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5 tips to a better relationship

This is written by me, a man, for other men. Men, I hope you get something useful from this. Ladies, you can use these tips as well, replacing ‘her’ for ‘him/his’.

  1. Be willing to listen
    You have to listen to what your partner is saying, and let her finish. Let her talk about what’s on her mind. Don’t take it personally, and instead try to remain objective about it. This way, you can paraphrase it back to her when she’s finished or paused, so that you allow her to understand you have listened and you understand her.

    When she knows you care about her feelings and her thoughts, she’ll be more appreciative of your role in her life. She’ll be more inclined to be the same back to you.

  2. Be willing to talk
    Just like your partner wants you to hear and understand her, so would she like to hear and understand you. Be open with your feelings, but try to remain calm whenever you have strong emotions that you want to tell her about (like anger, frustration, sadness, etc). Remember that if you get overly emotional about it, it can interfere with your ability to communicate it. Use statements like, “I feel that…” in order to explain what your feelings are.

    Never accuse or blame her of anything. These are your feelings, and you are the one that’s choosing how you react to things. If there’s an issue related to your feelings, the issue is all yours. You might want to talk about that with your partner. It will only bring you closer, allowing her to understand you and what’s important to you.

  3. Be willing to compromise, to sacrifice
    Sometimes, in order for two people to share their lives together, one or both must compromise on what they want or on what’s important for them. This will help them find a common ground that they can agree on and move forward with. For example, let’s say she really wants to go to a play that you have absolutely no interest in. But she’s let you go out to movies or ‘with the boys’ often enough. Sometimes she’s even joined you at those movies that she doesn’t like, but she enjoys going with you so that’s good enough for her. Make it good enough for you too, and go with her to that play. Occasionally, do the things that you don’t like doing, but she does. She’ll love you more for it, because you’re making the effort to compromise your interests.

    You’re not an island in your relationship with another person. In a relationship, two people have become ‘one’. What you once held sacrosanct when you were single may need to be reconsidered. That thing you absolutely refused to give up for anyone, might just need to be given up because now you’re with someone who absolutely can’t stand it.

    You need to make the decision about what’s more important to you. Her, or ‘that thing’ you can’t give up? Can you give her up for it? Is she less important than ‘that thing’? Compromise and sacrifice are important to allow two people to move forward in a relationship.

  4. Be willing to look to the past
    You are a result of your past experiences. These experiences can often be traumatic, and the effect they have on you can last for years. These become the issues that you carry around with you, that affect how you perceive things around you, and affect how you relate to others. Everyone has issues of some kind. If you’re an adult, you have issues. Some have more than others, it just depends on your experiences and the effect those experiences have had on you.

    In order to move past these issues, you have to understand what they are, how they affect you, and where they come from. (I’ll write another article about issues soon.) Only when you can look into your past this way, and work through the crap that you’ve gathered, can you make efforts to remove them from your life.

    Having less of these issues will improve your relationship, because those perceptions that were once filtered by bad experiences will now be clear, allowing you to see more of who your partner really is.

    This can occasionally have those consequences where you see that your partner is actually bad for you. Accept it, and let them go. You don’t need a bad or abusive partner in your life, just like you don’t need those issues which once made you think you do.

  5. Be willing to look to the future
    A relationship has a purpose. You get into a relationship with someone in order to achieve various goals or desires you have in your life. Goals like marriage, family, companionship. You can’t achieve these things by remaining single. You have to remember that the only reason she wants to be with you in a relationship is not just because she loves you. Along with that love comes certain conditions, or desires related to that love. She sees you as someone she might like to get married to, have kids with, and be her companion for the rest of her life. That’s love. It’s commitment, it’s family, it’s planning for the future.

    When you’re in a relationship, you have to share a plan for the future. You need the same goals and desires as your partner, so that you can work together on achieving them. If you don’t actively work with her on these goals, then she’ll think you’re not part of the plan. Eventually, she’ll find someone else who is. Make sure you’re in a relationship with someone who shares the same vision you have of the future that you want.

I hope these help you find a more satisfying relationship, where you and your partner are closer as a result of these tips. I’ll try to add more in future, as I think of them.

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