Maintaining a relationship is hard work, whether it is with a friend or a lover. The early days of any relationship are rightfully called the honeymoon period, with long conversations, sharing of interests, and general getting to know one another. But the relationship can start to collapse if the initial impetus does not continue. How you conduct the relationship and how much effort you invest in it after a certain period of time become the defining features of your relationship.
1. Being 100% there while your partner is speaking is really important. You may think that you can multitask while listening to someone else, but… not true. Our brain can handle only one task at a time, and therefore, it suspends work on one thing while completing the other. Something similar happens to us when we think that we can drive and have a conversation at the same time.
2. Maintaining eye contact is an interesting way to deepen a conversation without words being spoken, as it increases intimacy. The eyes are the windows to our soul; the deeper one looks into them, the deeper one can see into our very being. Our vulnerabilities are visible through our eyes, and maintaining eye contact is an established way of offering oneself up for intimacy.
3. Hormones are important. The increased production of oxytocin is a result of physical affection. Most of the time we feel tired after an intimate session of lovemaking. This is quite natural and nothing to feel guilty about. The investment we make in the relationship is visible when we take the effort to cuddle, draw the other person closer, and engage in other acts of physical tenderness. These help the tired feeling vanish and draw us closer as well.
4. Sharing feelings of spirituality is a great way to open up to another. Our religion or spirituality is something that is deep, meaningful, and valuable to us. Allowing another person access not only shows that we trust him or her, but also allows different worldviews to coexist. We may view our beliefs in a different light once we have taken the trouble to share them with somebody close to our heart. It draws people closer and helps propagate the feeling of communion which is very much lacking in today’s world.
5. Paying attention to what the other person is saying seems like such a simple tip, but this is something we all fail to do at times. We are so caught up in our daily schedules, in our work, and in ourselves that we hardly have time to really sit down and listen to others. We give them a cursory hearing and feel better that our job is done. This only helps separate people and creates misunderstandings and tension. You will find that if you really listen to someone, you can gauge a lot about the person through the nuances of his or her voice than what he or she is actually saying.
6. Acceptance is the key to understanding. We often have to compromise on a lot of small things in order to realize the greater goals of togetherness. For example, it doesn’t really matter if your partner refuses to like the TV show that you are such a fan of. At the end of the day, will these things count or will issues like trust, dependence, and love be counted? So accept the fact that your partner is an individual entity with individual likes and dislikes that may not be in accordance with your own. Acceptance holds the key to a successful relationship.
7. Being emotionally available to our partner is something that should come naturally to us but often doesn’t. The reason is similar to the point discussed above. We are so caught up in our affairs that we build a shell around ourselves and don’t let people get to know the real us. This may be due to insecurity or lack of trust. Needless to say, lack of trust and insecurities do not make for a successful or healthy relationship. Being emotionally available to your partner is the perfect way of sharing a life together.
8. Support: There are four kinds of support according, to research. Newlyweds have claimed that physical and emotional support, as well as informational support and support to self-esteem, are all very important. Supporting your partner through thick and thin, making him or her feel that they can count on you, is such an important thing in a relationship that it cannot be overstated. The right kind and the right level of support is the real trick. You don’t want to stifle the other person with your constant advice, but you also should be there for him or her when they need it. Striking a balance in this case is absolutely crucial.
9. Laughing together is another important activity because it helps us unwind and is the perfect way to make a fight dissolve. Laughing is not just something we do at a joke, but it is an established form of social interaction and resolving undefined tensions between people.
10. Finding common interests is very important. Don’t let the seven-year itch get you or your relationship down. Find and pursue common interests together. There are only so many sweet nothings you can whisper in the course of a relationship. Finding common interests will help you both grow together.