Who should you ask for relationship advice? Getting the wrong advice can make matters worse. Do you ask the friend with the seemingly happy relationship? Or the one who survived a breakup and knows what not to do? The fact is, both kinds of people have some useful information to share.
Some relationship advice that never fails is, when you are talking to someone, ask yourself “Are my words and actions loving and kind?” You can’t go wrong there.
One problem I’ve seen is, sometimes the folks who seem to need relationship advice are guys, and they never ask for advice. That would be like asking for directions, right? (I’m kidding, and I’m a guy so I can make fun of guys all I want.)
Here is some relationship advice for both men and women, that I’ve heard from a variety of people with successful and not-so successful relationships.
1. The courtship should never end. People are on their best behavior during the dating phase, but once they settle down they might get lazy. This is one reason that some people have a fear of commitment. They worry that once “the honeymoon is over” so to speak, the other person will take them for granted. They see it happen to other couples. On the other hand, if we continue to make an effort to “woo” the other person, we will continue to get a positive response from them. Hopefully they will do the same for us.
2. Hang on to your other friends too. Have you ever seen a couple that becomes close and then starts to drift away from their old friends? One man told me “My wife drives away all of my old friends. Now I go to dinners and say to the other husbands, I’m ____’s husband, who are you, what do you do?” Meanwhile a woman told me “My guy gets jealous of our girl’s nights out. He’s too possessive, and I’m losing some of my longtime friends.” These complaints are very common. Let your loved one maintain his or her friendships, and you do the same. It is best for both of you.
3. Always speak with kind words. You can’t take something back that you have said. Once spoken, the damage is done. Speak kindly or don’t speak at all, (just like Mom told you). This does not mean you let the other person verbally walk all over you. But keep the personal attacks to a minimum. Do you remember some really mean thing that a person said to you in the past? Many people do, and they still hold a grudge. On the other hand, kind words are also remembered, often for a lifetime. Remember that teacher that was more kind to you than all the others? Sure you do. And you still feel a fondness for that kind person.
The major cause of human dissatisfaction
is the absence of love. ~ Dr. John Gray
4. Think of love as a verb, as something you do. Love is not just a feeling you have if you are lucky, it is something you give and demonstrate and do. While it is nice to say “I love you” and important to do so often,you also have to show people that you love them. Give them hugs every day. What does it cost you to hug people? Nothing but a moment of your time. How much time do you spend watching television or gossiping? Yes we all certainly do have plenty of spare time for hugs. Also do small things for the other person without being asked. The small gestures mean a lot. Show you care, show you love them, show that they mean a lot to you and are always in your thoughts. One survey showed that men who help with the housework have a more active love life, because their partners appreciate that help so much.
5. Avoid people who are negative about relationships. There are some people out there who seem to have a virus that causes breakups. Be careful who you spend time with. If one of your friends is constantly talking about relationship problems and saying negative comments about yours, run away. I once knew some people who all lived on the same street and were friends. One couple broke up and soon all of them were breaking up. The one couple spent all of their time complaining to the rest about their partners. Soon everyone was in the same negative groove, focusing on their partner’s faults. Be careful what you focus on, it may just show up in your life.
6. Appreciate the differences that make you each individuals. You don’t want to be in a relationship with a clone of yourself. So appreciate and enjoy the differences, the things that make the other person who they are. You like gardening but they are crazy about golf? Great, that gives you something to talk about. Avoid constant nagging comments that all basically say the same “Why can’t you be more like me?” theme. I’ll bet that people you know sometimes say this to you in one form or another.
7. Quit trying to change the other person. If you are not happy with them for who they are, why are you together? You can’t buy a fixer upper in a relationship. People are not real estate. One of the greatest frustrations is when one person wants the other to change and become someone they are not. If the other person never wore dressy clothing, they are not suddenly going to start wearing designer labels one day. Find someone who is already your type and leave the fixer upper work to the home improvement folks.
8. Realize that real life is not like the movies. Many people watch a romantic movie and expect real life to be like that “perfect romance” in the fantasy story. Sorry but nobody is perfect, including you and me. If you find the perfect person please send them to meet me okay? I’m far from perfect so having someone who is would be quite interesting. Seriously folks, make sure you are not letting a make-believe ideal take away your joy. Romantic books and films are great entertainment, and might inspire you to be more romantic, but don’t compare your partner to that fantasy character or you’ll be disappointed.
9. Catch your partner doing something right. In the book titled The One Minute Manager, the authors advise managers to catch their coworkers doing something right and compliment them on it. That encourages people to do more of the right thing. On the other hand, constantly criticizing has the opposite effect. When you were a kid did one of your parents say something like “When will you everhelp put the dishes away?” Then when you put them away did the parent say “No the spoons go here and the forks go there, ohhhhh!” Not such great encouragement huh? People are starved for praise, it is like sunshine and water to a struggling plant. Pour some on and watch your desired behavior flourish in the other person.
10. Appreciate the good things about your partner. Do you focus on the good, or focus on the negative? It can make a world of difference. Many people are constantly comparing their partner to someone else. Meanwhile they ignore and fail to appreciate their partner’s many good qualities. It is like when someone you know gets a new car or home and suddenly everyone feels like their car or home is not good enough. However if you compare your life and your partner to people living in a third world country you will realize how wealthy and spoiled you are by comparison to the less fortunate people. Quit the constant comparison shopping, and instead try to spend some time focusing on all the positive qualities of your partner. Have an attitude of gratitude and you will feel a lot more love in your relationship.
If you have some of your own proven relationship advice to share, feel free to comment below.