Many of us start out wonderfully in fantastic new healthy relationships. We soak in every moment of our partner and relish in every word. We feel connected and stimulated both in and out of the bedroom. While the initial merger may seem natural, maintaining the relationship may not come so naturally.
There are a number of techniques necessary to build relationships that transcend time, but both partners must have the emotional intelligence to effectively communicate with each other and overcome the obstacles that life hurls their way.
To building relationships that are strong, we must build our foundation upon seven pillars. The first pillar is honesty. You must be honest with yourself and with your partner to create close interpersonal relationships. With honesty comes trust, and you must be able to trust your partner in every way and put keeping their trust as a top priority. The third pillar is respect.
You must respect each other’s strengths, shortcomings, dreams, goals, personality and opinions. The fourth pillar is communication, which requires time, attentiveness and good listening skills. Attention is the fifth pillar, which means showing that you’re thinking about your partner, enjoying time together and sending positive energy their way on a regular basis.
The sixth pillar is intimacy. This entails more than just sex relationships but also letting your guard down, trusting, sharing and respecting the other person. The last pillar is commitment, which is essential to a good, strong relationship.
There are five key skills needed to build relationships that are strong, positive and enduring. Knowing how to manage stress is the first skill of emotional intelligence. Stress has the potential to disrupt communication, drain you of energy and damage the relationships.
You’ll need to recognize when you’re getting stressed and practice relaxation techniques to maintain control of your emotions. The second emotional intelligence skill is having the ability to control your emotions. It’s perfectly natural to feel anger, sadness and other emotions, but it’s how we communicate those emotions that matters.
You must be in-tune with yourself to recognize how your past has shaped your present. Nonverbal communication is emotional intelligence skill #3. Eye contact, good posture, touching one’s arm, keeping a calm tone of voice and smiling are all techniques to use when communicating with your partner. The ability to use humor and play is the fourth key to happy social relationships and the ability to resolve conflicts is the fifth skill.
Almost all relationships advice centers on making time for one another. Once you build relationships, quality time spent together is the glue that holds intimate relationships together. “Couples need to spend a lot of time with each other,” says Dr. David Kaplan, chair of the counseling department at Emporia State University in Kansas. “There is no substitute for quantity of time.”
He advises spending at least 15 minutes each day with a personal one-on-one conversation. Additionally, he says couples should take half a day each week to go out on a date. Getting physical is also essential, whether you’re 20, 40 or 60.
Relationships sex may not need to happen every day, but partners should be on the same page for how often it should happen. You may feel guilty taking off work on Saturdays to plan a date with your spouse, but quality time is the best way to make old, stale relationships feel like new relationships again.