Relationship building, regardless of love, career, or family, requires effort. How many times have you been in a relationship and it failed? Too many times, we assume. We have all had relationships that did not last in our lives, and it is always unfortunate when they end. This is especially true when you could have saved the relationship with some effort. But, how do you learn how to build relationships that last? Do you learn it with friends? At home? At school?
Each relationship should be looked at on a case to case basis. Even then, there is an art to building lasting ties with anyone. Be it with your significant other, your children, your family, or your colleagues, here are the seven things you need to remember in relationship building.
Relationship Building 101
Before we start talking about what you need to remember, let’s first talk about what you need to understand. Like most philosophies, relationship building can be broken down into three important aspects that can make it stronger: these are communication, action, and compromise.
Every one of these three building blocks has important elements that lend to making the relationship better. Communication gives not only passion to the connection but wisdom to it. Action strengthens the ties that bind through effort. Compromise melds you and your partner into a cohesive unit -- an “us” rather than a “me” and “you.”
Relationship building through proper communication
Communication is the building block of any upcoming relationship. It involves consistently listening, talking, and discussing any and everything under the sun. It can make the bonding more colorful, from discovering new things about your significant other to knowing what to say or not say.
You don’t have to both be chatty or talkative to communicate, but we do not recommend overt secrecy. The unknown makes people uncomfortable. Overthinking eats people from the inside. You don’t want that in any situation for you, or the other party.
Talking to each other can lead to a sturdy foundation for your future relationship, as long as you follow these essentials to proper communication.
1. Consider their wants and needs
People have expectations in every relationship. There are minimum standards that people are willing to work with, and this varies from person to person. Your wants may be incompatible with their wants; their needs more so.
Sit down and do your best to remember what both of you want and need. You will hear through your everyday conversations what the other wants and needs. Be sure to listen, truly listen.
Deep listening seems to be an underrated value when people communicate. According to Psychology Today, the most effective way to bring growth and change is to listen actively. They note that people who feel heard “tend to be more open, more democratic in their ways, and are often less defensive.”
If your significant other is unsure about themselves, discover their wants and needs through casual questions. Show you are interested in them. Once you know what they want and need, make sure they know that you’re working towards the realistic fulfillment of their wants. Show them that you are also expecting the same treatment from them.
2. Know what they love and hate
Knowing what they love and hate sounds like the same as knowing what they want and need, but it’s not. While wants and needs tend to be something personal and material, love and hate are situational and based on emotions.
What people love is a product of their upbringing and as long as it does not harm both of you and the relationship, should be encouraged. Make them laugh. Make them smile. Give them surprises if they love them. Understanding what your significant other loves can bring you closer to knowing each other deeper. Encourage them to do the same as well.
Participate in their hobbies when you can and even try to enjoy it. Studies show that shared experiences carry an idea of novelty to a relationship, and as long as both parties enjoy it, your brain will keep flooding your brain with neurochemicals for pleasure and happiness.
At the same time, relationship building will entail understanding what your significant other hates. These hates tend to create landmines within a bond that you both need to avoid as much as possible.
You are not expected to tiptoe your way into a perfect relationship, but rather minimize them to reduce grief where you can. There are certain ideas, big and small, that can irk them. According to the University of Chicago, simple experiences, good and bad, tend to shape people’s daily progress in life.
Adding more loves, or positive things, in somebody’s life can provide goal progress through small positives. The same happens as well if people experience more of the things they hate in life, impeding their goal progress as they make bad decisions in life. Doing what you and your significant other love can strengthen the bond beyond what passion can bring to your relationship.
Making actions speak louder in relationship building
The second building block of relationship building is action. An action is an act of putting physical and mental effort into the relationship. There are a lot of things that can be considered action. The act of communication alone can overlap with action. Inaction is always obvious for the other party, leading to possible frustration.
Bonds stay strong by acting upon the needs of everyone in the relationship and keeping it satisfied. Negligence of each other’s needs can corrode whatever passion you both started with during the early stages of your partnership.
3. Understanding your relationship priorities
Relationship priorities are the daily activities that you should be doing to maintain a semblance of order between you and your significant other. This is a careful balancing act that you are required to contend with in your life.
In any relationship, there will be personal priorities, career, religion, family, friends and even more. As we get more connected, we get more options for what to prioritize. Confusion and uncertainty are normal in these situations.
In the strictest idea of relationship building, you want to show to your partner that you value them regardless of the level of priority you put them in your life. Prioritize yourself above everything else. Why do we say this? Why yourself rather than your relationship building partner at number one?
