It’s easy to focus on what your partner is doing wrong, to get annoyed and frustrated by it. But that doesn’t make you a good partner. And, have you ever stopped to think that maybe you aren’t doing everything right either?
It’s easy to see flaws in others but is it as easy to see flaws in ourselves? How do you know whether or not you are being a good partner?
Are you wondering if your relationship is heading in the right direction? Check out the most encouraging early signs of a good relationship to know for sure!
If you truly want to be a good boyfriend/girlfriend or a good husband/wife, ask yourself if you follow these rules yourself. Sometimes, in your determination to nitpick the flaws of your partner, you may be overlooking a few glaring imperfections in yourself! After all, nobody is perfect.
If you want to be a good partner, then this is a really important one to remember. Everyone has a right to be angry, sometimes it can’t be helped. However, it’s the way you deal with that anger that determines whether or not you are being fair.
It’s okay to tell your partner if they have done something to upset you. It’s not okay to insult them, bring up the past or throw things in their face.
If you do this, then you won’t solve the issue that made you angry in the first place, you will just escalate the conversation into an argument. The likelihood is that your partner won’t have meant to upset you, so deliberately hurting them or insulting them is out of line. [Read: Relationship arguments – The 23 big do’s and don’ts to remember]
It’s easy to get carried away in an argument, especially if you’re right. What isn’t easy is backing down. Sometimes, it just doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong, the only thing that matters is ending the argument.
Don’t let your pride rule you, you need to know when it’s okay to back down and make peace.
As long as whatever you’re discussing isn’t hugely unfair on either side, it’s fine to just let things slide. Seriously, in the words of Elsa, “let it go!” It’s far more important to be happy in your relationship than to be always in the right. You don’t get a trophy for winning points in love, and it won’t make either of you happy over the long-term. [Read: How the power of words can make or break your relationship]
People change all the time, everything that happens to a person changes them in some way. Sometimes, it’s unnoticeable and sometimes, it smacks you right across the face.
Accepting the fact that people change and going with it, will stop you from finding yourself with a stranger. If you can’t accept the changes that come from life, then sooner or later, you will find yourself needing to make a big change to get away from it.
Learn to grow together rather than change into two people who hardly know one another. You can do this by experiencing life’s ups and downs as a team, supporting one another, and being as understanding as possible.
If you want to learn how to be a good partner, this is something you really need to focus on. Use these 25 relationship topics to talk about in a happy relationship to make sure you two always feel close and connected to each other.
It’s easy to say that you wouldn’t have done something, you wouldn’t have acted in that way or you wouldn’t have said what they said. It’s easy to judge other people from afar and criticize their choices. But, you need to remember that you make bad choices sometimes too.
You are not perfect and you do things wrong, just like everybody else. Do you have anyone on your back about that? It’s unfair to expect anyone to be perfect all of the time and it’s even more unfair to make them feel bad about it.
Aside from anything, what exactly does perfect look like anyway? Making mistakes and learning from them is part of life. When you don’t have the opportunity to do that, life is nothing but boring.
It’s really important that you try to get on with your partner’s friends. They were there long before you and have supported your partner through difficult times. That means that they care. You don’t have to like them, you just need to get on with them for your partner’s sake. Grin and bear it, if you must!
You don’t want to be the person who asks their partner to choose between them and friends or family. Honestly, either way, you won’t like the result.
Your partner will either pick their friends/family or they will resent you for making them choose. It’s entirely possible to have friend, family, a partner and total harmony between all sides. If you have to compromise, do it. [Read: How to get along with your partner’s friends and family and create a lifelong bond]
You shouldn’t have to be selfless in a relationship or a martyr all the time, but you do have to care about your partner.
It’s not a case of putting them first every time because you deserve to be put first sometimes too. It’s knowing when you should put them first. This will make the most difference to them because it shows that you care about them and in a way, it does make you selfless.
Relationships need to be completely fair and equal. Putting yourself first occasionally doesn’t make you selfish. But if you do it all the time, you’re out of balance. Similarly, putting them at the bottom of your priority list all the time makes you a bad partner.
Balance is sometimes hard to find but focus on being there when you need to be, spending time together “just because” and building a connection through experiences and fun times. When you do all of this, you’ll find the whole selfish/selfless balance evens itself out. [Read: How to know for sure if you’re the selfish one in the relationship]
One thing that many partners do wrong is when they expect things from their partner. For instance, maybe you think that it’s solely your partner’s responsibility to pay the bills or to bring a little romance into the relationship.
