Romantic relationships complete with a great connection, love, honesty and communication top the list of wants and goals for most women — even strong, successful women who don't need a man to take care of them. The benefits for both people in a healthy relationship are tremendous, and can improve all other aspects of their lives.
While we certainly refine our couples skills during relationships, it's no secret that many breakups result from a lack of these skills. The good news is that we can sharpen our skills prior to entering our next romance — you don't need to be in a relationship to learn how to have a healthy one! Here, we talk about some important qualities to look for in romantic relationships, and expand upon the many opportunities there are to hone our skills in everyday life, with family, friends and work associates.
Have you ever asked people you know what they think your best qualities are? When I did this (it was an exercise with one of my coaches) I was pleasantly surprised at how other people saw me. I felt more confident, and realized most people don't truly know how others see them. When I asked what I could improve upon, my eyes were opened again as people I trusted suggested things like "seeing from the other person's perspective" or "thinking things through longer before commenting when I felt something could be done better."
Practicing this exercise on my quality female friends, family and work associates was fun because I can see how differently things unfold now, thanks to my new insight, as opposed how I handled situations previously. I figured adjustments to these aspects of my own behavior could dramatically impact my future romantic relationships as well... and I was right. So with my best qualities spoken by those who care about me, and suggestions on rounding some sharp edges of my personality, I gained a tremendous amount of insight. Oddly enough, men I'd dated in the past had brought up some of the same things! I realized one or more of those relationships may have lasted longer if I'd had this insight sooner.
You can learn from my example and ask people who care about you and will be truthful. Be sure to appreciate and acknowledge their answers, even if they may sting a bit. It's up to you to choose what you do with the information you receive, but if you hear common themes, you have a pretty good place to start.
Here are some important skills to practice with people in your life to improve your next romantic partnership. Have fun with this — the benefits are many.
Boundaries come into play in all relationships, and a lack of healthy ones is the cause of most breakups. Whether healthy boundaries needed to be established and enforced regarding things like time spent together and apart, clear communication, money, sex, respect of both self and significant other, or a host of other topics, most conflicts can be avoided with the use of healthy boundaries.