Build Lasting, Intimate Relationships

Every women’s magazine (and men’s) always has an article on relationships.  How can we make our partner happy? What does he/she/they really want?  What is the secret to a lasting relationship?  You know the headlines!

There are many factors that contribute to a healthy, effective relationship.  Communication, honesty and a good sex life usually make the top of the list!

But, it’s also important that there is a “you” in the relationship.  Don’t lose sight of your goals and aspirations when you’re in a relationship.

Here are my top 10 considerations for an effective relationship.

  1. Communication. Clearly communicate your needs to avoid misinterpretation by your partner.  Be specific.  When your partner is communicating with you, give them the opportunity to speak and listen to what they have to say.  If you don’t understand, ask for clarification instead of assuming what is meant.  Acknowledge what your partner does for you.
  2. Conflict Resolution. When confronting your partner, use a neutral tone and stay in your “adult”.  Use “I” statements that reflect your observations, how it makes you feel and what you need from your partner.  Avoid name calling, criticizing with “you” statements and the “blame game”.   Check out my post on setting boundaries and confrontation.
  3. Collaboration.  Be willing to meet your partner half-way, so long as your hard boundaries are not compromised by doing so and you are not being coerced into doing so.
  4. Honesty/integrity.  Do what you say and say what you really mean.
  5. Tolerance and appreciation of differences.  Appreciate the unique aspects of your partner versus trying to change them to fit your ideal.
  6. Responsibility for self.  Own up to your mistakes versus trying to blame the other person or your past (e.g. family of origin).  See the situation from the other point of view to determine what your responsibility is to the issue and own up for your part.  Change any of your patterns that aren’t working and invite your partner to do the same.
  7. Sex life. Recognize that you each have the right to feel pleasure and have a vital sex life.
  8. Clarity of individual and couple goals. Ensure you don’t lose yourself and your identity to the relationship.  Set up individual and couple goals.  Communicate and negotiate goals.  Set boundaries for personal and couple goals and align to these through good communication.
  9. Time together and apart.  Recognize that you each have needs for alone and together time.  Communicate and negotiate, if needed.
  10. Self-Knowledge.  Do work on yourself to recognize your owned and dis-owned parts to reduce conflict.  Understand your partner’s beliefs, needs, attitudes and personality.

Source: Transformational Arts College