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15 Rules That Will Deepen Your Relationship

15 Rules That Will Deepen Your Relationship

When it comes to relationships, there are certain rules that should be met if you want to deepen your connection. With everything in the media, we can easily forget what is important in a relationship and what isn’t; we might focus on superficial aspects of the other person such, as how much money they have to spend on you or how sexy their body is. Although having money and being attractive are both good qualities in a partner, a relationship isn’t all about superficial things.

Below are some rules that can help deepen your relationship:

1. Be Real.

It seems like common sense, but we tend to shape ourselves based on the other person. Since we want to impress the other person, we may do things or say things that we usually wouldn’t. Being real will help determine if the two of you are a good match. Wouldn’t you rather find out now if it’s worth your time instead of investing years of your time and energy? Be real with the other person. Show them the real you, not the fake you.

2. No Games.

This rule is connected to the first rule of being real. When it comes to a relationship, you can either play around or invest yourself in deepening the relationship. When you play games, your relationship will most likely fall apart. Why invest your heart into the other person, when the other person is all about playing games? This will result in dishonesty, lack of trust and arguments later down in your relationship. When it comes to strengthening a relationship, it’s vital to develop trust, honesty, effective communication and commitment.

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3. Know and understand the difference between men and women. 

This rule is very important when establishing a relationship. Men and women are born differently and psychologically, we tend to have different characteristics. Most men enjoy their alone time when they are stressed and uptight, whereas many women enjoy talking out our feelings so that we can let them out. When you don’t acknowledge the differences between men and women, you may butt heads and become frustrated. Eventually, you might just give up because you don’t know what else to do. When you’re able to understand the differences, you will better understand your partner and thus be able to strengthen and deepen your relationship. I highly recommend reading the book, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray. He has helped me in my marriage in understanding more about myself and my husband.

4. Know your partner’s love language. 

When you are in a committed relationship, it’s important to understand the way they feel love, and how they express it. When you understand  your partner’s love language, you will be able to speak their language. It’s also  just as important in knowing your own love language. How do you feel most loved? Maybe it’s through spending quality time together, or by physical touch. A lot of couples lack intimacy and love because they are speaking different love languages to their partner. Once you’re able to speak fluently in your partner’s love language, you’ll be back on track of developing and deepening your relationship. I suggest that you go to your local library and take out the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

5. Effective communication. 

This goes back to the rule of knowing and understanding the difference between men and women. When  you can understand your partner, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with them. Men and women react to stress and life differently, and since women tend to express more of their emotions and enjoy talking in order to solve problems, they expect their partner to also talk and share their emotions. Learning how to be an effective communicator with your partner will help strengthen your relationship.

6. Turn off the TV! 

There is nothing wrong with watching TV with your partner every so often, but when it gets to a point where you are finding yourself always watching it after work, you will form a bad habit that will be difficult to break. Once you allow TV to be part of your relationship, how can you possibly develop greater intimacy? Turn off the television and do something fun! Go outside and ride a bike together or even just sit down on the couch and play a board game. Whatever the two of you enjoy doing is a much better habit to form than sitting and watching television. Nourish your relationship!

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7. Take care of yourself.

When it comes to being in a relationship, we can sometimes focus so much of our energy and time towards the other person that we forget about taking care of ourselves. Make sure that you take the time to focus on developing your own mind, body and soul. Don’t let go of who you are just because you’re in a relationship. Continue to love, respect and develop yourself.

8. Honesty.

If you are planning on investing your time and energy into your relationship, being honest  is a core rule. When there is no honesty, you will establish a weak foundation and eventually things will fall apart. Being honest and truthful will help establish a strong foundation in your partnership.

9. United Front.

When you and your partner are out in public, keeping a united front will help strengthen your relationship. Who wants to hear all your dirty laundry and on top of that seeing the two of you argue? It not only expresses to others the type of connection that you two have but will also cause problems within your relationship. Keeping a united front means you will work as a team and never embarrass your partner when out in public, as doing so will make your partner uncomfortable and will create resentment. Commit to having a united front so no matter what comes your way, you’ll know that you can get through it together.

10. Show your appreciation.

All of us want to be appreciated with what we do, especially in our relationships. Showing our appreciation for what your partner does will help deepen the connection between the two of you. Imagine if your partner expresses  their love but you never show your appreciation. What will happen? Your partner will eventually not want to express his love because he doesn’t feel that it makes any difference. When you are able to acknowledge what they do, they will feel more motivated to continue loving you and supporting you. Once you take their love for granted, they will eventually stop loving you. Express your appreciation every day, even a small gesture such as thanking him for coming home early so that the two of you can have a nice dinner together. Whatever it may be, show your appreciation and love that you have for your partner. Trust me, they will feel motivated to continue loving you and supporting you.

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11. Create Fulfilling Routines.

It seems like as the days go by, our relationships get pushed from the foreground to the back burner while daily life stresses take precedence. When we create fulfilling routines in our relationship, we are able to reconnect with what made us fall in love with our partners in the first place. A fulfilling routine can be as simple as always going to bed at the same time and waking up early at the time same. This may be challenging, but when you commit to sleeping at the same time and waking up at the same time, you can spend some quality time before starting the day and before you go to bed at night. Another fulfilling routine would be to walk together in the mornings. Creating fulfilling routines are meant to reconnect with your partner, especially if the both of you have busy schedules.

12. Dates!

A great way to add more flavor into your relationship is to go out on date nights. It doesn’t even have to be at night, it can be at any time of day! As we go through life, we can easily forget about what brought us together. What do you enjoy doing with your partner? There are casual dates like staying at home and cooking together or you can have more of a formal date like getting all dressed up and going out to eat, or going for a hike and a picnic. The point behind this rule is to reconnect with your partner. Don’t talk about bills or life stresses on your date: just be free and have fun. Smile, laugh and enjoy your partner’s company.

13. Grow together.

Couples often grow apart, which leads them to a point in their relationship in which they don’t feel that it’s worth investing any more time in. Be consciousness and supportive of what your partner wants to accomplish. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to truly stay connected with what our partner wants to achieve.

14. Be patient.

Sometimes our partners make mistakes and we automatically get upset or frustrated. It’s important for you to be patient and encouraging rather than being negative and critical. You partner wants you help, but it’s how you approach the situation that makes a difference. When you’re patient, it encourages your partner to want to change with your help.

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15. Be on the page same with finances.

If you have a joint account or share your finances, make sure that both of you have a similar philosophy when it comes to money. The #1 cause for divorce is financial issues. Learn to be open when it comes to talking about money and how the both of you can best work as a team. Practice effective communication and have financial goals set in place, and focus on what matters to the both of you. Maybe you both enjoy going to the Bahamas every other year, or maybe you enjoy giving lavish Christmas gifts. Set aside a fund that you build throughout the year, so when Christmas time comes along or flights go on sale, you can use the build in your fund accordingly. Be a united front with your finances and communicate effectively.

These rules should be looked at as a stepping stone to developing your relationship, and are meant to help establish a strong foundation between you and your partner. We all have flaws and mistakes, but when we can follow these rules in our relationship, we will better understand our partner and also ourselves. When you’re in a relationship, not only do you develop the connection with your partner but you also connect deeper within yourself. You grow just as much as your relationship grows. Be an inspiration for your partner: motivate them, challenge them to reach their fullest potential, and the end of the day, be happy.

One a final note: “What do you love most about your partner?” 

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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