On the outside, happy relationships can seem effortless. In reality, a lot of time and effort goes into making a long term relationship work. Not only are you trying to handle the changes life throws your way, but you’re also intensely connected and invested in your partner who is experiencing similar yet different obstacles. So, how do you make it work? We’ve got a few tips you can utilize — either in your relationship now or one in the future — that will help you create a strong, lasting bond with your partner.
Patience over everything
Patience is required in every relationship. Even if you and your partner happen to get along famously, you’ll likely experience a moment or two where you don’t see eye to eye. In fact, unexpected events are bound to come up in any relationship, which is why patience is important. Sometimes, we date people who are very different than ourselves. You may not always understand why your partner does what they do, but you can always take a moment to be patient and understand their perspective. To practice patience with your partner, remember to listen. Don’t interrupt them when they talk. If you’re having trouble being patient, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Remind yourself that you love this person, and you should, therefore, give them time to express what they have to say. You may also need to utilize patience by letting go of unrealistic expectations. Your partner may not be growing or performing at the level you expect. If you really love this person, you will be patient with them as they grow in the relationship. You may come to find your expectations were preventing you from connecting with the person you love.
Communication is key
Next, expressing your feelings accurately with your partner is an integral ingredient in any successful relationship. Proper communication includes taking turns while talking and expressing how you feel. If you’re having trouble communicating with your partner, consider expressing your feelings with “I” statements. Instead of telling them what they did was wrong, explain how you feel in a personal way. Stating “I felt hurt when you did this” will go a lot further than “you did this and it was wrong.” When explaining from your perspective, your partner has an insight as to how the action made you feel versus being blamed for something they didn’t think was a problem. In addition, actively listening to what your partner has to say will help strengthen communication in your relationship. Remove all distractions — like TV and phones — during serious conversations as much as possible.
Understand your partner’s needs
Finally, understanding what your partner needs in the relationship will help you stay together. Developing more patience and communication work together in helping you understand your partner more and how you can both benefit by being together. One way that you can find out how your partner wants to receive love is by discovering your love language. There are five love languages: quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, and receiving gifts. If your primary love language is quality time, for instance, your partner will know that spending time together will provide for your needs more than receiving gifts or word of affirmation. Other people prioritize acts of service, like mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. You can take this quiz here to determine your primary love languages. Although not all successful relationships require taking the love languages quiz, it’s an easy way to understand what you need from your partner and what they need from you in the relationship.