It Takes Two, Baby (Relationships)

A good relationship won’t just fall into your lap ” you need to work at it.

Companionship is a basic human need. It’s in our nature to seek love, affection and someone to share our lives with. If the relationship we have with that special someone is strong and healthy, our lives our fulfilled ” it’s the key to happiness.

Recent research carried out by Relationships Australia found that 94 per cent of people believed that a strong relationship was the most important thing in their lives ” even more important than financial security.

The thing is, strong and healthy relationships don’t just happen by themselves. They take work. You need to listen to your partner, and learn how to communicate effectively with each other. Good communication means sometimes agreeing to disagree, and respecting your partner’s point of view. You need to share a vision for your future together, and share the same values.

Relationships Australia offers this advice to help you build a strong relationship:

  • One of the most important things in a relationship is friendship ” learn to be mates as well as lovers;
  • Be willing to communicate and talk things through. Share openly with each other and work out a safe way to share good and bad feelings with each other;
  • Try not to criticise or put down your partner, and don’t judge them;
  • Show interest in how your partner is feeling, what they’re concerned about and what their dreams are for the future;
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings and encouraging your partner to do the same;
  • Take the time to have fun and spend time together;
  • Understand each other’s expectations of the relationship ” where do you want the relationship to go? Set goals together; and
  • Remember that it’s great to have shared interests, but you should also make room for differences.

To keep your relationship strong, you need to nurture it. Relationship expert and counsellor Elizabeth Dalzell offers these tips to keep things running smoothly and make sure your partner feels appreciated and loved:

  • Appreciate your partner, and remember to say “thank you”;
  • Look past faults and look at the positives;
  • Be affectionate! Saying “I love you” or giving you partner a hug can work wonders;
  • Share your responsibilities;
  • Don’t overreact to trivial things;
  • Find another way to release stress ” don’t take it out on your partner;
  • Find a healthy balance between family, friends, work and your relationship;
  • Try to solve problems together if you can;
  • Don’t try to change your partner ” it won’t work;
  • Learn to compromise and agree to disagree;
  • Don’t bring up the past ” focus on the future;
  • Be spontaneous – do things for or with your partner that they wouldn’t expect;
  • Don’t keep secrets from each other ” honestly is vital;
  • Remember birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates; and
  • Turn the TV off and spend some time together.

With a little work, you’ll be able to build a relationship that lasts, and that brings you and your partner happiness.


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