Developing positive relationships with our significant others can bring us great joy. This week’s blog focuses on cultivating positive relationships with your significant other, which should help your relationship, grow stronger. Creating and maintaining a positive relationship takes hard work from both parties and it starts with acceptance. Below are 5 things you can do to nurture your partner:
Learn how to prioritize your significant others needs and wants. Many couples have conflict in their relationships because they never learned to prioritize their partner’s needs and wants. We all want to be appreciated for what we do and how our actions positively affect our relationships. When teaching our partners how to love us, we should make it our business to find out what satisfies them. We also need to know what their needs are. Granted, we may not be in the position to meet all of their needs right now, but to simply acknowledge that there are needs and that you are concerned about helping him or her meet them, will definitely go a long way.
Respect your partner. The most disrespectful and harmful thing that we can do in our relationships is disrespect our partner. There are instances when we are hurt, and by nature, hurt people have been known to hurt people. However, respect goes a long way when it is reciprocal. We all face crises in our relationships, but learning to be respectful despite our feelings should go a long way towards maintaining a nurturing and loving relationship.
Do unto your partner, as you would have him or her do unto you. If you want to build a relationship that is positive, passionate, and longstanding, you will need to give 100% of yourself. This is an important element of successful relationships. When it comes to giving in a relationship, we have got to give freely of ourself if it’s going to work. It is almost impossible to receive from your partner if you don’t give to them in return.
Be a friend first, before becoming a lover. Studies have shown that being friends before becoming lovers is important to establishing a strong foundation by which the relationship can be built. Meaningful friendship is the springboard for stronger and longer lasting relationships.
Communicate your needs in clear and specific terms. A major part of therapy with me resonates with developing effective communication skills. More than 50% of the couples that come into therapy report that their partners don’t understand them, does not listen, and refuses to communicate. Communication is important to the nurturing process and it starts with giving your partner very clear and specific feedback on what is working and what can be improved. If you don’t like that he always judges a situation before he hears your side of the story, then tell him, “I don’t like when you take a position about something prior to hearing my side of the story, it makes me feel like my opinion isn’t valued.” In this example, we are clear about our dislikes, we have told him how it makes us feel, now step back and allow him or her to do something different. Remember, the only person that you can change is yourself.
If your goal is to create a stronger bond with your significant other then take the time to think about what it is you would most like from your partner; create a written list (there is value in writing it down) and then share it with him or her. SMART goals are always best when dealing with matters of the heart — be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Eventually, it gets better if we don’t give up before the miracle happens.
All the best,
Dr. Warrick T. Stewart, Ed.D, CRC, LPC, PLCAS
President/Chief Executive Officer
S&D Enterprises, Inc