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20 Things To Make A Relationship Last

20 Things To Make A Relationship Last

Are you and the crush of your dreams in the beginning stages of a new relationship? Are you worried that you aren’t sure how to make this relationship last? In this day and age, there are a lot of factors inside and outside of a relationship that can influence its outcome.  If you want to learn some tips on how you can help your relationship last, keep reading!

1. Burn your blueprint and script.

What this means is simply do not try to “plan” your relationship.  If you try to do this, the chances that something is not going to go like you wanted to is pretty high, and that could end what could have been a pretty fulfilling relationship.  Some of the best relationships are built on being spontaneous and passionate, and if you try to plan out how it’s going to work, it usually will not.

2. Forgive.

Everybody makes mistakes. This is a cold hard fact of life.  If you truly care about the person you are in a relationship with, you have to learn to forgive them for their mistakes.  Holding grudges toward one another is very toxic in a relationship, and is definitely not something you want to do if you want your relationship to last.

3. Be a good teammate.

Being in a relationship is a two-person job.  If you want your relationship to last, you cannot expect your partner to do all of the work.  This includes general housework (if you live together) to actually being the only one to contribute to the relationship physically and emotionally.  It’s a two-way street, and if it’s only running one way, its not going to last.

4. Grow together.

It is very important to grow as a couple.  That is how you find out if that person is the one for you.  You grow as a couple by spending time just talking and bonding with each other.  If you can’t grow or learn to grow in your relationship, it will not last.

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5. Adapt.

You obviously can not expect to have the all of the same ideas and beliefs as the person you are in a relationship with, so it is important to adapt if you want your relationship to last.  If you care about your boyfriend/girlfriend, this step should come pretty easily. Your partner’s little quirks or even religious beliefs may seem like a deal breaker, but if you have the ability to adapt, then your relationship has the amazing ability to go the distance.

6. Develop your own interests.

When in a relationship, it is important to develop your own interests.  You and your partner don’t have to express interest in all of the same things as each other; that would make things really boring, wouldn’t it?  This way, you guys will have more things to talk about and even more new things to try in your relationship.

7. Don’t keep score.

Relationships are not a game, so there is no reason to try to keep score.  This means, if you do something nice for your partner, or do something to help out, you don’t have to announce it to them just to get brownie points.  The same goes for if they make a mistake, or make you mad, you shouldn’t feel the need to hold it against them just to make yourself look better. This is probably one of the top reasons why relationships don’t last.  Nobody likes to feel like a loser in a relationship.

8. Practice self-awareness.

When you are in a relationship, you usually try to do whatever you can to make the other person happy, right?  Well, how are you supposed to make someone else happy, unless you know what makes YOU happy?  Practicing self awareness is a good way to know what makes you happy, and what makes you click so you can be the partner your significant other deserves.

9. Cultivate your finer qualities.

Work on the qualities that make you a better person.  It can be easy to do this in a relationship, because there are always opportunities to practice those qualities, like loyalty, compassion, and trust.

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10. Encourage each other.

I’m sure you don’t want to ever feel held back from doing certain things, or trying new things just because you are in a relationship, and neither does your partner.  Make sure you encourage your significant other to achieve any goals.

11. Offer solutions, not criticism.

If there is a problem that arises in your relationship with your partner, and they come to you for advice, offer advice that tries to help them actually solve the problem, and that doesn’t criticize them for what they have done, or what the situation is.

12. Compliment each other.

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Complimenting your partner is such a simple way to show how much you really care about one another.  If you don’t do it, it could be easy for them to question what they really mean to you, or what you really think of them.

13. Respect space and time.

Spending time with your partner is always a good thing to help your relationship grow, but giving each other some space every now and then is another important factor in making a relationship last.  It gives yourselves time to grow as a person (self-awareness) as well as giving you that time to miss each other a little bit.

14. Remember to say “thank you.”

This is one of those golden rules mom always taught you.  These two simple words can mean a lot to someone. Saying “thank you” is such a simple way to make someone feel as if they are appreciated.  Ask yourself this question: would you stay in a relationship if you felt unappreciated?

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15. Admit that you are wrong.

We have all been in the situation where as much as you don’t want to admit it, you are wrong in some sort of disagreement.  Sometimes you should just swallow that pride of yours, and admit that you were wrong.  If your partner really cares, they will remember step 2, and forgive you.

16. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

If you need to talk about something with your partner, don’t hesitate to say what you need to say. If you are one to beat around the bush and hope that they will pick up on what you are trying to say, you can be lost in translation, which will usually end not in your favor.

17. Be romantic.

Surprise her with flowers.  Plan him a special night under the stars.  Do anything to show how much you really care about each other.  As redundant as this may sound, its a really important step in any relationship.

18. Respect his or her friends.

This is another big one.  If you are not a big fan of his/her friends, you are better off keeping that your little secret.  You don’t have to like them, but for the sake of your relationship, you should at the very least respect them.

19. Be affectionate.

Any girl I have ever met would agree that this is an extremely important factor in any relationship. Whether it is holding her hand, playing with his hair, or giving hugs and kisses, this is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to making that girl or guy in your life happy.

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20. Mind your manners.

Another one of mom’s golden rules, you should always remember to mind your manners when you are with your partner.  You don’t want to gross them out by letting out big burps without saying excuse me, and for some people, that could very well be a deal breaker.

There is always a lot of work involved in maintaining a relationship with someone, but if you always remember how much they mean to you, it will not seem like work.  You can ask anyone who has been in a relationship for a long period of time—they wouldn’t trade it all for anything.

Featured photo credit: Shadow of couple holding hands/merilize via stockvault.net

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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