We all wish we knew the secrets behind strong, lasting relationships. Whether we’re hurting after a break up or fuming over an argument, we often struggle to figure out what’s truly missing in our romantic lives. That’s the beauty of it though: The insights are usually hidden in the struggle.
If this resonates with you, take a step back, refocus, and check out these 7 relationship secrets that actually work.
1. You Both Maintain Your Own Lives
Problems often occur in relationships when one or both partners forget about their own lives in order to fit into each other’s. As a matter of fact, healthy relationships develop when couples maintain their individuality and give each other plenty of personal space.
In a relationship, it’s important to retain all of your own hobbies, interests, friends, and passions. It’s equally as crucial to support your partner on their own path. This way, you learn and grow together while nurturing each other’s unique qualities.
2. You Communicate Transparently
Miscommunication is a key factor in troubled relationships, romantic or otherwise. Often, we say what we think people want to hear, or are afraid of telling the truth. However, there’s just no point in hiding your inner self when you are in a relationship.
Imagine going to bed with your makeup on so that your new partner doesn’t see your sleepy face in the morning. Eventually, they will… and they’ll likely love you for it. Honest communication means being brave enough to say exactly what you feel. It also means accepting your partner’s honesty, so that the lines of communication remain transparent.
3. You Inspire Each Other to Be Better
When you first met someone and fell in love with them, chances are they filled you with inspiration. This mutual feeling is motivating, and you should use it to propel each other towards your goals. Things tend to go wrong when jealousy forces you to try to control or hold each other back.
In relationships that work, the desire to motivate each other increases as time goes on, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. You greet each new challenge together, with the intention of helping each other become better in all things.
4. You Appreciate the Little Things About Each Other
Having future goals is fantastic, but life’s not all about achievement. We tend to waste a lot of energy wishing we’d hit certain milestones already, to the detriment of things going on right in front of our noses. How many of your arguments start with this phrase: “But when are we going too… buy a house, have a baby, get married, make a lot of money?” The list goes on.
In relationships that work, the little things take center stage. The walks on the beach, the cheeky smiles, the rainy weekends in bed, the special looks reserved for each other. You don’t need to define the relationship by fitting it neatly into a socially-constructed box. Those big goals pale in comparison to appreciating the beauty of the present moment together.
5. You Embrace Each Other’s Flaws
While many of us love to take on projects, you’re heading towards the danger zone if that project is your partner. By embracing each other’s flaws, we can still help our partner grow without falling into the dreadful trap of thinking that we’ll love them if only they’d change.
It’s inevitable that everyone will change. It’s human nature as we progress through life. But even when we change for the better, a new challenge is often awaiting us. This results in more growth and, yes, you guessed it, more flaws. If you can’t love the one you’re with right now because you don’t accept them as they are, chances are you never will.
6. You Remain Curious About Each Other
Isn’t it true that no matter what we do, eventually we get used to doing it? This leads us towards fostering new desires, so that life always remains fresh and fulfilling. Relationships are no different. Once the excitement wears off, it’s easy to look at each other in the dull light of boredom… and want something new.
You can give each other something new by remaining curious. Neither partner is ever static, as we’re all constantly changing. This ensures we never know absolutely everything about another person. Trying new things together, going on adventures, and stirring up the routine fans the flames of curiosity.
7. You Love to Be Spontaneous Together
And that brings us to the most important secret: Spontaneity. If you always do the same thing on Sunday, switch the television on to eat dinner each night, and expect each other to slot in with a perfect schedule, you effectively eradicate it from your relationship.
When this happens, the stagnant nature of routine seeps into your partnership and buries it under a pile of dirty laundry. Healthy relationships combine the everyday aspects of life with a big dose of spontaneous fun – and both partners relish in keeping it alive.