Why do some relationships last and thrive, while others fizzle out? Naturally, it helps to have things in common. But common interests, love, and attraction may not be enough. Being able to communicate with each other will also help get you through life’s rough spots. If you feel that your relationship could use a “tune-up,” consider the following tips:
- Find a quiet time to talk when you’re not feeling pressured, tired, or angry.
- Listen . Before stating your own position, try to understand your partner’s viewpoint. Say something to express your understanding (e.g., “I can see that it upsets you when I work late”) without immediately defending yourself. Find out why your partner is acting a certain way before you jump to conclusions and take it personally.
- Tell your partner about your feelings and needs in a calm, non-demanding way.
- Forgive . Nobody’s perfect. If you don’t want your partner jumping on you for every minor mistake, you should be prepared to let the little things go, too.
- Give and you shall receive . Instead of accusing your partner of not doing his or her share, focus on being thoughtful and giving yourself. You may find your efforts repaid in kind—and without a hassle!
- Make time for each other . Don’t overlook this essential ingredient. Set up a regular “date night,” pick up forgotten pastimes, or develop new shared activities.
With regular “maintenance,” a relationship can run smoothly for many years to come.