There are few things in life that can bring us as much joy, fulfillment, and support as our romantic relationships. Every person deserves a partnership that grows and provides endless joy throughout their life. Any relationship can become a thriving, fulfilling partnership, but it requires time, effort, and work.
Here are 4 tips to build a lasting relationship:
1. Commit to growing and changing together.
Change is a necessary part of becoming our best selves. We sometimes resist change because we associate it with upheaval or disruption to our lives, but change is also responsible for our happiest experiences. The truth is we are constantly changing all the time in ways we can’t even fully see. The only choice we have in life is to decide which way we want to direct our change. Embrace change and find a way to grow from it.
Growing and changing sound like hard, painful work. While it’s true it takes a lot of effort, it doesn’t need to be painful, just consistent. If you want to be successful in any area of life, whether it be your career, your fitness, or even being a parent, you need to put in the effort. So often, we fail to look at our relationships the same way. For our relationships to thrive, we must desire and proactively push towards positive change and growth.
You and your partner’s happiness is dependent on how much energy you put into cultivating, nurturing, and growing the relationship. The foundation of a relationship needs to be that both individuals want to grow and change, and both want to be changed by each other.
2. Get in touch with your own thoughts, emotions, and triggers so that you can share them with your partner.
Being emotionally intelligent is a key part of building a healthy relationship. It requires understanding and taking responsibility for our feelings and the situations we find ourselves in and working to uncover our sources of sadness, anger, or frustration.
If you aren’t in touch with your thoughts, feelings, triggers, and past traumas, then you aren’t able to communicate them to your partner. You may expect them to read your mind, understand how you feel, or do things for you without you having to explain yourself, which can put unnecessary strain on a relationship.
Make time to get in touch with yourself. Question your own thoughts and feelings, and dig to find where they stem from. This will not only help you understand yourself but also allow your partner to fully see you.
3. Create a safe space for you both to be vulnerable with each other.
Many relationships end because couples forget how to communicate, respect one another, or treat each other with kindness. If a person feels like they have to constantly defend or protect themselves, they may shut down or pull away, making it impossible to grow or elevate as a couple.
Create an environment where you allow each other to reveal the most sensitive and private parts of yourself without fear of judgment. Just knowing we are loved unconditionally makes us feel safe. Sharing your fears, traumas, or embarrassments requires vulnerability and openness, but when you do so, you create a space where you both feel understood and become stronger together.
Ask yourself: Are you both comfortable in making yourselves known to each other? What are you doing to increase the level of safety and trust?
4. Stay curious about getting to know your partner.
In the early days of a relationship, we often want to know everything about the other person. At some point, though, we tend to stop asking questions. Life gets so busy with work, family, or children that it seems like there isn’t time to go deeply into each other’s emotional experiences, or worse yet, we may assume we know everything there is to know about the other person.
Get excited to discover something new about your partner, no matter how long you have been together. Make time to ask questions and learn about each other’s worlds in great detail, from childhood to current experiences. Learn what shaped them into the person they are today and the person you fell in love with. If you invest the effort and time, you start to fall in love with an even fuller version of the person you are with.
A spiritual relationship is a conscious relationship where we devote our thoughts and energy towards strengthening it. We may not succeed at all of these things all the time, but the important thing is that we think about these concepts and strive towards them. Know that you can achieve the life and relationship you want. However you feel about your relationship right now (especially if it’s going well), know that it can be stronger, deeper, and better. Now is the time to do the work!