It takes dedicated work on the part of both people in order to make relationships last. Building a strong foundation ensures that couples can weather life's storms. One of the key ideas to cultivating a healthy relationship involves transforming two people into one functional unit. There are many methods that couples may implement to help make this task possible.
Build A Friendship
A solid friendship provides a haven of mutual honesty, respect and support for each person involved. Each values the other. Couples who base their relationship on friendship always have someone who is willing to listen and satisfy their needs. They share everything from a mutual set of values to the little details that bring disappointment, joy or sorrow. When conflicts or traumatic events arise, friends are there for each other and serve as a secure safety net.
Sometimes strengthening the relationship merely requires actually paying closer attention to what a partner is saying. One person may just need to be heard while expressing emotion. They might need to vent frustration. They may desire the other individual to help them arrive at a solution to a particular problem. Do not interrupt each other, criticize or walk away. Respect the other person enough to listen to what is being said. Couples let each other know that they are actively listening by nodding their head, rephrasing and repeating what they thought they heard.
Balance Between Oneness and Duality
The amount of quality time spent together varies from one couple to the next. As a relationship initially blooms, couples dread being apart and cannot wait to reconnect. For couples who work together or who have been together for longer periods of time, having “me” time allows each to rejuvenate. Alone time also enables each partner to grow individually, which helps keep the relationship interesting. When children enter the picture, alone time as a couple commonly suffers. However, romantic date nights or weekend vacations strengthen the bond.
Disagreements are bound to occur as each person in the relationship may have opposite perspectives on a topic based on differences concerning personal experience, gender or other variables. However, couples must learn to disagrees, argue or fight using techniques that prevent them from irreparably damaging one another. Stay focused on the current topic, do not blame, and resist the urge to bring up the past. Respecting the other person's perspective of the situation does not mean that you have to agree. When the situation becomes overly heated, do not resort to physical acts or verbal threats. Diffuse the tension by injecting humor, by expressing appreciation toward the other partner or by offering an apology.