9 Do’s and Don’ts of Strong Relationships

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Every relationship is unique, but as it turns out at the core of it people everywhere are essentially looking for the same things in a relationship: someone who listens to their stories, show that they care, gets their weird humor, doesn't mind their quirks, wants to stay even when they've revealed their shadow side; someone who "gets" them. Relationships are like pizza – No matter what kind you want, you have to make a strong base, and the toppings can and will be varied according to individual preferences and joint compatibility.

Here are 9 Do’s and Don’ts that will help you to make and keep your relationship strong.

1.      Do: Listen attentively.

Our conversations are the key to understanding one another. The choice of words one uses and the manner in which one speaks volumes about who we are or what we’re going through, so it is important to really be present when your partner is talking. Conversation is really two-way, even if only one person is talking.

2.      Don't: Play hard to get.

Your relationship is not a game and shouldn’t be treated like one. Don’t make your partner jump through hoops in order to win your affections. As partners you are equals, and you shouldn’t have to keep testing him or her for proof of their love. This is part an ego game being consciously or unconsciously played, and it ultimately hurts the relationship.

3.      Do: Learn to express yourself better


4.      Don’t hide your feelings.

Try to be very sincere in your communication with your partner, as honest as possible without trying to hurt or blame. You’ll know you have come to a good point both you and your partner feel safe talking to one another about things without the fear of drama.

5.      Don't: Ignore an issue.

Issues have a tendency to breed. Even if one potentially sticky situation has passed by without much damage, another one may arrive. Like any of your fears, face the problem head-on, even if it is uncomfortable. Do not be afraid to talk to your partner, remember you are on the same team.

6.      Do: Support your partner.

Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader. Help them in whatever way you can, sometimes by being hands-on, sometimes by just staying out of their way, or sometimes by simply listening to them and giving your genuine feedback if they ask for it. You don’t have to always agree in order to be supportive, be supportive in your actions.

7.      Don't: Try to change your partner.

The question is: What kind of change? You can always discuss changing certain habits, but recognize that whether they make that change or want to is finally not up to you. If you have more objections about your partner’s personality, behaviour or thoughts than you don’t have objections, perhaps there are bigger problems to consider.

8.      Do: Respect each other's boundaries.

Every relationship should have boundaries. Before you are a couple, you are an individual. Give each other space to do your own things, do not push yourself into any part of your partner’s life unless invited, and don’t feel entitled to all your partner’s secrets. You do not own one another.

9.      Don't: Cause or put up with drama.

Try your hardest not to put up your defenses so high that you don’t let your partner in, create mountains out of molehills, compare your relationship to other people’s, or threaten to break up every other day. Relationships are delicate, and drama causes damage that is sometimes irreparable. A good relationship is interesting without the need for drama.

10.  Do: Maintain your individuality.

In a relationship, it is easy to lose yourself a little and almost merge into one, but it is important to not actually become the other person. Hold on to the things that make you - you, the qualities and dreams that attracted your partner to you in the first place. Make time for your favourite hobbies, people and yourself.

Strong relationships are neither impossible nor rare, because love is everywhere. Everything else can be worked on, as long as there is a strong connection and a real desire to make it work. Love is like cheese; you can’t have good pizza if there isn’t any cheese.