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10 Things Your Relationship Needs From You

10 Things Your Relationship Needs From You

It’s funny, when you’re in the first few days, or even weeks, of a new relationship it can be all about how you feel, how you can’t get enough of the other person and how totally awesome your life is. You’ll get the butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms and the eagerness to spend as much time together that you almost become inseparable!

However, as time passes those feelings can fade and the requirement changes from lust and passion to continual adjustment and re-alignment, a bit like maintaining a car. With this in mind, I have come up with 10 things a relationship needs from you. You’ll discover whether your relationship needs a tiny bit of re-tuning or a full on service.

1. Have continuous, kind, and open communication

These are essential in all relationships but most importantly with your partner—how else can you grow as a couple and appreciate one another’s feelings and opinions? They may not always been in alignment with yours but if you don’t communicate how else can you be understood?

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2. Be willing to put in 100% effort when dealing with challenging times and disputes.

Walking away when things get tough won’t solve anything; the problems and issues will rear their ugly heads time and time again. You have got to be willing to deal with any difficulty that comes up and commit to resolving them together.

3. Have fun, laugh a lot, and make your partner smile on a daily basis

I’m not asking you to be a 24/7 stand-up comic for your significant other but being able to make light of difficult situations and help to distract them from the daily grind of life can be a powerful thing, as it can make your partner feel relaxed and at ease.

4. Share life’s lessons and growing pains

Your partner is supposed to be your best friend, whereas with your pals you can share life’s experiences and ever growing lessons, so why not play be the same rules with your loved one? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by their response and they’ll do the same in return.

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5. Respect, provide emotional support and compliment, often!

This is a given isn’t it? The reason why we get into a relationship is to know that you have someone right beside you at all times. In this rollercoaster of an adventure we call life, you have to be there for your partner; to lift them in down times, be happy in good times and to tell them you love, respect, and care about them.

6. Provide intimacy, romance and passion

Without these, your relationship is merely a friendship. All of these actions are the foundation of a loving and caring relationship. You need to want to be together as a couple and to show this you need to provide intimacy, romance and passion consistently and don’t wait for them to make the first move.

7. Share your dreams and ambitions so you are both on the same page

This is so important, because it’s our dreams that keep us moving forward in life. As you’ve got your own willing cheerleader with you, please remember to share your dreams with them regularly. You’ll both have something to work towards together as a couple.

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8. Be a constant source of acceptance, compassion and above all forgiveness

There is so much truth in the saying “You get what you give”, and these three things are the most important things to have the ability to do as a partner. Throughout your relationship you’ll have challenges, upsets and even losses that seem incredibly painful. You have got to be strong for your partner and riding out these tough times will be a significant factor in whether the relationship lasts or not.

9. Give your partner space to be who they are

This can be tough, especially if you are a little insecure or if you have had previous bad relationships and experienced infidelity, however, when you love someone you have got to set them free. Try to remember when you first met your partner: what was it that you loved about them, that first attraction? I suspect it was their natural confidence and how easy it was to be around them, so why take that away? Give them space to be who they are and you’ll be repaid with loyalty, respect and a load of love!

10. Admit your mistakes and be willing to change

We are all human after all, but it is far better to admit your mistakes than to go on pretending that everything is fine or being too stubborn to say sorry. If there is one thing you must do is to learn to understand what happened, adjust and move on from it. These could be the screw ups you have made or your partners.

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So this is the time where I ask if you are doing what you need to do in your relationship. Is it in need of a slight re-tune or a full service?

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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