Relationships are like fragile, living organisms. If left unattended and unsupported, they will wither and die. The relationship cannot be healthy without effort from both parties. Here are three concrete ways to do your part and be a better romantic partner.
1. Appreciate your partner’s good qualities. Truly knowing why you love your significant other is vital. Remind yourself of their best qualities, and show your appreciation to your partner — a verbal expression of feelings is good for both of you. It can be easy to get caught up in petty fights with your partner. Long-term partners can forget why they loved each other, leaving nothing but bitterness and mutual frustration. Instead, take a mental step back and remember why your relationship exists. This perspective will help you to love your partner, and forgive them when they make mistakes.
2. Respect the differences between the two of you. No matter how close a pair may be, each person is still an individual with their own views, tastes, and beliefs. You and your partner cannot (and should not want to) be identical to each other. While you will hopefully agree on the most important matters, on certain points you will never see eye to eye. That’s okay! There are many relationships that remain strong despite differences that might seem insurmountable to an outsider — such as polar opposite political views. The key is to retain respect for your partner as they are — don’t try to change their identity.
3. Communicate as clearly and effectively as possible. Miscommunication is responsible for much of the pain and misunderstanding suffered by couples. Each partner feels lost and confused — they want to do what’s best for the other person but aren’t sure how to. Neither knows what is expected of them. Honesty in communication is the only solution. Be as clear as possible about what you want. If you are having a problem with your partner’s behaviour, it’s best to be upfront about your concerns — if left unresolved the problem will fester and become more serious. If your partner loves and respects you, being frank and open will only strengthen your relationship.
Relationships are complicated matters, and maintaining a strong connection to your partner will never be a cakewalk. Even the strongest of lifelong marriages require constant effort from both sides of the partnership. Do as best as you can to uphold your half of the bargain, and your relationship should be strong and healthy. The three recommendations found here will help you on your way to being a better romantic partner.