1. Commit to the relationship!
There is an art to commitment, it doesn’t mean just sticking around. Commitment simply means making the other person’s success and well-being as important to you as your own. Doing so creates an environment where problems and difficulties are more easily addressed. Committing to the process of mutual understanding and forgiveness, no matter how many conversations it takes or how uncomfortable it gets, makes a relationship a safe place to deal with anything that comes up.
2. Communicate openly and honestly.
When we feel something strongly and either don’t have the courage or the know-how to express it, it puts the relationship under strain. To be open and honest you have to research how you are feeling and learn to communicate it skillfully. Telling the truth doesn’t need to be unkind but withholding information can also be used to wound another. Honest and open communication is a life-long learning process and strengthens the relationship.
3. Learn the art of forgiveness.
Blame and criticism erode the relationship. You may not be aware of being critical or complaining, although you may be aware of it in your partner! Remember, it takes two to run a cycle of blame and complaint, but only one to break it. Find new and creative ways to communicate what does and doesn’t work for you, and take full responsibility for what is going on for you within the relationship. You can change virtually anything you want in the relationship by breaking your own patterns and cycles.
4. Do things that make you happy.
Its time to get a life! By doing things that you find stimulating and fulfilling you create you feel inspired, which brings fresh energy and life to the relationship. Everyone needs something that gives them meaning, that motivates them and gives them purpose. Making the other person your reason for living is like being an emotional vampire, you'll suck the relationship dry! We all have to find our own unique contribution and feel fulfilled by it and trying to find validation through our partner’s achievements will only lead to feelings of inadequacy or resentment, which erode trust and confidence.
5. Express your appreciation.
Never assume your partner knows how you feel, it is important for you and for them that it is communicated. When expressing appreciation make it genuine, personal and specific to the other person and do it as often and as creatively as you can! It may be something you say, something you do or even something you stop doing, but letting someone know how much you appreciate them could make their day - and yours.