Learn to Avoid Resentment Through Communication
One of the top killers of relationships is resentment. Your partner
does something that irritates or upsets you and instead of bringing
that issue to the table, you bury it. With the issue not resolved,
it simply becomes dormat, like a volcano, until it is built up
enough (along with other issues) that you finally explode and
end the relationship. Thus it is vitally important to put the
issues on the table and deal with them when they come up. There's
a saying that you should never go to bed angry at your partner.
Listen to that advice because it's true. The longer you allow
anger to reside within you, the more resentment it will create.
Learn Your Partner's Love Language then Foster It
There are several different ways that a person can express love.
Yet each of us has a primary way that makes us feel more loved
and appreciated. Thus it's important to find out what your partner
reacts best to. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the book, The
Five Love Languages, which outlines the five primary ways people express
love. The five love languages are Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality
Time, Touch (affection), and Words of Affirmation (praise). Find
out which of these your partner reacts best to then make a strong
effort to "speak" that language to them more.
Learn to Validate Your Partner's Feelings
When your partner speaks they are not always looking for a solution,
but rather affirmation and validation of what they are saying.
This is particularly true when a woman talks because a lot of
times men think the woman is looking for a solution so they try
to "solve" what she is expressing:
really feeling frustrated with work."
perhaps you should look for a new job."
a new job wasn't the response the woman was looking for - she's
simply expressing her frustration. That's a cue to listen and
perhaps ask more questions, but not try and solve it.
When a person
tries to make a point about a relationship issue, they are looking
for validation that you understand what they are saying:
Woman: "I don't
feel that we spend as much time together as we used too".
The way a man
responds to this will determine whether he is validating with
the feeling or avoiding it.
"You're right. What can we do to change that?"
be silly. We're both a lot more busy."
your partner's feelings helps them feel that you are listening
and that you care. As a result, it will bring the relationship
and communication much closer.
Learn to Compromise
It seems that as a relationship goes on, more "issues" come up that weren't a
problem when you first started dating. Sometimes a lot of your "differences"
will begin to show more. Imagine that you're putting together a puzzle. You pick
up a piece and examine it and then you see where you think it goes. It looks
like a perfect match to you. That's like the beginning of a relationship. Now
imagine trying to fit that puzzle piece to the spot you thought was perfect and
you now find out it doesn't fit. That's often what happens as a relationship
goes on. As you get closer, more differences are bound to arise (the man leaves
the toilet seat up, the woman leaves it down; the man prefers italian food, the
prefers chinese food, etc.).
compromise means sharing and caring. The man shares something
the woman wants and the woman shares something the man want.
They share because they care.
Let's say the
two of you are going to the movies. The man wants to see the
latest action flick and the woman wants to see the latest romantic
flick. The solution is to compromise. This time we'll see the
romantic flick and next time we see the action flick. Or... let's
see both! It's important to reach a compromise that keeps the
two of you together during the adventure versus leaving you apart
("why don't you go see the romantic flick and I'll go see the
action movie"). Learn to share and appreciate the interests of
your partner and vice versa. By compromising you both get what
you want and the relationship feels more balanced and "in tune".
Keep the Surprises Coming
Both men and women love surprises from their partner. This is because a surprise
is an indication both thought and love went into the action. A surprise can be
anything from a surprise date (to something you know your partner will love)
to an unexpected gift "just to say I love you without there having to be a special
occassion attached to it".