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How to Make a Relationship Work: 34 Ways to a Stronger Bond

Need some advice on how to make a relationship work? These 34 creative ways will help you deepen the bond with your partner!

how to make a relationship work

Relationships take work. We all know that. But knowing how to make a relationship work and go the distance is something we’ve all wondered.

All relationships go through different stages. There are ups and downs, times where you feel unbearably in love, others when you struggle to find reasons to be together. Your journey through honeymoon periods, bad patches, and everything in between.

So why is it that some relationships seem to be able to navigate their way through the highs and lows far better than others? Why do some relationships make it through the tough times, and even emerge stronger than ever, while others crumble at the very first sign of trouble? [Read: The 9 relationship stages all couples go through]

Here’s how to make a relationship work

In many relationships, when they hit a rough patch, people need help and advice to keep them on the right track. And many still don’t know how to work out whether their relationship is worth it, withstanding the anger, upset, or feelings of loneliness, and manage to stick it out until things get better again.

Just what secret do these long-lasting relationships have that makes them work? These 34 safeguards ensure you make your relationship work.

#1 Know that it’s worth it. Sometimes the healthiest thing you do for your relationship is think about whether it’s worth it. No matter how long you’ve gone out, or how much you don’t want to split up, really sit down and assess whether you are willing and ready to put all the effort in to make the relationship work.

Is this something you’re prepared to do? If it’s yes, that’s the first step in knowing how to make a relationship work. It’s all about whether the two of you are willing to make the effort for each other. [Read: 10 ways to know if your relationship is worth keeping]

#2 Accept that you’ll fight. Everyone has disagreements in a relationship. It’s normal. Don’t stress too much if you and your partner fight or bicker from time to time. It’s how you handle those fights and how often you have them that you need to pay attention to.

#3 Communicate well. Relationships are all about good communication. If you feel something, or want to talk about something, don’t bottle it up. Talk to your partner in a calm and rational way. When they want to talk to you, make sure you listen too. [Read: Ways to be a better listener and really hear your partner]

#4 Be understanding. We all have bad days, days where we are tired or grumpy for no particular reason. Often our partner bears the brunt of that. If it happens to you, try to be understanding, rather than defensive.

#5 Know yourself. Knowing what you want and what you expect from a relationship is so important when it comes to knowing how to make a relationship work. The clearer you are within yourself and the more self-assured you are, the better your relationship will be.

#6 Know when to step back. Sometimes you need to give each other some space. Don’t be afraid to do this. It can be very helpful to let things cool down, or even just to remember how much you value and miss the other person.

#7 Be independent. Do things by yourself, have separate interests and hobbies. Go out with friends. This keeps things fresh and interesting between you two, and you’ll have more respect for one another.

#8 Don’t be jealous. Jealousy tears relationships apart. Be confident enough in your relationship to not let this be a factor. [Read: What is rousing your lover’s jealousy?]

#9 Trust. Trust is essential to any relationship. If you don’t trust your partner, you are in serious trouble. Think about why you feel jealous. Have they given you a reason not to trust them? If so, address the issue.

#10 Love yourself. Having self-confidence makes you so much more attractive to your partner. Make sure to make time for yourself and be confident in who you are.

#11 Have rules. In lots of relationships, rules are unspoken. However, if you have certain expectations, it’s okay to voice these. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]

#12 Don’t tolerate bad behavior. It can be so easy to get into bad patterns in relationships and suddenly one partner finds themselves full of resentment. They snap, when actually if the bad behavior had been called out early on, it would never have gotten to this stage.

#13 Be patient. Patience is so important. Sometimes your partner won’t be on the same page as you, and that’s okay. Give them time and hopefully they will come around. [Read: Relationships sins that will ruin your love]

#14 Know that no one is perfect. Not even you! You’re both going to make mistakes, so try to be sympathetic to one another when you do.

#15 Be realistic. Your relationship isn’t going to be this fairytale romance. Have realistic expectations of it. Don’t compare it to others either.

#16 Show affection. Be affectionate towards one another. Hold hands, cuddle, make an effort in the bedroom. Being affectionate helps you feel close to one another. [Read: 30 naughty questions for couples to keep the spark alive]

#17 Be romantic. Go on dates, do sweet things for one another. Romance keeps the spark alive.

#18 Put your partner first. Your partner sometimes needs to be put above your own needs. Sometimes, you make sacrifices to help them or make them happy.

#19 Be loyal. Stick up for your partner. Be loyal to them.

#20 Tell them you love them. Telling someone you love them often is a good way to keep your relationship on the right track. Even if you fought or feel annoyed, try to tell them you love them anyway. [Read: 10 adorable ways to say I love you!]

#21 Have some privacy. Sometimes you need to keep things between the two of you. Some things don’t need to be discussed with the world. Make sure some things are kept private, and you’ll always feel closer together.

#22 Don’t pressure your partner. Putting your partner under pressure won’t get you anywhere. If you push them into something, either they’ll back off or they’ll do it and resent you for it.

#23 Make time for one another. Make sure you set aside time to go on dates, have nice meals, just be with one another. Even if you lead really busy lives, having quality time together keeps your relationship strong. [Read: 25 hobbies to do with your partner and have fun]

#24 Make time for family and friends. Remember there are other important people outside your relationship, ones who support you during tough times. So, don’t neglect them!

#25 Be each other’s biggest support. Make sure your partner knows you are there for them, and the feeling should be mutual. Be one another’s rock, no matter what.

#26 Don’t play games. When you are in a serious relationship, playing games gets you nowhere. Don’t be manipulative, just say how you feel.

#27 Think of your partner when you make decisions. One of the unspoken secrets of knowing how to make a relationship work is to always consider the other person, especially when making decisions that affects both of you. [Read: 15 tips to eliminate selfishness in relationships]

#28 See yourself as a unit. Any good relationship works because the two come together and form a unit, a team.

#29 Ask questions. Make sure you know what’s going on with your partner. Ask them questions, find out about their life. Don’t neglect to do this, otherwise distance starts to form between you.

#30 Make an effort. Make an effort to look nice and be nice to your partner. Sometimes it’s the little things that count.

#31 Don’t let arguments get out of hand. Everyone will have a massive argument once or twice in a relationship, but in general, try to keep your arguments from getting out of hand. The bigger they get, the harder they are to come back from.

#32 Be honest. Always be honest with your partner. Keeping secrets from them eats away at you and destroys you both.

#33 Never cheat. Cheating is something only few relationships ever come back from. If you love and respect your partner and want your relationship to work, don’t do it! [Read: 3 really easy tips to a cheat-proof romance]

#34 Compromise. Relationships are all about compromise. You can’t always get what you want, and you need to be willing to accept this.

Relationships take work. If you are not willing to put the effort in and it all seems too much like hard work then maybe it’s time to really think about whether your relationship is worth it.

[Read: The love commandments to follow for lasting love]

Understanding how to make a relationship work requires both parties willing to fight for the relationship. By following the tips above and sticking together, even through the toughest of times, you’ll find your relationship is one that goes the distance.

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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