It’s happened to all of us. We start dating someone and we have doubts about what to do or not do. We want things to work so badly that we find ourselves constantly worrying about the best way to manage the relationship, especially if what we are looking for is something lasting. But in the relentless pursuit of perfection, we’re actually more likely to make mistakes and sabotage ourselves. We all want to create a strong relationship with our partner, but it’s not always an easy path. So, we’ve put together 11 tips to help you find and build a strong relationship you’re proud of.
- Don’t try to control everything
While you’ll want to be aware of your actions and feelings in the relationship, you can’t let your worries get the better of you. Controlling behaviour in any form is a bad move in a relationship – whether it’s over yourself or your partner. And in the beginning stages of the relationship, it will prevent you from connecting with your partner and from being yourself.
You’ll never be able to build a strong relationship if you don’t know what the dynamic is between you. So don’t try to force things. You need to let things happen naturally to get to know your partner and get a feel for the relationship itself. This is key in working out whether you’re compatible together and if they make you feel at ease and safe.
- Learn to be a good partner
No one is perfect, and we always have work to do on ourselves, including in our relationships. We all have our flaws and emotional baggage that are inevitably going to affect our relationships too. But the key is being aware of them so you can actively work on improving yourself and being the best partner you can be.
Being a good partner encompasses a lot of different qualities. You want to be a good companion, someone who your partner can trust and knows that you will be there when necessary. We all need someone who we can rely on to be there for us – not only when the times are good, but also when things get tough.
You also need to be someone that your partner finds joy in – you should have fun together and help each other to be positive and happy. With so many stresses and negativity in the world around us, your relationship can be a sanctuary away from it all, and be somewhere you get a boost. This helps us all to be more resilient and take care of our mental health too.
These are just a few of the ways that we can be a good partner, and they’re different for everyone. Being a good partner means giving your partner the love and support that they need, and is vital for creating a strong bond and relationship.
- Don’t set goals right away
Whether you’re in a new relationship or a long-term partnership, pressure is the enemy of happiness. Avoid putting too much pressure on both of you, especially at the start of the relationship. A relationship should flow naturally and develop in a way where you’re both comfortable. So that means that you both have to set the tone and be empathetic to each other.
Having rough goals are fine, but expecting too much from the relationship too soon can have a detrimental effect on your relationship. This doesn’t mean that you can’t set goals further down the line after you’ve established the foundation of your relationship, you just shouldn’t force things until you’re both ready.
- Learn to respect your partner’s space
While a relationship is about having someone who is always there for you and who you spend a lot of time with, you can’t be together 24/7. Spending too much time together, or relying on each other too much can lead to codependency, which puts an incredible amount of pressure on your relationship.
The secret to a strong relationship is being comfortable spending time away from each other, as well as spending time together. This is because you need to be two individuals with their own lives to have a strong, happy relationship.
I know that this is usually difficult when you’re excited about a new relationship, but it is very important to give your new beau space and free time. A desire to spend time alone doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, it means that they are an independent person! Having your own social lives, hobbies and careers are crucial to maintaining a sense of self in your relationship and having healthy boundaries with your partner.
- Do not be the overly critical one
Everyone can be pretty sensitive to criticism, and it can cut a little deeper when coming from your partner. This isn’t to say that you can’t tell your partner if you don’t like something they’re doing, or it makes you feel uncomfortable, but you need to say it in the right way.
No one wants to be with someone who is always seeing their bad side, and you don’t want to make your partner feel that way with criticism. So, once you’ve built a solid relationship, you can have some open communication and encourage your partner to be better and support them, but severe criticism never bodes well for a relationship. It’ll only make you both defensive and you’ll find yourself in an argument for no reason.
- If you have made a mistake, admit it!
This is something that a lot of people find difficult, but admitting when you’re wrong is so important in any relationship. It shows your partner that you respect and love them enough to put aside your pride and take accountability for your actions. This will only help you grow and get closer to your partner and creates an atmosphere of safety and forgiveness in your relationship, which we all need. This is the basis of a strong relationship – no judgement and shame, but love and openness to learn.
- Make each moment a special moment
Despite what the movies tell us, your relationship is never going to be perfect. But this doesn’t mean you can’t create moments of pure bliss. In fact, creating and enjoying special moments is crucial in keeping the spark alive and making your partner feel loved and special.
And you can do this in so many ways – from big grand gestures to the smallest, everyday things. Having the mindset of wanting to show your partner love and appreciation will brighten up both of your lives and keep the intimacy and attraction between you strong. So try to make your time with each other special as often as possible. It’s the little things that count: a hug here and there, stopping by their work to grab lunch with them, picking up their favourite snack from the store – the list goes on and on.
- Respect friends and family
A whirlwind romance can make it easy for us to get carried away and forget about our life-long friends and family. But these relationships are just as important as our partners. The reality is that we can’t get all of our emotional support from our partners, so it’s crucial to have a balanced and varied support system in our lives. And if things go wrong, your family and friends will be there to support you when things get tough.
So remember to maintain your other relationships, because they deserve just as much energy as your partner does.
- Try to be flexible
Yes, your partner’s life might be a world apart from yours, so you’ll need to adapt your routine in some way to ensure your lives are as compatible as possible. And that means that both of you will have to make some changes and will have to consider each other’s routines. Building a strong relationship is about integrating your lives to an extent so that you can spend a good amount of time together and be involved and present in each other’s lives.
- Learn to forgive and forget
Here’s something you should remember: a perfect partner does not exist! But there is the person who will make you happy, support you and put the work in to make your relationship last. We’re all flawed, imperfect humans all on our own journeys – so you need to accept that your partner (and you) will make mistakes down the line. You’ll both need to learn to forgive and forget for the sake of your relationship. Failing to do so will mean you’ll both end up resenting each other, and inevitably, the end of your relationship.
The strongest relationship helps each other to grow positively rather than blaming and attacking each other for making mistakes.
- Be authentic
This last secret is just as much about life in general as it is about building a strong relationship. You have got to be yourself. It’s the only way to truly be happy and make the best choices for you.
In a new relationship, authenticity is how you work out whether you’re a good match with your partner, and also is important further down the line. And nobody can keep appearances up forever, so it’s best to get the truth out early on to save yourself pain in the future. When you’re living as your authentic self, you know yourself better than anyone else. This means you can retain a sense of self in and outside of your relationship, and create a strong bond with your partner.
Overall, the main tenets of a strong relationship are based on love, growth, honesty and positivity. Keeping these values at the forefront of your relationship will help to keep you on the right path and build the strongest foundation for you and your partner.