Key steps for a strong relationship foundation
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor
5th January, 20180 Comments
We would all like relationships to be strong and to stand the test of time, yet there are many reasons that relationships founder with the pressures of modern society. When building your relationship if it is to stand the test of time, the value of a strong foundation can make all the difference. Maintaining and reinforcing that foundation as your relationship develops helps you to build a strong relationship.
There are simple steps you can take to build a strong foundation for your relationship.
It is natural to want to show our best side especially in a new relationship. Yet it is vital that we show a real personality to the other person. If we present something false, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain and put strain on the relationship. Ultimately, it may lead to problems and the breakup later on. Being honest even with simple things helps develop trust and deepens the relationship.
A vital part of any relationship is able to communicate effectively. Often couples talk and share all the time with each other at the beginning of a relationship yet as time goes on the communication dwindles. Being open and vulnerable with your partner about your feelings and what is going on helps them to be empathic and sensitive to your needs.
There are simple things that you can do to aid communication in your relationship. Try to notice the positive things that your partner does express appreciation. When you talk to your partner, maintain eye contact. In conversation with your partner try to listen more than you talk.
No matter how good, all relationships will encounter conflict at some point. The way in which partners can handle conflict often says a lot about the health of the relationship. Ideally, it would be acting as to adults discussing how they could compromise on a problem. Yet often it becomes a shouting match of recrimination, holding grudges and sulking. Breaking out of this unhealthy pattern can make all the difference.
Taking simple steps can make it easier to discuss the issue. Agree to take it in turns to speak with no interruptions (set a time limit if necessary). Stick to one issue at a time, focusing on the solution not the history. If things start to get heated then take a timeout for 10 minutes.
Spend time apart
Continuing to have a life outside of your relationship is important to the health of that relationship. It helps to maintain independence and add a dimension to your relationship that keeps it fresh and new for the future.
Spending time both building a strong foundation and maintaining your relationship is important for the longevity of that relationship. Often as time goes on couples forget the maintenance part and as life gets in the road the relationship is put under strain. Going back to the basics that built the foundation will help to strengthen your relationship for the future.
About the author
Graeme is a counsellor and author living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice, he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.
Related articles from our experts
- Helping your partner make the changes you want to see
Eugene Gallagher BSc (Hons), MBA, MA, MBACP16th January, 2018
- Divorce can be worse than bereavement
Leslie Sheinman PhD* MBACP UKCP15th January, 2018
- The Other Woman
Marilyn McKenzie BSc, PGDip, MBACP14th January, 2018
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.