Relationships are made up of habits, of shared situations that reinforce the bond of love that unites two people.
This means that in some cases, some couples may be able to function “on their own” simply because they manage to reach a state where these habits are already a spontaneous part of everyday life. But in other cases, problems and conflicts arise that can be solved by modifying these shared routines.
If you are interested in this last topic, read on, because we will give a review of the keys to making couples work .
The main keys to making couples work
The first thing to do is to assume that you are not in total control of what is going on in your relationship. This is important, because it is one thing to do your best to make the bond as strong as possible, not to adopt a controlling attitude over the other person.
Therefore, all the key ideas that we will see below must always be applied from consensus and constant communication , because if this is not the case, the situation will not only improve but will get worse.
Let’s look at the tips for making relationships work.
1. Make your expectations clear
If it is not clear what everyone wants and expects from the relationship, many conflicts, some of them serious, are inevitable. It is therefore essential to communicate this honestly and directly, without leaving too much room for ambiguity.
2. Bet on assertiveness
For the relationship to work, it must be symmetrical: neither person should have more power over the other. To do this, it is essential to adopt an assertive communication style.
And what exactly is assertive communication? Basically, in expressing everything that has to be expressed, without bowing down to the fear of what others may think or of making someone angry or sad ; and doing so respecting the other, even though what has to be said may be painful.
This balance makes marriages and dating relationships stronger, because none of the people involved has to carry the burden of holding back ideas, beliefs and feelings for what they believe is the common good.
3. Establish the commitments
Any love relationship, because it demands sacrifices with long-term objectives, requires a series of commitments. That is why they must be established and clarified, so that both of you always take them into account in the same way. This avoids many marriage and relationship crises that would have been easily avoidable .
4. Highlight the positive
It is not healthy to ignore the positive aspects of the relationship and only talk about the negative ones. In order to have a global vision of what is going on and at the same time express love for the other, it is worth showing that satisfaction when the other person does something we like.
5. Spend time together… quality
Living in the same house does not make a relationship stronger. In fact, if there is no communication or show of affection, it can generate animosity and indifference towards the person we fall in love with.
Therefore, it is important to make efforts to enjoy time together in which you can find meaningful ways to talk, express affection, have contact, and have intimacy.
6. Apply EQ to discussions
It’s normal to argue from time to time. What you can do in these cases is not to lose sight of what the nature of your love relationship is, and not to fall into a struggle of egos to see who is right. Accept that we can feel frustrated and angry momentarily, but that no one wins by attacking the other .
So when you think you are too angry to adopt constructive thinking in the face of conflict, stop arguing and clear your head. When everything is due to a communication breakdown, first clarify what has happened, give the other person a chance to explain. And when the cause of the discussion is not an objective fact but an assumption, treat it as such.
7. Support yourself by taking into account your strengths and weaknesses
Finding a good fit in the relationship is, among other things, knowing how we can help the other. Therefore, it is a good idea to have identified the vulnerabilities of the other, to offer support when these become apparent .
8. Counting on each other for important plans
Many people wait too long before communicating important decisions to their partner. Not only does this create resentment, it also causes problems due to lack of coordination.
9. Respect each other’s space
Not everything has to be shared . It is very common to need time alone, without the company of the other, to think, create or assimilate emotions. Therefore, these moments of introspection should be respected.
10. Accept the help
Just because conflicts and crises may arise in a relationship does not mean that there is a rule that you should face these problems alone. Couple’s therapy carried out by psychologists is an option to take into account , since in these sessions you can learn the keys to redirect the situation avoiding to feed the drama and adopting a constructive and empathic point of view.
- Fisher, H. (2004). Why We Love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love.
- Loye, D.S. (2000). Darwin’s Lost Theory of Love: A Healing Vision for the 21st Century. Bloomington: iUniverse.