How To Make A Relationship Work

Decide to love.

Infatuation is typically what sparks loving relationships. Then the excitement fades and warm feelings diminish unless both partners make conscious efforts to renew their feelings for one another.

Once love is established in a relationship, actively expressing love to each other will maintain and increase the loving feelings in both partners.
On the other hand, not expressing love sometimes hurts the bond you share with your partner.

If you are aiming for a long-lasting, successful relationship, you need to commit to your partner’s emotional well-being, even when it isn’t easy. This means sharing affection with your partner, through good times and bad, when it’s most needed and when it’s least expected.

  1. Be romantic. Romance is essential to have at least some of the time. Candles, candlelight, compliments, stargazing, watching the stars, sunset or sunrise, fireworks, romantic bubble baths, showers, and romantic dinners are good ideas. Inject a little romance into some of the things you do and some of the places you go. Have a certain song, a certain movie, a certain phrase that’s “yours,” that you only share with your partner. This will not only signal togetherness with your partner, but it will also establish intimacy. Do the unexpected. By all means, plan out your dates. But on certain occasions, surprise your partner. Surprises take a little foresight. They show your loved one you really care.
  2. Show your love. Hold hands, kiss, hug, cuddle, snuggle, or wrap arms around shoulders or waists. Become close and really comfortable with each other physically and emotionally. Share every part of yourself (your heart, mind, and soul), not just your body. Look your partner in the eyes. When you talk to them and when you’re simply together, make a connection to their soul through their eyes. Don’t be afraid to show affection in public. Hold her hand; kiss him on the cheek; don’t worry what other people think so long as you know your loved on feels your gratefulness. Brag a little every once in a while. Don’t make it into a big deal, but praise your partner’s achievements and let other people know how much you know s/he accomplishes.
  3. Settle disputes peacefully. Apologize, forgive, and make up with each other. If you threaten to break up with each other after every fight or argument, you will never really resolve anything. Take breaking up off the table. Talk through disagreements as long or as many times as it takes until the issue is resolved and both of you feel comfortable moving forward. Don’t generalize when you argue. Words like “always” and “constantly” can make your partner feel like they never do anything right. Talk about specific instances, and try not blow things out of proportion. Talk about the good with the bad. Start off by saying how much you love the person, and how committed you are to making the relationship work. Then go into your complaint, if you have one. It will make your partner less defensive.
  4. Keep most things private between you two. When your partner shares with you and confides in you (emotionally and physically), especially when they share something about another person; resist the urge to disclose sensitive details to anyone without permission. You should treat it as something special, personal and private between you two, out of respect for your partner. A relationship is between two people — you and your partner, not anyone else. Don’t involve others in intimate matters, however close you may feel to them. Remember that intensity of emotion can ebb and flow over the years. There may be times when you are less aware of your love, more into your own interests, perhaps even more selfish. Those are the times to remember all the wonderful things you have done together, and still want to do.

It’s natural for your feelings about your partner to change over the course of the relationship. After a couple years, infatuation takes a back seat to faithfulness and trust. This doesn’t mean that you’re not in love anymore; it just means that your love has matured.