We often forget quite what an impact relationships have on everything from our productivity to our overall well-being. They're worth prioritising!
Even the best relationships have room for growth too. No one taught you what makes a good relationship though or how to make a relationship work!
That's why it's part of my mission to teach and guide you to better relationships. Strengthen your romantic relationship for greater love, connection and fulfilment. Let's start with 5 tips for forging even better relationships.
1. Figure out what you want - and don't settle
One of the best things you can do to make your relationship better is to talk about what you want. I know this can be difficult if you're not used to talking about your feelings.
Knowing what you want is a crucial first step. The second step is communicating those needs and desires to your partner. This will go a long way in making your relationship work for you.
So to help you with the first step - knowing what you want, here are some prompts to get you going.
- What are your must haves?
- What are your dealbreakers?
- What's nice to have but not crucial?
Knowing this will help you figure out your boundaries - what's worth fighting for, and what isn't.
You might find my recent article about improving your relationship with yourself helpful. After all, any relationship change initiative has to start with ourselves. Go ahead and read this next: 5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Yourself this Valentine's Day
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Once you’ve gotten clear on your relationship boundaries and desires, it’s time to communicate them to your partner. Communication is vital in any relationship, no surprise there right? It's especially important when you're trying to improve things or deepen your connection.
Goal, Desires & Relationship Expectations
Discuss your goals, desires and expectations with your partner and be open to hearing theirs. The best relationships I see, communicate openly and vulnerably.
Communicating your needs and desires on an ongoing basis is a core habit that helps make a relationship work.
What do you reeeally want?
A little coaching tip here is to dig a little deeper. Get to the root of what you both want deep down and why.
You might think about your attachment styles and love languages for example. These are so often tied to our childhood experiences and relationships with family members.
Taking the time to discuss these things in depth will help you get on the same page and start working towards a shared goal. You’re not a mind reader and you’re partner likely isn’t either (that would be kinda scary).
It’s easy to assume they know what you want or that you’re working towards the same goal, but assumptions are the pitfall of many relationships!
So rather be safe than sorry and get explicit about your desires, expectations and boundaries.
3. Be honest with each other
Honesty is vital in any relationship. It goes hand in hand with the open and vulnerable communication we talked about earlier. If you're not honest with each other, it's only a matter of time before the cracks start to show. This isn’t only about the things you say but also the things you don’t say.
We all have skeletons in our closets or things that we’re embarrassed/ afraid to share with loved ones. The more you let that hold you back though, the more you’re creating a distance between you and your partner.
The brick wall between you
Think of it as a brick wall that slowly builds up between you. Each time you hold back from sharing your truth, another brick gets added. The truth includes any habits or behaviours in your partner that bug you, or anything that’s not sitting right with you.
All these seemingly little ‘bugs’ can build up and lead to resentment, distancing and even closing off from each other. That’s definitely not conducive to a happy, loving, deeply fulfilling relationship.
Let them share too
Now, this goes both ways. Make sure you give your partner a chance to share what’s on their mind. Also, keep in mind that they may need more time or gentle encouragement before they feel safe in sharing.
Think about what you can do to make them feel as safe and comfortable as possible. That will show care and consideration for their feelings and needs.
Let's not forget that all relationships are a two-way street. So honest and open communication is another key part of making a relationship work.
4. Be open to change
Change is scary, especially when it comes to something as personal and important as romantic relationships. It can be so tempting to stay in our comfort zones and avoid the unknown. However, change is also so often a catalyst for growth (a part of you knows this already, right?).
When we are willing to embrace change and try new things, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and experiences. That openness brings us closer to our partner, strengthening the relationship.
So to make your relationship work, it's important to be open to change in all aspects of your relationship. The change could come from learning to communicate better with each other. Or it could be learning to change certain behaviours that trigger your partner. Change can also come from trying new things both in and out of the bedroom.
In the bedroom
In the bedroom, I recommend starting by communicating your boundaries. Boundaries don't actually take away your creativity or fun, they give you a safe container to play in. With those in place, you can share, even show how you like to be touched.
As you build a safe, trusting dynamic you can share more about your desires and fantasies. You may even enjoy exploring fantasies together through role-play or erotic literature.
Toys & more
If you're so inclined, you can build up to experimenting with new toys. There are so many fun options out there these days that don't have to be intimidating. You might get some great inspiration from online stores like joujou.com.au.
Have fun scrolling through the many options alone or with your partner. Or find a physical store and go with either your partner or a group of girlfriends and make a day of it. I'm envisioning lots of champagne, giggles and learning unexpected things about your friends.
Be sure to look back at what you discovered earlier about your needs and desires. Now's a great time to put that into practice.
Side note: I'm struggling to find a nice women-friendly physical retailer in Melbourne or Sydney to recommend. If you have any suggestions please send them my way.
Outside of the bedroom
Doing new things together
Outside of the bedroom, you can try out new hobbies or explore new places together. You might enjoy taking a class or attending a workshop to learn something new. Or challenge yourselves by doing a tantra workshop for example. Try something that's a smidge out of your comfort zone.
Doing new things together is a way to get more comfortable with change. It's also a great opportunity to learn more about each other and strengthen your connection. Communication and connection definitely contribute to a better relationship.
By initiating new activities in and out of the bedroom, you're showing that you're committed to making the relationship work. It demonstrates a willingness to put in the effort to keep things fresh and exciting.
Breaking out of our routines and trying new things also helps us grow as individuals, not only as a couple. Yay for personal development!
Switch things up
Don't let your relationship become like that forgotten sweater in the back of your closet.
Don't let your relationship become like that forgotten sweater in the back of your closet. This goes for those of you who have been with your partner/ spouse for 10+ years too!
A fun, passionate long-term relationship requires you to break free from the day-to-day monotony once in a while. What makes a good relationship, and a fun one is the ability to explore and evolve together.
Of course, it's important to remember that change doesn't always have to be drastic. Small changes can also have a big impact on your relationship. An activity can be as simple as cooking a new meal together or taking a walk in a new park. When in doubt, start small!
5. Seek help if needed
I know you want to fix everything on your own, or at least try on your own first - I get it!
Sometimes we have to accept that it’s either beyond our expertise or unnecessarily hard to fix on our own. So before you stress yourself out anymore or get overwhelmed, please accept help.
Reach out to a safe, non-judgmental, neutral person that can give you both perspective and practical advice. If you want to book a quick call with me, click the link below. It's a great place to start without any obligations: https://app.simplymeet.me/zoe/15min
Make your relationship even better!
Want to know what makes a good relationship or how to make your relationship work? Consider online relationship coaching. I take a holistic look at relationships factoring in all aspects of your life.
Through evidence-based mind-body practices, you will gain powerful new insights and fresh perspectives. I'll also help you unpack unhelpful habits and create new healthy patterns. Reach your relationship goals in a faster more joyful way!