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Top Five Relationship Tips


When you start dating someone you like, everything is new and exciting. The interest level is high, you're on your best behaviour, and you do things to impress the other. After awhile, however, many relationships enter into a new stage - complacency. You're satisfied with everything so the effort level begins to dip.

In order to make a relationship work well beyond the interest stage, it's important to keep making an effort. And the best part about making an effort is that it comes with great rewards - a stronger relationship and your partner consistently feeling important to you while reciprocating that effort.

Here are five top relationship tips to help make the relationship thrive:

Relationship Tip #1:
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.

Relationship Tip #2:
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.

Relationship Tip #3:
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:

Woman: "I'm really feeling frustrated with work."

Man: "Well perhaps you should look for a new job."

Looking for 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.

Validating: "You're right. What can we do to change that?"

Avoding: "Don't be silly. We're both a lot more busy."

Validating 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.

Relationship Tip #4:
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 woman prefers chinese food, etc.).

Learning to 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".

Relationship Tip #5:
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".

Use these tips regularly to keep your relationship growing and remember that what you put into a relationship is also what you'll get out of it.


Joe Tracy is a relationship expert, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, and an editor for the Online Dating Industry Journal. Tracy has been quoted for dozens of magazine and newspaper articles. He's also appeared on numberous radio programs and TV shows.

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