If there were a magic secret to relationships, someone would have already bottled it and made millions of dollars. But there are several ways to make your relationship strong and give it the best chance of lasting a lifetime. Most of them are common sense and some are just reminders of when the relationship was new. None of them is really a secret.
• Love. It’s not enough to love your partner, but you have to show them that you love them often. You should never be in a relationship if you don’t feel genuine love for someone, and feel comfortable expressing it.
• Respect. If you don’t respect the person you’re with, there’s little hope for the relationship. If you laugh at your partner, feel he or she is often a joke, dumb or worthy of some kind of scorn, then what’s the point?
• Kindness. Treat your partner with kindness always. A secret to relationships is to be as courteous when you’re alone and not feeling thrilled at that moment as you would with a stranger on the street.
• Thoughtfulness. Put your partner’s needs and desires at the top of your list. Little gestures are often some of the most powerful.
• Honesty. Lies can ruin a relationship quickly, even if they’re lies about nothing important. Don’t do anything deceptive and you’ll never have to lie in the first place.
All of those are important to a relationship and may be called the “secret to relationships.” But you really need all of them for a good relationship, and they’re things everyone already knows. The hard part can be figuring out how to express some of them.
Honest is pretty easy to show. Simply be open and honest during conversations. Don’t be afraid to let your partner see your true self, especially when you feel scared, sad, lonely or vulnerable.
Showing respect and showing kindness can go hand in hand. By treating your partner with respect, you show that you support them. You’ll back them up in their ideas and actions because you respect and believe in them.
Even when you don’t necessarily feel they’re doing the right thing, you can respect their decision and be kind in your words about it. Disagreeing pleasantly is a so-called secret to relationships.
Thoughtfulness and love can be expressed hand in hand, too. Telling your partner that you love him is one way to express love. But maybe he feels more loved when you reach out and rub his shoulders for a minute as you pass. Or you balance the checkbook so he doesn’t have to do it.
People perceive love differently. If you can find what your partner perceives as the most loving thing and do that, you’re expressing your love perfectly for that person. And you’re being thoughtful, too. You’re thinking of that person and trying to make them happy.
If you combine these things and apply them, then you’ve found the secret to relationships that can make your partnership a happy one.