So you want your relationship to be amazing?
Then know that this does not just happen but takes work, planning, cooperation, personal investment, respect and mutual understanding! Great relationships need to be tendered, nurtured and invested into... even when you sometimes feel like doing the opposite.
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Here are 12 relationship tips (in no particular order) that, if practiced, will greatly enhance your relationship.
1) Realise that relationships ARE about cooperation
But not always as easy or as simple as splitting a piece of pie exactly in half. Discuss the issue fully. Make sure that both of you understand the other's perspective. Does one you feel much more strongly about something than the other? Does the issue impinge on either one of your core foundational values in life? If so, then tread carefully knowing that such an issue, if compromised, may somewhat destabilise that person's code of truth or sense of self-identity.
2) Respect within a relationship is essential
Both with words and in action. Realise that you have the power to create the relationship you want. The more respect shown in the hardest things (eg. differeces of opinions, sexual boundaries, etc), the more love and trust develops.
3) Men and women have very different underlying NEEDS in a committed love relationship
Note that generalisations certainly do not hold true for all. Men long for sexual connection and intimacy and from this feel released to give of themselves in a more emotionally vulnerable way. Women long for emotional intimacy and thorougly feeling loved and then feel released to give of themselves fully in a more sexually vulnerable expressions of love. Here is displayed one of the fundamental differences between the sexes (and certainly the most common reason in my own experience for couples to seek counselling). How do you deal with this? The greatest definition of love of all time can be found in Kahlil Gilbran's "The Prophet"
"Love gives nought but istelf and takes nought but from itself
Love possessess not or would Love be possessed
For Love is sufficent unto Love."
Amongst other things, he states that love is patient and kind and not envious, boastful or proud; love does not behave rudely and is not self-seeking. Imagine being like this. Take stock of your underlying motivations. Are they about what you will GET back from the relationship (sexually, emotionally, financially etc)? Why not turn it around and GIVE without any strings attached and watch your relationship blossom! In short, while recognising the stage of commitment you are in within your relationship (eg. just met, dating, married, etc), and operating with healthy boundaries in place especially early on, you need to selflessly suspend your own needs and desires and address your partner's needs first. In doing this, the laws of giving and abundance never disappoint the giver.
4) Recognise the need to be adaptable and flexible in your relationship
Realise that what was important in the morning, is not necessarily as important in the afternoon. In other words, you tend to see things with differing levels of importance at differing times and seasons in your life. Weigh up what is most important to you NOW and INVEST in those things. True investment and love come from giving (or even temporarily withholding) the things that are most precious or hardest for you to sacrifice (eg: your time, vulnerability, etc). Just because some things are hard, or not as you anticipated they would be, doesn't mean that they are not part of what is best for you, especially if you aspire to maximise your full potential and live out your given destiny.
5) You are made up so many facets, including experiences from your past relationships
Learn from your past but recognise things are different in the relationship you are now in. Do not project old hurts, pains and insecurities onto your partner! It is easy to do, so be aware of yourself.
6) You are NOT always right and not everything has to be done the way you've always done it in the past
Genuinely try to see your partner's perspective while momentarily suspending your own. There is a reason they think what they think, feel what they feel. Seek to understand first before you seek to be understood.
7) Learn to control anger
Saying hurtful things when annoyed (even if you think they are true!), hanging up in conversations, rolling eyes in apathy or placing ultimatums on the relationship only erode trust and vulnerability. Rectify these short-circuits quickly. Otherwise, these "stone-walling" behaviours are often the beginning of the end for closeness within the relationship.
Work out rules associated with arguing when you are both feeling really close to one another. These might include such things as a word or phrase one person may use if they think things are getting out of hand. This would then identify to the other party that the other person needs a time out to calm down before you resume the conversation within an agreed period of time.
8) Don't blame your partner for your own insecurities and recognise your own touchy topics
Take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings and actions.
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