Getting into a relationship with someone you're crazy about is one of the best feelings in life. But creating a successful, lasting relationship requires effort. The following tips will help you to be a brilliant boyfriend or girlfriend.
Along with trust, this is the most important thing to master. It's vital to talk openly and honestly about your feelings in a calm and considered way. Hiding how you feel, telling your partner what you think they want to hear, or communicating in anger via arguments, will damage the relationship. Talking honestly and openly will enable you to get to know each other better, solve problems and settle disagreements. On the other hand, arguing or ignoring problems creates distance between you. If you’ve got something that needs saying - say it!
A relationship without trust will make you miserable. If you're suspicious, jealous and untrusting you'll drive your partner away and drive yourself mad. The relationship will be stifled if you've got a suspicious and watchful eye on your partner from the start. The only way to truly give the relationship a chance to flourish is to assume your partner will be faithful and do their best by you in all areas of the relationship. It sounds obvious, but many need reminding: your partner has chosen to be with you and nobody else. Allow yourself to believe what's in front of your eyes and enjoy it.
Enjoy each other and have fun. Sometimes people get so bogged down in their differences and disagreements, not to mention outside hassles, that they forget how amazing their partner is and how much fun it is to be together. Sharing laughter and good times with a partner is one of life’s best experiences. If you only ever seem to be grumbling at each other and prefer sitting in different rooms, it might be time to part ways.
You won't always agree with your partner so it's important to be able to find a middle ground where you both feel you've been heard. Not agreeing on everything doesn't spell doom for the relationship; it's normal because you're still individuals. After all, you weren't looking for a clone of yourself to have a relationship with! Our differences make us who we are. Your partner's unique qualities are what attracted you to him or her in the first place.
Some people thrive on arguments and dramatic emotional outpourings but drama is a poor way to resolve problems or express discontent within relationships. It might make you feel important and the centre of attention but it's actually a very childish way of communicating your feelings. Screaming and rolling around inconsolably on the floor might have got you jelly beans when you were three but you're an adult now. This isn't an audition for a TV soap, this is your relationship so treat it with respect.
Romance and attentiveness don’t have to stop the moment you get together. It's good to regularly show your partner how much you care about him or her so that they don't feel taken for granted. Be tender and thoughtful: a surprise gift, a home-cooked meal or an evening out. It makes a person feel wanted and loved. It’s hard work and unsustainable if only one partner is making an effort. Be sure not to become lazy in a relationship.
Don't take your partner for granted or start treating them like an accessory that tags along. He or she is still the amazing person you wanted to be with six months ago so treat them like it.
Nobody is perfect. Accept that your partner will make mistakes, has imperfections and won't always be at his or her best. Neither will you! Don't expect your partner to be a perfect relationship machine. Nobody is born with expert relationship skills and we all have bad days.
Don't let your past or the past of your partner spoil what you have now. If you've been hurt in relationships before it doesn't mean it'll happen with your current partner. Don't make his or her life harder because someone hurt you once. Perhaps your boy or girlfriend has had lots of partners before you but don't assume that they are fickle or incapable of monogamy. People can change. Go into a new relationship with a clean slate.
Don't be a doormat. While it's normal to want to please your partner and make them happy this shouldn't be at the expense of your own needs. It's okay to say no once in a while and it's okay to disagree. It's easy to get into the habit of trying to keep someone happy at all costs, especially if you're insecure, but you'll become a pushover and lose confidence. Ironically, by becoming subordinate you'll be less attractive to your partner who remembers the confident and self-respecting you. Standing up for yourself doesn't have to be an aggressive thing. Being assertive means that you are looking out for yourself and keeping the relationship balanced. So if you don't like the fact that he spends every night out with his mates getting drunk, don't send him off with a six-pack and a smile on your face.
If your partner is having a tough time, be there to listen and comfort him or her and offer advice if you can. Being in a relationship means working through problems together. If you have difficulty showing your emotions or being physically warm, get some practice now. It's no good for your relationship if you leave the room the moment your partner sheds a tear! Relationships are a lot of fun but there will be times when you may really need each others' strength and support. A hug goes a long way; you don't need to be a trained counsellor or have all the answers to provide that.