Life gives us a chance to feel the love and warmth that being in a relationship brings. However, no matter how romantic, sweet and strong relationship is, it requires a lot of hard work to build it.
When you enter into a relationship, the bigger goal is always to stay happy, to be a strong team, and to make the relationship last.
Staying in a good relationship can pull you up, but staying in a bad and toxic one can also pull your life down.
Here are things that you should avoid if you want to learn how to build a strong relationship that is better and long-lasting:
1. You try to change the other person.
You can only change yourself, not the other person.
However, you can let your partner know what it is you like and don't like, what they may have said or done that you find offensive, or what your standards are.
Lay your cards on the table so that you both of you will know what you expect from each other.
While you cannot change a person completely, if they love and respect you, they will aim to be a better person for you.
Do not expect this change to happen overnight, though, as it takes a lot of effort and willpower from your partner to decide for themselves and to make it a goal to be a better person to make your relationship grow.
2. You are narcissistic.
Let's get the truth out: no, the world does not revolve around you.
When you enter into a relationship, do not be the one who goes through the whole dinner date talking about yourself, your interests, your good (or bad) day, your family, and your life; this is what a narcissist does.
You think that everyone is so interested in you and would love to spend four whole hours just listening to you talk.
When you are in a relationship, make it a habit of giving and taking.
Being a good listener is just as important as being a good talker.
Listening is a part of a good conversation, which is key to a good and strong relationship.
Your partner will appreciate it when you take time to listen to what they've got to say, too.
Take time to ask your partner questions and listen to their answers, their problems, and their opinions.
3. You expect your partner to be exactly like you.
Men and women are different creatures: they are worlds apart from each other.
As the saying goes, "Men are from Mars; women are from Venus."
A woman was created differently from a man, and it is very wrong to expect your partner to be exactly just as you are.
Your relationship will fail if you use your differences to pull you apart from each other, instead of uniting each other and finding a way to work through these differences.
You should celebrate these differences as a part of your relationship; these differences will make your relationship more fun and more exciting.
4. You do not respect each other.
When two people are in a monogamous relationship, you should see each other as co-equals.
No one is above the other. It will make your partner so much happier if they feel like they are cared for, loved, and most of all respected.
It is wrong to say that you love a person deeply if you do not even show respect and appreciation towards your partner.
When you start nurturing and respecting them, they also begin to contribute more to the relationship.
You will be surprised to see that arguments tend to be less, and sweet moments become more frequent.
Respect is always an essential element of any human involvement.
5. You complain too much.
If you complain all the time about your partner, then maybe it is better that you do not stay together anymore.
You cannot say you love a person when all that you see in them are the negative traits.
You have to realize that your partner is not perfect and they will never be.
Do not use their flaws as something that you can use to complain about them or to insult them.
Doing so will hurt the self-esteem of your partner, and this can lead to a very toxic and abusive relationship.
6. You allow yourself to get caught up in your anger.
Instead of fighting in the heat of the moment, it is best if you take time off from each other first and allow yourself to calm down.
It is pointless to try to communicate while you are angry; this will often lead to bigger arguments.
When you talk in anger, sometimes you will say words that you will regret saying later on.
Let your mind cool down first, and then communicate and fix problems whatever it is you argued about gently, kindly, and lovingly.
It is a key for building strong relationships.
7. You forget special days.
Oh, what a bummer! How could you forget your special someone's birthday when it happens only once a year?
Let's include your anniversary and Valentine's Day, too!
If you're naturally the forgetful type, then please do note your special dates down in your planner or your cell phone's calendar.
Remember, you do not need to do anything grandiose for those occasions, especially if it is not feasible to do so.
Even the simplest gestures will mean so much, and the thought of just remembering those days will instantly make your significant other happy.
8. You refuse help.
When you've already been in the relationship for a long time, it is beneficial to have a refresher once in a while: go to a couple's retreat, attend a workshop, or read a relationship book together.
Even if you do not have any significant issues in your relationship, if you want your partnership to last, then you should be willing to seek improvement and advice.
You will be surprised to learn new things about each other or new ways to connect better.
9. You ignore each other when you're busy.
Being busy is not an excuse for you to ignore each other.
No matter how busy you may be, take time to send even a small message to say "Hello" or "I love you" and update your partner about how you are doing.
These little messages will help you feel emotionally connected despite your hectic schedules or the distance.
If you get used to ignoring each other's messages, not replying at all, or failing to say "good morning" and "good night," you are slowly leading yourselves apart from each other.
10. You are not each other's best friend.
Being, and staying, in a relationship goes beyond dating.
You have to start with being friends first.
The longer that you are in the relationship, the more you begin to realize that the romance will fade and dating will suddenly stop.
However, you can stay in love with each other by being the best of friends.
It is indeed a blessing to be in love with someone who considers you as their best friend, as you share more than just a romantic relationship, but you share a friendship, too.
As the song goes, "… lucky I'm in love with my best friend."
11. You are always tardy.
When you are going on a date or a trip somewhere, or whatever plan it is that you have made, arriving in late regularly will be a major turnoff for your partner.
You have to make your partner feel wanted and that you are excited to see them, and the best way to show this is to arrive on time.
Remember, if you are busy, your partner is also; however, despite it, they are giving you a portion of their precious time to nurture your relationship.
Do not take this time for granted by arriving late and for being sluggish.
