Psychology Today posts an interesting article about how to improve your relationship with your significant other. Therapist Terrence Real discusses the different expectations men and women have about a long term relationship and proposes five ways to “improve” your partner. “For men, the ingrained belief is some variation of: ‘I fight dragons all day, when I come home I get to relax.’ For women it’s commonly: ‘If I have to tell you [it's my birthday, it's our anniversary] it doesn’t count; the perfect lover would read my mind and fulfill my every need.’” The following are the five tips proposed by Terrence:

Go after what you want. But before you open your mouth, ask yourself: “What do I really want right now?”
Complain constructively. Don’t complain to your partner about what he isn’t giving you. You must shift the negative into a positive. “Every complaint is really a wish,” says Real. “Better to cut out the complaint and get right to the wish. ‘I’m mad at the way you talk to me’ translates into ‘I would really like it if you could talk to me this way.’”
Listen and respond generously. “Neither men nor women feel listened to,” Real finds. Men commonly feel unappreciated. “They want someone to listen, pat them on the head for how hard they’re working, and tell them what a good job they’re doing.”
Empower one another. Anger, says Real, regularly stems from helplessness. “If you’re walking around angry, it’s often because you’re trying to control some thing and it’s not cooperating. The way to be less angry is to let go of your control.”
Cherish what you have. “Keep your eyes on the prize,” says Real. “Remember the person you’re speaking to is someone you love. If you can’t remember that because you are too angry and hurt at the moment, at least remember you have to live with them.”

Five ways to transform your partner – [Psychology Today]

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