As matchmakers, our role is to introduce you to a partner we believe you could have an amazing future with. But once that introduction is made, it is important that you are armed with the tools to enjoy getting to know each other. Here, we offer our top five rules for creating lasting relationships.
When we first begin a relationship, things tend to be a 50/50 split in terms of compromise. Both partners are keen to honour the other person's wants and needs. However, when things become comfortable, it is not unusual for one or both parties to grow more demanding, expressing stronger preferences for the things he or she wants to do/ eat/ tolerate. In order to maintain a healthy relationship, it is important to resist allowing that shift to happen. Whilst the more dominant partner may get their way for a time, the relationship will suffer. The more passive partner will begin to feel unheard and unseen. Eventually, the imbalance is likely to become intolerable.
When compromise is not on an equal basis, communication has broken down.
Honest communication is essential for lasting relationships of any nature. Sometimes we keep concerns/negative feelings inside because we don’t want to “stress” our partner. At other times, we may hide true emotions like vulnerability or fear because we feel it puts us in a position of power.
Whatever your reasoning, it is vital to avoid building walls or colouring the truth when it comes to our genuine feelings. When we withhold information regarding our emotional state, we risk blind-siding our partner when things go wrong.
Nobody needs to 'win'.
When resolving conflict, your focus should never be on “winning”. A positive outcome for both parties is the only healthy way to solve an argument. Try to find mutually acceptable solutions. Be truthful. Hold your hands up to your mistakes. All of these things can be surprisingly hard to do when we are in the moment and feelings are complex and heated. Always ask yourself 'Would I treat my best friend this way?'
Your partner very probably is your best friend and should be treated with respect and kindness.
Understand your partner's love language.
We all express love differently. For example, if your partner has shopped for ingredients, cooked your favourite meal, created a lovely atmosphere with candles and wine, do not get annoyed because the evening hasn't come with an expensive gift. Your partner is showing you love through nurturing, thoughtful behaviour.
When a relationship becomes comfortable, it is easy to forget how your partner tends to demonstrate love. It can be tempting to focus on what he or she doesn't do instead of focusing on the ways they show they care. Take time to recognise your partner's expressions of love and appreciate them... if not, you may find that these wonderful gestures stop happening.
Refuse to withhold affection out of anger.
Saying something hurtful, using the silent treatment or withholding physical affection can feel justified at times but the truth is, these behaviours are extremely damaging to any relationship. They erode trust. They may make your partner wary of communicating honestly with you.
As tempting as it may be temporarily withdraw in anger, try to stay open, rational and respectful. Dishing out emotion-laden 'punishments' will make you both feel low and helpless.
A fear of being apart can develop when couples become too isolated in their own world. During the pandemic, couples who managed to stay together throughout multiple lockdowns often experienced growing feelings of co-dependency. It is healthy to enjoy time apart. Cultivate individual hobbies and don't neglect your own friend groups and family members. Co-dependence = neediness, which over time becomes exhausting and unhealthy.