Healthy Relationship

Things may look easy in the movies, but in real life making a relationship last can be hard work. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve the long-term outlook for your relationship. For example…

• Be realistic. Nobody’s perfect. Love means accepting your partner and not demanding change.

• Listen. Focus on truly understanding what your partner’s saying, not on what you plan to say next.

• Share information. What did you do today? What’s on your mind?

• Follow through. If you say you’ll pick up the bread at the store or be at the restaurant at seven, make it a priority.

• Show appreciation. Let your mate know that you care with favors, cards, flowers, or simply a hug. The more you give, the more you’ll likely receive.

• Accept change. People and circumstances change all the time. Figure out how to adapt and make the most of change rather than fighting it.

• Maintain your balance. You need to take care of yourself to have the energy to take care of others.

• Attack the problem, not the person. If you disagree on something, you still have a common goal of finding a solution. Stay on the same side. Trying to win or prove that you’re right will only drive you apart.

• Don’t assume. You may think you know why your partner said or did something, but you may be wrong. Ask!

• Take responsibility. Even when the other person seems to be at fault, you have probably contributed to the problem. Apologize when you’ve made a mistake.

• If you get stuck, ask for help. A counselor may be able to help your relationship get back on track, if needed.

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