Living better - Susanne Prosser

Ten ways towards a deeper relationship

Many relationships are unsatisfying because they remain too superficial. Following these 10 methods you can bring your partnership to the next level – and strengthen the bond between you.

1. Set your partner free

Initially it sounds like a contradiction, yet it strengthens love: set your partner free. If a couple hold on tight and cling to one another, this is more down to the fear of being alone than real affection for each other. If two partners trust each other so firmly that it’s possible, for example, for them to go on holiday alone too, without causing any drama, then both have gained a great deal in terms of a long-term, shared future.

2. Always give your partner priority

Maybe you were single for a long time before your current relationship and can confirm that your friends became an important part of your life during that period. If you fell in love some time ago, the fact that you now suddenly have less time for your friends might be tricky for them. That’s normal.

This is the way episodes in your life indeed involve change:

The more serious the relationship with your partner has become, the more priority you should give them.

 
It’s a question of desire: people who already have or plan to start a family together with their partner need to be aware that priorities change as a consequence. So it could well happen that you have to decline a birthday party because you haven’t had time for ages to spend quality time with your partner because of your job.

3. Look after your relationship

This might be one of the most important points: a relationship doesn’t grow spontaneously – it needs care. Like a seedling that you want to grow and thrive. But a relationship should not just receive sporadic care, rather that should happen as often as possible. So it’s important regularly to spend not just simply time together, but rather actively aware time.

4. Open up to your partner

At the start, when they don’t know each other so well yet, people like to show their sweeter side and also to see each other in soft-focus. For each date, you put on your best outfit and spend an hour in the bathroom in order to be attractive for your partner. Or you only say things about yourself that reinforce the image you want to project to your partner.

At the start – as mentioned – this is altogether natural and serves to impress your partner.

But if the relationship develops, the moment comes when you should open up to the other person.

 
Only this way can you get to know each other’s true personalities.

Some partners don’t achieve this step even after years together. But it’s simply the case that every person has the deep-seated desire to be loved for their own sake and not for what they portray or pretend. So, if you think he / she is the right person for you, then also show your vulnerable side. Your partner will understand and will be motivated to do the same towards you.

 
If a relationship is to endure, it’s essential to polarise. If one of you always says “yes, sorted” to everything, at some point that’s highly probable to get boring for the other one. Moreover, it cannot be fulfilling in the long term, because at some point your own wishes and needs will be left at the wayside.

5. Tell each other the truth

This also includes avoiding untruths and little or large (“white”) lies. They have no place in a mature partnership. Anyone who tells their partner the truth has no fear of confrontation. This is sometimes necessary for you to take the relationship further together.

6. Set yourselves shared goals

Shared goals bind you together and motivate you. A first shared goal might be a holiday for the two of you, which you plan together. Then comes the shared home, which the two of you fit out together. Often the next thing is a family and/or even a professional project.

Albeit, in order to be able to develop shared goals, it’s important that both partners have similar values.

 
After all, what’s the point if one of you absolutely wants five children, while the other wants to stay independent and sail the world’s seas every minute of their free time?

7. Talk to each other honestly

Finding things out is only served by regular communication. With the emphasis on regular – because what can happen is that the one partner’s values and priorities change, while those of the other don’t.

Those who converse on a regular basis with their partner, as everyone would wish from such a partnership and indeed from life, have the best chance of finding common denominators in many areas.

8. Share material things

The idea of sharing material things makes many partners anxious or terrified. Even after relationships lasting many years, this may be the reason for not getting married or strictly attributing and allocating every household bill.

For good reasons it makes sense to reflect on your attitude to money in the circumstances of a relationship. What does money mean for me personally? To what extent does it give me security, how much does it worry me? What was the meaning of money conveyed to me during my childhood? Was there always plenty or was it short, with everyone having to fight over it?

Anyone wanting to make the next step forward together in a relationship needs a shared financial concept. In many ways this can mean relief – for example, through sharing the cost of living – but in other ways there might also be cutbacks. For example, if you’re planning children and one of the two partners is to stay at home or take a greater share of childcare than the other.

9. Offer help and allow yourself to be helped

Our modern society has an egotistical verging on narcistic tendency. Deep relationships are a beneficial counterpoint to this. Offering help and allowing yourself to be helped by others are good ways to strengthen mutual trust and love.

10. Don’t be too quick to give up on your partner

How many couples do you think wouldn’t have split up if they’d given one another more chances and fought for the relationship? Instead they’re now very probably sitting with a different partner in front of the TV and just as bored as back then. Overall result: different partner, but the problems remain the same.

So separation very often doesn’t solve the problem. It therefore pays to avoid writing off your partner and the relationship too quickly. Because ultimately, crises you overcome together only make you stronger as a couple. Those who fight their way through problems together ultimately get to know their partners better and get closer to them. Indeed this is what love is about.

 

Photo credits: iStock.com/demaerre


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