LoveCredit: kconnors












Whether you are in a new relationship, single or have been married for many years, the tips in this article will hopefully provide a refreshing reminder of what skills we should all be actively working on in our relationships. From being a good listener to supporting your partner’s goals in life, there are lots of areas in which we could all improve. I have broken down some of these key points into five manageable chunks to examine further.

EarCredit: puravida

1. Listening Skills

You may hear people say that they are good listeners. What this often means is that they can ask well articulated questions to someone and they allow that person to fully talk and explain their point of view. Being a great listener in a relationship is about understanding the rules of conversation more. Try not to interrupt your partner or anyone when they are mid-sentence because this shows a lack of respect to someone. Instead, patiently listen and absorb the point that they are trying to get across to you. In this way you should receive the same amount of respect back from someone when it is then your turn to talk. Offer feedback and reflect on what has been said to you.

Sometimes it can be hard for people who are naturally chatty to appreciate this boundary in conversation. However, even if you can attempt to work on it then you are showing progress and willingness to grow as a person. When we truly listen or ‘actively’ listen[1] to others then we can absorb information far more readily than if we listen ‘passively’ to them.

The bond will strengthen between the two of you if you are both ‘active’ listeners to one another. You will both feel special and important to each other as well which is a great resulting development for any relationship.

ComplimentCredit: GaborfromHungary

2. Compliments

Compliments do not always have to be frequent or even obvious. There are lots of ways in which you can compliment[2] your partner. Firstly, in terms of appearance you may choose to mention something specific like the color of their eyes matching an item of clothing and that this is a lovely combination.

However, there are also subtle compliments that you can provide too. For example if a meal that your husband or wife has cooked for you is delicious, then tell them! If your boyfriend or girlfriend wears their hair in a certain way and you genuinely like it then say so. Engaging with your partner in this positive manner will strengthen not only your bond together but also their feelings of self worth, self esteem and their confidence levels too.

Compliments are essentially all about feeling good in oneself. However, you have the power within you to make other people feel great about themselves too. Who would not want to enjoy that feeling and spread that sense of positivity. The next time you appreciate something that your partner says or does for you then verbally communicate this message to them and they will in turn feel validated, rewarded and most of all appreciated by you.

GoalsCredit: dieraecherin











3. Sharing Goals

In life, your partner’s career and yours may be on completely different tangents. This is okay and it does not mean that you are in any way less compatible. In fact, having different interests and goals can make your relationship more engaging and allows it to thrive because both people can learn a lot from each other. You probably have a unique skill set that your partner admires and vice versa.

What is important when it comes to relationship goals are the big questions. Consider issues such as do you both want to get married if you are not already? Do you see yourselves hoping to have children and to start a family? Where do you both want to live or be in five years from now?  These are more serious relationship goals[3] which ideally need to be aligned for a successful long-term relationship to work and last.

However, in terms of smaller goals it is important to support your partner and to show them encouragement. This is relevant even if the goal is not your own one. For example when it comes to a promotion at work, build up your partners self esteem and confidence through complimenting them as I discussed in point number two. In addition, show good listening skills as was outlined in point number one to portray your empathy to their feelings and to display a caring approach.

In life, we need to support those we love in their achievements and endeavors because this is how people can be built up emotionally to achieve great things. Having common goals in a relationship such as aiming to travel or go on holiday soon can bring you closer together and gives you both something nice to look forwards to.

AirCredit: mmsz









4. Living In The Moment

It is very important that we aim to live in the moment because life is very short. It is better to forget about yesterday because it cannot be changed and to not let yourself worry about tomorrow because tomorrow is the future's problem. Live in the present moment and be more consciously aware in your relationships. If you can do this then you will reap the rewards because you will let go of you inhibitions more and you can learn to be more content with life this way.

Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work
Amazon Price: $17.95 $10.45 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2015)

Negative emotions or thoughts in any form are harmful to the individual let alone to a couple. But once you remove the past and future from the equation, you will find that life becomes a lot simpler. I am not saying that you do not have to plan ahead because this is important when it comes to larger financial decisions. I am purely referring to an emotional standpoint with this issue. So take charge and seize the day whilst it is there because there is nothing worse than living with regrets. Take action to advance your happiness and the contentment of your partner will be enhanced along the way too.

TimeCredit: wintersixfour











5. Time Apart

Lastly, it is healthy in any relationship to take some time apart. You may have heard the expression ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’[4] and this is certainly very true. When you pursue your own interests and hobbies it makes you a more fulfilled individual. Then when you later return to your husband or wife you will feel more enriched emotionally to offer love and support to them.

Time apart could mean different things to different couples. For example for you it may mean a weekend away visiting your parents on your own. Whilst for others it may only mean a night out with their friends. Whatever it may be, it is healthy to not spend every minute of every day with your significant other. Learn to embrace your own interests and passions in life and support each other as discussed in tip three. Doing this will ultimately help you to both grow together as individuals and as a unified couple.

I hope that these five points can refresh your sense of what makes a great relationship. Whether you are just starting out in a new relationship or if you have been married for over twenty years, it never did anyone any harm to improve one’s relationship skills. It is a constant journey that we are all working towards each and every day.