We are not taught how to be in a relationship. This is something we learn by doing. It is trial and error. Sometimes a lot of errors. In my experience, both professionally and personally I have learned some things along the way.
1. Take the time to really get to know each other. Ask the good questions and get into a really good dialogue.
2. Be mindful of your reactions. I am refer to the impulsive reactions that tend to get us in trouble. The overreactions, the assumptions or being harsh and critical will crumble what you are trying to build. Instead, take a deep breath, acknowledge how you feel, and TALK to your partner about it !
3. Appreciate the little things the other person does. Don’t overlook their efforts.
4. Enjoy the ways you’re different . Of course you will have something in common and that is great. Differences makes things interesting (and creates healthy space). My husband and I are extremely different and yet he has introduced to me things that I now enjoy. We share what we each enjoy and give each other the space to do those things.
5. Do not allow yourself to get into a rut. Try something different, or keep trying something new. Listen, I know life gets busy but do not sleep on your relationship. Make it a priority to do something fun together. It does not have to be outside of the home either. Have a cook night, bake, play chess! There really is lots of opportunities for enjoying quality time together.
6. Listen to understand not to defend. Really listen.
7. Be loyal and committed, so trust can be established – that helps you both feel safe, and it will grow a strong, deep love.
Healthy relationships exist. They take conscious and intentional actions. They do not take work. Work is taxing. Work is demanding. Relationships are not that. Relationships, the healthy ones, add immense value to our life.