Carrie Bradshaw once wondered, “When you love someone and you break up, where does the love go?”
When a relationship is falling apart and partners claim that they ‘fell out of love’, one couldn’t help but wonder what it takes to have a long-lasting relationship and love that stays fresh.
Personally, I think that many couples today give up too soon on love. They fail to understand that happy couples are made, not born. The most genuine and valuable relationship skills are those that may take a lifetime to perfect.
Below are 3 skills that are easy to master that will improve your relationship and give you head start.
Active listening, especially when you and your partner disagree with each other can be really difficult, but it is an important skill that can do wonders for the quality of your relationship. It builds trust, intimacy, and love.
What constitutes active listening? Well, for starters, a lot of not talking. But the most important thing, I think, is listening to your partner without judging. This means you, being able to listen to them speaking and not plotting a counter-argument in your head. Instead, listening to them and thinking about the advice that you will offer that can improve your relationship.
COMMUNICATING WHAT YOU WANT
I know that this may sound cliché, but ask any marriage and relationship counselor and they will tell you that it is a mystery to most couples. Learning how to communicate your needs and desires to your partner is one of the crucial things of every successful relationship.
But why is this skill so hard to many people? Probably because we (falsely) assume that we already know the answer or maybe because we are scared of our partner’s response. And in many cases, we just don’t know how to communicate our needs effectively.
The biggest mistake that you can make is expressing what you want with demands, rather than wishes. Demands are self-centered and selfish, while wishes are centered on valuable things you both cherish like freedom, equality, peace, and joy.
SAYING “I AM SORRY”
Nobody’s perfect and everyone is prone to mess up and make mistakes at some point in the relationship. We may even unintentionally hurt the person we love the most, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t value the person and the relationship.
We are human beings, and the question should not be whether we are going to hurt our partner, but whether we can apologize afterward.
The happiest couples are those who are humble toward other people. They know that blaming the other person is something that only the weak people do. Instead of jumping to defensive mode, they recognize their flaws and make amends. Their ego never gets in the way of their love.
Image: Jordan Voth