Relationships, whether platonic or romantic, begin with interest and progress to knowing and eventually understanding. For the relationship to progress, both individuals involved need to be willing to work towards understanding each other. Unfortunately, some give up halfway.
If you would like to strengthen your relationships, here are a few tips that can help.
- Set boundaries.
Setting boundaries within a relationship may seem counterintuitive. We assume that boundaries are to keep people out. However, setting and changing your boundaries can help you strengthen your relationships. The purpose of these boundaries is not to keep people out but rather what you both are comfortable with sharing and learning about each other at that time. They also serve to communicate your needs to others.
Hopefully, these boundaries change as the relationship develops and deepens because you both will need different things from each other as you grow side by side.
- Mind your space.
People assume that for a relationship to work it is necessary to spend every waking moment in each other’s company, especially in romantic ones. This assumption can lead to the end of a relationship.
Many relationships get stronger with time spent apart. Everyone, even the most extroverted person, needs some time for themselves. Time spent alone helps with personal growth and independence.
As Ester Perel shared with Verywell, “When intimacy collapses into fusion, it is not a lack of closeness but too much closeness that impedes desire. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness. Thus, separateness is a precondition for connection: this is the essential paradox of intimacy[…].”
- Be vulnerable.
For some, exhibiting vulnerability is frightening because it means opening up to someone about your perceived flaws and negative traits. Vulnerability is a blind spot. Meredith Resnick LCSW, the creator of Shamerecovery.com, recommends couples to get curious about their blinds sports. I agree. If you learn to be curious and accepting of the things you do not want to confront, it opens doors to growth and love.
A vulnerability is not a flaw. It’s a part of who you are.
How then can discussing vulnerabilities help your relationship? Resnick states, “For example, one partner might discover that their tendency to micromanage people is related to their fear of abandonment—controlling the schedule of a loved one as a way to never be alone.”
- Spend time together.
Yes, this contradicts the tip about spending time alone. However, in relationships and life, nothing is dichotomous. Just as you both need time apart to grow as individuals, you also should spend time together. In a relationship, you need to find a balance where you both spend enough time together but not too much tath you both get tired of being around each other.
Spending time to get to know each other more and learning about each other is the engine that moves relationships forward.
- Take accountability.
Pride and ego do not have space in a relationship. They can cause tension and create chasms. Leaving arguments unresolved or refusing to apologize can cause problems in your relationships. So, try to hold yourself accountable for what you do and how it affects the other person.
- Appreciate each other.
Another way to strengthen your relationship is to appreciate each other. It is always a miracle whenever someone is willing to walk alongside you. As friends or as a romantic partner, it doesn’t matter.
Appreciating someone is a way to show them that you are grateful for their companionship. At times, it may be hard to show someone that you appreciate them. But, please try to make the effort.
As humans, we usually focus on the negative aspects of a relationship. Hence, it is easy to feel underappreciated, especially in a romantic relationship. One way to reconnect is by recalling past moments. Take a trip down memory lane with your
Relationships do not evolve or improve on their own. Growth is not something that happens like magic. It requires effort.
I hope these tips were helpful!
@love.insides. (2021). Let’s normalize doing this in relationships: Instagram Post. Retrieved November 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/p/CWVywYuM_kg/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link.
Field, B. (2021, February 1). 7 surprising ways to make your relationship even better. Verywell Mind. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.verywellmind.com/7-surprising-ways-to-make-your-relationship-better-5094212.
Military OneSource. (2020, October 7). Tips for military couples to keep their relationship strong. Military OneSource. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/relationships/keeping-your-relationship-strong/9-tips-for-keeping-your-relationship-strong-and-healthy/.