12. You expect your partner to do all the work in the relationship.
The old proverb goes: "Do unto others what you want them to do unto you." So, put in the kind of effort that you expect from your partner as well.
Your partner will start to feel unwanted when it is only them who are putting in all the work to make the relationship work and all that you are doing is accepting all this effort.
You have to contribute to your relationship, too. If you feel like you are not getting enough love, then try giving out more love to your partner.
Do not be afraid to make the first move in making your significant other feel special and loved.
13. You always point out imperfections.
You have no right at all to insult your loved one based on their imperfections even when you are mad at each other or when they have made a mistake.
This is so because you are not a perfect person as well.
Pointing out each other's imperfections will only make you feel insecure about each other, and the worse that can happen is that they can get tempted to drift away from the relationship and to fall in love with somebody else.
Remember, there is no perfect person to love.
You just have to learn to give full acceptance to love and care for an imperfect person, but one who is perfect enough for you despite all their shortcomings.
14. You take each other for granted.
When you have been in the relationship for a long time, it can be easy to take each other for granted.
Make room for giving your partner the sense of appreciation that they deserve; they will be thrilled to see and hear compliments and kind words from you.
No one likes it when they have put so much effort and sacrifice into the relationship, and the other party has no sense of appreciation at all.
You will feel more connected with each other when you see that your efforts are not going down the drain.
15. You criticize your partner's beliefs.
If your partner has different beliefs as you do, then please do shy away from criticizing their beliefs.
For instance, differences in religion and race should not be used to divide you as a couple.
When you have full acceptance of how you were raised differently, how you practice different traditions, or how you worship differently, then you can stay in your relationship in peace and joy.
If you cannot find it in your heart to accept a person with different beliefs without criticizing them, then you should not enter into a relationship with them in the first place, to avoid any unnecessary conflict later on.
16. You always want things to go your way.
Let's say that you have just fought with your loved one.
You insist on solving the issue in a way that is beneficial for you and in a way that you want, and you do not take into consideration what it is your partner wants.
For example, you insist on talking about the problem in the presence of two other friends who know you both so well.
But you also know that your partner is shy in opening up in front of others and prefer talking in private.
It is very wrong for you to insist on things to go your way, without being willing to compromise and meet halfway or even listen to what it is that your partner wants.
When you are in a strong relationship, you have to accept that things will not always go your way and that sometimes it is right for you to approach issues in a manner that your partner will feel more comfortable and willing to have a discussion to solve the problem.
17. You belittle what your partner has achieved.
You have landed on the "Employee of the Month" list for six consecutive months in a row.
Your partner has only just fallen on this list for the very first time this month.
Right after work, during your date, they tell you excitedly about this achievement that they are so happy.
However, you start to belittle this achievement and brag about how you have been on that list way before they have been and that they shouldn't be proud of that just yet, as you've got a number to beat.
Being this kind of person will make your relationship weak; your partner will feel as if they are not good enough for you or your standards or that they can never make them proud.
Try to be that person who is so proud of her partner’s achievements no matter how big or small these achievements are.
18. You live in the past.
Disagreements are always reasonable in any relationship.
No one relationship in the world is free of any fights and arguments.
When you both are willing to work things out, you eventually fix all these arguments, and more often than not, you agree to move past these issues and move forward in your relationship.
When you have decided to this, your relationship grows and strengthens.
When another problem will arise, do refrain from bringing up the past issues that you have already previously solved.
When you live in the past, you are continually carrying extra weight on your shoulders even as you move on in your relationship.
Also, do not use the past mistakes of your partner that you have already forgiven as a ground for you to put them down later on in the future.
Live in the present and move on to the future without bringing in the past with you.
19. You are always on your phone.
Surely, you do not need to be on your phone at nine o'clock in the evening while being cozy on the couch with your loved one, watching your Saturday night movie.
When you are together, you both should give each other a hundred percent of undisturbed time and attention.
If you want to be busy with your phone instead, then do it while you are alone, or do not agree to a date night.
When you are always on your phone while you are together, your significant other may feel unimportant as you are choosing your mobile phone over precious time spent together.
Your partner will feel like as if you are intentionally ignoring them.
20. You compare your partner to others and set unrealistic expectations.
No, your partner will never be a prince charming just like the men you see in the movies or be as perfect as the Miss Universe.
Do set realistic expectations from your partner, and do not expect them to be more than what they can be.
Remember, every person has strengths that others do not have.
You may not know it, but while you are busy comparing your partner with someone else who seems better, there also might be another person wishing to have what it is that you have.
Do stay happy and contented with who you are and what you have as a couple.
If your partner can only afford to take you to another state at this moment, do not compare them with another person's partner who can travel to the Maldives as a couple.
What you can do instead is support each other and help build your dreams and goals together, financially, mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
Conclusion: for building a strong relationship and making it work.
Avoiding all these is still not a full guarantee that your relationship will work for the better.
It will significantly help, that's for sure, but there is no one uniform solution for all relationships.
When it gets hard for you to say active and happy in your relationship, take yourself back to when you met each other for the first time or when you first decided to be a couple.
Remind yourself again of what it was that made you choose them and bring yourself back to those moments and to those feelings.
Do not be afraid to start all over again and love better and stronger.
I will stop here. If you loved reading this guide on how to build a strong relationship then you'll also love this powerful video presentation.