By: Patrick K. Porter PhD We all want to have loving, positive relationships in our lives. If you are having problems building the relationships you want, do you know what’s stopping you? While I would like to credit my charm, wit and good looks for winning the love of my life, the truth is, my positive attitude and the fact that I learned the life skills necessary to have a successful relationship were the secret to my success. As human beings, we strive to find fulfilling relationships, the kind that uplift us and bring us joy. It’s the lament of single people everywhere that they can’t find a partner, or once they find a partner, they can’t seem to maintain a lasting, loving relationship. In my experience, we are all capable of finding true love and building lasting, rewarding relationships. Read on to learn the 7 life skills you’ll need.
- Communication – This is the obvious one, but it’s easier in theory than in practice. Communication isn’t about what you say, nor is it about body language. Communication is about the response you elicit. Pay more attention to how what you say and do affects others, then modify your behavior accordingly. With this one simple skill, you’ll be well on your way to building excellent communication skills.
- Knowing Your Partner – What’s your partner’s favorite food? Does your partner enjoy lovemaking more in the morning or at bedtime? When you know a lot about your partner, it shows that you care. Just being around someone all the time doesn’t cut it. You need to be observant and attentive. More importantly, you need to ask—and listen.
- Arguing Productively – This means you stay focused on a fair resolution and can let go of the need to be right. You are able to keep the conversation focused on the present, are ready to forgive or apologize, and you know when and how to take a break when necessary.
- Providing Security – Studies show that people usually want their partners to contribute a degree of security to a long-term relationship. Do you practice good financial planning? Do you exercise and stay fit? People want their partners to take good care of themselves and provide stability.
- Committing to Self-Improvement – Nobody’s perfect, but imperfections are less irritating when we see someone striving to improve. Self-improvement takes time and commitment. Following advice in self-help books and taking time out for meditation are just a couple of ways you can endeavor to do better.
- Being Romantic – People with strong skills in this area care about how to please their partner. They remember to be affectionate and set aside time for intimacy, and they work on staying physically attractive for their partner.
- Practicing Stress Management – Do you know how to use breathing, meditation, or visualization techniques to help you control stress? We are all better people when stress is low. With a little time for yourself each day, you’ll be better able to love and support your partner.