relationship, then this is a sure-fire way to make that happen. Don’t be disingenuous, but look for opportunities to praise him and make him feel good as often as you can. After all, don’t you just love it when he does the same to you? Well it swings both ways.
6. Have your own interests and friends
It can be so easy to make our partner our whole lives, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship where every second away from them feels likes 10 hours. However, having and maintaining your own interests and friends is so vital for a number of reasons.
Having a life of your own gives you new experiences and ideas that you can bring to your relationship, it also helps you to value the time you spend with your partner and not take it for granted. This advice is even more important if you are at the living together stage or already married.
The willingness to put all your other interests on the back burner for the one you love can sound very romantic, but in the long run this will damage your relationship rather than make it stronger. And all those girlfriends you keep cancelling movie nights or spa dates with will not thank you for it and whose shoulder will you cry on, if “Mr perfect” turns out to be, not quite so perfect after all.
If you don’t already have all these ingredients in your relationship?. Then introduce them now and increase your chances of it being successful and long lasting.