No relationship is perfect because we all have our flaws. Yes, there is always room to grow, but perfection is unachievable unless someone finally invented the Create The Perfect Mate Machine. There will be ups and downs, and that’s okay. When you’re deeply invested in your relationship, challenges are expected alongside the moments when you just want to hold each other until you fall asleep. Or, if you’re like me, talk on FaceTime until you slowly drift off to sleep (or dreamland). How you choose to deal with difficult situations is what makes or breaks the stability of your relationship. So what are the guidelines to a successful relationship?
This is one of the most important guidelines to a successful relationship. You want to be completely honest with your partner about your experiences within the relationship so that they aren’t left guessing how you are feeling. Your partner cannot read your mind. “Successful partners do not hold back thoughts, feelings, or intended behaviors that might at some time affect the partner.” This does not give you the freedom to speak to your partner in whatever way you choose, but instead, be willing and open to give and receive insight from your partner no matter the outcome.
It’s important to be mindful of the fact that your actions hold the power to unintentionally hurt your partner There are two crucial aspects of communication. “The first is the verbal content of what partners are sharing. The second is the nonverbal way they present themselves, and how those behaviors affect each of them in the moment.” So, not only can your words hurt, but the way you present what you are saying, whether it be the tone or your body language, can be harmful as well. Every couple’s goal is to strive to have a healthy, happy relationship, so be mindful of how you communicate with one another.
Focus on The Positives
Starting a fight with your partner over who is making dinner tonight versus asking if they want to cook or even making the decision to cook together can make a world of difference. Your relationship is not meant to focus on the little things that upset you but rather on the moments that can last a lifetime. “When successful partners feel like their relationship is being threatened in any way, they consciously and intentionally remind each other why they still want to be together and resolve those crises as rapidly as possible.” Remember to focus on what is more important, in this case, eating or fighting. I personally think having a meal is more important but to each their own.
As far as the don’ts go, there are many things each partner can do to hurt the other in times of anger or upset. This does not give either of them an excuse for their actions, but it does, however, show both partners what they are doing wrong and what steps to take in order to make amends.
Remember the little white lie you told your partner that you thought wasn’t a big deal? Well turns out it is. “Partners who treasure honesty, authenticity, and each other’s resilience do not hold back on thoughts or feelings that can unexpectedly explode at some future time with unintended painful consequences.” You want to remain open and honest with your partner about every and anything that comes up that can have a vital impact on your relationship. Unless it’s a surprise party, then that’s a different story. Withholding information only brings on lies and deceit, and we want to stay as far away from that as possible. Honesty is the best policy!
In relationships, conflicts are going to happen. However, there is a proper way to fight that does not involve hitting someone where it hurts the most or destroying their character. We all say things that we don’t mean when we are angry, it happens. But like I said earlier, you have to be aware that the things you say or do can ultimately hurt your partner's’ feelings, sometimes beyond repair. So during an argument between you and your partner, try not to say things like, “‘You always go for the gut, don’t you?’ ‘Let’s face it; you’re [a butthole], and always have been.’ ‘You hate men; why don’t you just admit it?’ ‘You’re a really insensitive lover’”, it will only make things worse.
Boundary violations can be “any physical or emotional behavior that makes the other partner feel uncomfortable or threatened.” The fact of the matter is that if your relationship boundaries aren’t respected, then the connection you share will eventually fade. We are all about making sure you and your partner stay together, so do your best to ensure that both partners are respecting each other no matter what.
Of course, there are more guidelines to a successful relationship out there that couples need to know, but these are the few that I felt were most important. This is not to say that the others aren’t as important, but rather without the ones listed above, your relationship will not have the foundation it needs to grow. Remember to try your best to stay happy and healthy, and continue to respect each other. Just because you aren’t perfect doesn’t mean that you can’t do whatever it takes to remain official.