By prioritizing your well-being, you equip yourself with the ability to take care of others. You can show to your partner that you are capable of taking care of yourself and then, by extension, them. Self-care can come in the form of independent aesthetic care, healthcare, financial care, etc. Once you act on yourself, you can reflect on what is the value of your relationship and act accordingly.
4. Show gestures -- however big or small
A gesture, by definition, is an action performed to convey one’s feelings or emotions. In relationship building, it’s important to make sure that you act on every opportunity you get to make you and your partner happy.
Whether it’s a business relationship, familial relationship, or romantic relationship, showing to your significant other that they are important to you can help them have confidence in the partnership. Experts swear by the fact that even the littlest things help promote connection and intimacy for your relationship, which is true in any form of a human bond.
Sure, a brand spanking new car is impressive in a romantic relationship, but not everyone can afford expensive things. Compliment your partner. Tell them you’re proud of them. Remind them that you’ll be there through thick and thin. Thank them. Do small things for them.
Do not forget to celebrate in matters of relationship success as well. The small things are important sure, but celebrating the good things that happen in life doesn’t hurt. Through gestures, you show your partner that they are important, which helps reinforce their self-worth.
Relationship building with the art of compromise
Compromise is the culmination of communication and action in relationship building. There’s no use talking and doing without you caring for the other side. Most of the time, what they want may be asymmetric with your desires. As long as there’s careful understanding, however, you would want to have a healthy give and take relationship. Knowing how to kindly give and take makes compromise easier for both of you.
All of these should be two-way, rather than just one of you benefiting from the entire relationship. Here are the seven things that you should remember to make sure communication, action, and compromise work.
5. Try to understand their feelings
Passion and compassion are important in any relationship. They are important components to understanding your partner’s feelings. Why should you know when to understand? When should you understand?
Regardless of how compatible you are with your partner, there will be moments of misunderstanding. Incompatible moods, incongruent actions, immiscible circumstances -- there will be a lot of situations where you will disagree. When this happens, the only way to properly understand them is to walk in their shoes.
Introspect. Ask yourself why your partner is doing things that can upset you. Listen to them. Anything apart from morally questionable or morally deplorable things, you would want to do your best to support them in their endeavors that try to move the relationship forward. Judge every decision within its own merits.
Understanding in relationship building makes both of you feel better than controlling each other’s lives. Walk together but lead separate lives. A relationship should not feel like a birdcage, but rather a journey of compassion and freedom.
6. Know when to demand
Knowing when to demand goes hand in hand with knowing when to be understanding. Demanding can be seen as a negative word, but it doesn’t have to. Rational demands keep the relationship from being abusive. It keeps the relationship honest, removing the idea that anyone in the relationship gets a doormat treatment.
Standing for yourself is as important as understanding your relationship partner. As long as understanding and demanding exist in equilibrium -- as a means to make sure the partnership is not only productive but focused on the mutual good for one another.
When do you have the right to demand?
Demand when the other side is being destructive. Try to demand when the other side is making mistakes that make the relationship fall apart. You should demand when they take you for granted. Demand when you think you are unloved and uncared for by your partner.
Even then, demand with an open mind. You are here to build a relationship, not end it. You are demanding to better the relationship, not to put it to ruin. Being logical in the circumstances of the relationship makes your demands stronger.
7. Foster trust in your relationship
Trust is one of the cornerstones of any relationship and the glue that makes relationship building stay together. Science has proven that distrust in relationships creates greater negative reactions to daily conflicts.
People need to trust because trust breeds security. It makes people confident that the other party is concerned with their needs and that they can depend on their partner.
Distrust leads to jealousy, callousness, and eventually partner abuse. People leave relationships because their partners do not trust them enough to be with friends, family, and other important people in their lives. People leave relationships because they cannot be trusted enough to behave. It becomes a vicious cycle that never ends.
Starting with a strong trust foundation in a budding relationship can help make habits that allow you to understand compromise in many circumstances. Trust creates a healthy relationship that may stand the test of time when properly taken care of by both partners.
What's Important in Relationship Building
Communication, action, and compromise are important building blocks of successful relationship building. Kind communication helps create a bond formed by mutual care, passion, and novelty. Action helps strengthen the relationship through gestures of mutual effort within the partnership. Compromise resolves conflict -- a perfect balance of fulfilling what you want and what your partner wants.
Relationships are hard to build. The foundation to a bond that can stand the test of time needs to be strong from beginning to end. Remember that your goal in a relationship is to create a beneficial two-way relationship.
Whether it is romantic love, career, love for family, or love for the community, bonds become unbreakable if all parties involved aim to further the relationship for the better, rather than to drag it down for self-interest. Make it your goal to provide kind care and genuine concern for one another, and the rest will come to you.