Having a great relationship can mean different things to each partner.

The main thing to remember is discovering what your partner finds necessary in the relationship. Once we can understand what it is how partner needs and wants from us, it is easier to fulfil that.

If we proceed from our prospective, it may not work as well. While we know what it is we want and need, our partner is a different person and may require different things. This being said there remain some essential criteria within all relationships to ensure it remains strong, trusting, genuine and committed.

Respect. This is a word most of us know the meaning of – or do we? Respect is something that has a different meaning for each of us strangely enough, and if we can understand the basis that most all of us understand respect to be, we can more easily satisfy these important relationship criteria.

To show them the basis of any caring, considerate and respectful relationship to enable your love for each other to thrive includes:

1. Appreciate and notice all the things your partner does for you. Big and small things should be noticed and appreciated

2. Be grateful for all those small things they do and recognise them. Never take for granted those things done because they are doing them with consideration of you

3. Look behind the behaviour sometimes to discover the reason why they say or do something. We don’t get up of a morning and decide to be mean or cruel; there is always a reason behind every behaviour, discover the reason, understand how to manage it

4. Never compare them to others. Comparing is what most of us do and something that is often damaging. No two of us are alike, no two of us are born from the same family, have the same experiences, same opportunities, same events. We are each different therefore comparisons are erroneous

5. When discussing a situation, always move toward the solution and away from the problem (you both know the problem). We often remain stuck in the problem, we go over it again and again, accuse, blame, become angry which is ineffective. Most of the time we know what the problem is so instead of rehashing it again, gravitate toward the solution, discuss this, concentrate on how to rectify things and move forward and away from that past problem.

6. Never use sarcasm as this is demeaning and immature, never clever. The old saying ‘Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit; is right, especially when speaking about a respectful relationship with anyone, especially your partner. Being direct in a mindful and kind way helps you both to move toward the solution.

7. Accept a difference of opinion. Accept that their opinion may not fit for you but may be right for them. Ask the reason they feel that way; you may be surprised and hear some valid reasons.

8. Acknowledge the effort and work your partner puts into everything they do, especially your relationship and family. It is always nice to be recognised and hear appreciation and compliments. It is easy to tell someone positive things when they are so great. The greater they believe them self to be, the greater they can become.

9. Apologise if need be. If you have done or said something inappropriate, admit it, apologise and move on. It is always a good idea to let your partner know what you will do next time or instead of. As an example “next time I am running late, I will absolutely call you to let you know I am safe and on my way home, I apologise you were worried and didn’t prevent that”. Forgiveness is also important.

10. Let your partner know how proud you are of them. Sharing these moments of pride both independently and with others in front of them enables them to feel extraordinary in your eyes. They also feel noticed and appreciated which is gold.

11. Take responsibility for anything you do wrong or any words you say incorrect. None of us is perfect, expecting perfection usually ends painfully. Take responsibility for any mistakes you may make and choose more appropriate ways next time.

12. Never tell your partner their feelings are wrong, they never are. How we feel depends on a variety of reasons, some present, some from the past. Enquire as to the reason they feel as they do and ask how you may be able to help them feel different or better.

Once we follow these steps, we can be assured of a close, connected and loving relationship. And we certainly all want that.

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