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Relationships can give a lot of meaning to a person’s life. And a successful relationship takes a lot of work and trust to build. Whether if it’s a relationship with a friend or a romantic partner, navigating their personality and issues takes time. But when it comes down to it, a friend or a partner should be there for you when times get tough and you need support. But what are the rules for having a successful relationship where you feel contented?

1. Be responsible for your own happiness

Don’t depend on your partner for all your happiness, because it’s unlikely they are able to give it. A full and happy life is made through a variety of things, including a relationship, but we need to have balance in where we get the happiness that makes us feel fulfilled. Depending solely on your partner for your happiness is a recipe for disaster, you are bound to feel let down.

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2. Establish clear boundaries

Having clear boundaries that you respect is crucial. There’s a lot of exterior factors that can influence your relationship, be it, work, family, or friends; it’s important not to let them influence you. Having boundaries on what is okay for you and your partner is key. Maybe it’s just that you want some time to yourself now and then, but if your partner didn’t respect this boundary, you might end up feeling really exasperated and frustrated. You and your partner should respect each other’s boundaries because everybody has them!

3. Agree to disagree

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Realizing that you and your partner don’t agree on something shouldn’t be devastating. Even though we like to think of our partner as our better half that always sees things our way, usually that’s just not the case. People are different in many ways. They have beliefs about religion, politics, and life and it doesn’t matter how much they love you, sometimes that’s not going to change. But it’s okay.

It would be quite odd if you found someone who completely echoed your entire life view without flinching. Some disagreements are no big deal like where to eat dinner or what movie to watch together. But if you are arguing over who should be president, or which God to pray to, then take the time to discuss and respect each other’s views, never forcing your own on them (sometimes this can mean going your separate ways- but it’s better to have the honest conversation than not).

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Agreeing to disagree is a skill and should be allowed to develop. Instead of trying hard to force your opinion on your partner, just appreciate the difference.

4. Compromise

When it comes to what happens between two people, you can’t just do what you want all the time. So reaching a compromise is super important. It’s plain that you’re not going to get your way all the time. Someone in the relationship might require more attention for a period of time, and one person might be in a more supportive role. This is fine for some amount of the time. To be with someone means you’re with them through the ups and downs of their life and by necessity you might have to compromise your own needs in order to assist them.

5. Commit to honesty

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Lying is toxic, and everybody knows it. The only way to get what you really want out of your relationship is to commit to honesty and not back down, even when telling the truth is tough. By letting your partner know what’s on your mind, you can at least be assured you were clear. And it goes both ways, if you know your partner is honest with you, you have an easier time meeting their needs.

6. Practice kindness

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As you should always do, be kind. Remember that you are going to see your partner in all sorts of conditions. And they might require more kindness during certain periods than others. Whether they are going through a difficult time or they have certain pressures they are dealing with, being kind never cost anybody a thing.

7. Take time for yourself

It’s important that you are there for your partner, but remember that self-care is also really important. At least once a week take a day to do things that you find enjoyable by yourself, collect your thoughts and get in touch with yourself. Maintaining your sense of self is really important, and you should try to remember that even though you have a spouse that it’s not the end all and be all of your identity. A healthy relationship isn’t made up of two halves, but two wholes!

For more tips about relationships check out this article.

Psychology Today. The 7 ingredients of a healthy relationship https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201612/the-7-ingredients-healthy-relationship Published: December 5, 2016. Accessed: December 20, 2016.

Youtube. Mass appeal 7 key ingredients for a healthy relationship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSHy7UXt1sI

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