As our kids sharpen their pencils, it's prime time for us to sharpen our relationship tools!
The summer season is drawing to a close, and for many families that means back-to-school. Clearly, education is important. And in addition to formal education, there are a number of other areas where we focus our attention on learning skills: driving, cooking, various sports and any number of hobbies.
But what about our relationships? In general, as a relationship expert, I believe too many couples get into relationships without having learned the skills needed to ensure that their partnership will be strong and healthy. Additionally, there certainly doesn't seem to be any time to hone these skills even if they were learned.
This seems like a really good time to have a refresher course (or for some, a primer) on the top 7 back-to-school skills that will help you have a relationship that truly offers you the connection, joy, fun and sex life you desire.
1. Respect: This is the key trait to a solid partnership. It's essential to respect who your mate is. Don't try to change him or her; rather, encourage the strengths your partner has to let them be all that he or she can be.
2. Trust: It's hard to have a long-lasting, solid relationship unless there's trust. This factor is in the "big picture" of knowing that the partnership is solid and also in the day-to-day of knowing you can count on one another.
3. Conflict management skills: Yes, it's true! A healthy relationship will have conflicts; after all you're two different people. What matters is how you manage the conflicts. Though there are specific tools to learn, the basic idea is that you disagree with one another while still respecting each other.
4. Communication: This goes beyond mere words. Aside from the awareness that we communicate with tones, body language and gestures, the best communication is when you're willing to share your personal feelings and experiences. This allows emotional intimacy, which enhances sexual intimacy.
5. Needs: You both have 'em and you both deserve to feel loved in the way that meets your style. But you're also each different, so if you're not sure what will make your mate happy, there's a simple solution: ask!
6. Humor: One of the most important qualities to a solid relationship is having a sense of humor. Not only is it a great stress-buster but it's important to recognize that not everything in life has to be a drama.
7. Prioritization: This is lucky #7, and also the most important. At the beginning of the relationship, each of you felt like you mattered. Chances are that life has gotten in the way and your relationship has taken a back seat. This is dangerous! Make sure to make the two of you important. Nurture your partnership with time, appreciation, and letting each other know how important you are to one another.
So, there are the top 7 skills that will allow you to maintain the relationship you hoped for as you started out together. Simple enough to do and just like when you were in school, you will succeed as long as you pay attention and work dilligently!
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