It’s unfair and it’s setting your partner up to fail. Everything has to be equal.
A partnership is between two people and it should be both of their responsibilities to bring aspects to the relationship. This shouldn’t be expected either – it should be done without question.
To expect something, is just as bad as demanding it. When you don’t get it, you will be left looking like a spoilt child throwing a tantrum. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in a relationship that ruin love forever]
It’s easy to support your partner through the good times, like work promotions and goal achievements. It isn’t always as easy to support them through the bad times. However, these are the times that they will really rely on your support, so you need to give it to them.
It doesn’t matter if you are disappointed, the likelihood is that they will be ten times more disappointed than you. So just be supportive and help them through.
Don’t kick them while they are down because they might not get back up again. You don’t have to carry them through every challenging situation in life but you do need to be there in case they need someone to lean upon – you’re that person, that’s your job. [Read: How to help someone up when they’re dwon and depressed]
It’s so important in relationships, especially long term relationships, to keep up physical intimacy. Sometimes, it can be easy to take your partner for granted and to forget why they are in your life, so always try to remind yourself of that.
Keeping intimacy in your relationship will stop you both from getting bored or wondering if the relationship has run its course.
It’s easy to fall into a rut when you’ve been together a long time but spicing up your love life is a key factor in holding the spark and making sure that your relationship lasts over the long-term.
You’re not going to be jumping on one another every single day when you’ve been together a while, but you should still have that fire within you! [Read: How to show love – The sweetest gestures to express your love without words]
Don’t moan about the fact that your relationship is lacking romance – do something about it! You never know, your partner might respond by doing something romantic in return.
If you really want something, then you should go out there and get it, you shouldn’t just wait around dropping hints. That will only get you frustrated if they don’t work.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship is expecting your partner to be a mind reader. If you want to learn how to be a good partner, you need to stop assuming they have a crystal ball and start explaining what you want and need. So many people are guilty of this!
Sitting there and giving your partner the silent treatment because they didn’t respond in the way you wanted them to isn’t going to work. You’ll become frustrated and they’ll be annoyed because they can’t work out what’s wrong with you. Just say it! [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 strong steps to better love]
Sometimes, in a relationship the only thing that is left to do, is to walk away. It doesn’t mean that it has to be permanent, it doesn’t even mean that you have to leave the building but if a fight is escalating and neither of you have anything nice to say, walk away.
Give yourselves some breathing time, cool down and then try again. Nothing has ever been solved by screaming at each other.
Take a moment, do a few breathing exercises, and don’t go back into the room until you’ve stopped shaking with anger and there are no recriminations swirling around in your head.
Everyone has arguments; they’re a sign of a healthy relationship in many ways, but if you want to learn how to be a good partner, you have to know when to stick and when to give it a minute and walk away for a quick time out. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting way too often]
It doesn’t matter if you have had the day from hell. If your partner has had it worse, then it’s your job to cheer them up.
That’s what a good partner does, they put their lover before themselves when they know it needs to be done. Even if you have to try and find a clown at ten o’clock at night, you need to find a way to pick your partner up when they are down.
Life can sometimes feel like it’s flying by at a hundred miles an hour, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to put your partner at the bottom of your priority list.
Again, it can be easy to take them for granted, knowing that they will wait around for you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s fair to make them wait. You should always try to put your partner up at the top of the list, if you can’t, then maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship.
One of the best ways to do this is to have regular date nights. These should never be cancelled because something else “more important” came along and never rearranged. Make spending time together a priority and you’ll start to do it naturally.
The more you stop making time for your partner, the more you’ll grow apart. That’s not something you want, right? [Read: The 80-20 rule in relationships that all couples need to understand]
You cannot be a good partner if you cheat and lie your way through the relationship. It doesn’t matter why you lied or why you cheated. You could have the best excuse in the world for it, but it doesn’t make it right. If you are in a relationship then be in that relationship.
If you have problems in your relationship, if something is really bugging you and you need to get it out, communicate! Talk about it, have it out and argue if you need to, but it’s far better to do this than to allow that annoyance to push you into someone else’s arms.
Similarly, if you’re not happy and nothing can fix it, walk away. Never use cheating as a cover for being unhappy in a relationship. Your partner doesn’t deserve to have their trust in love destroyed in such a cruel way. [Read: 24 emotional affair signs you probably didn’t notice]
It doesn’t matter how passionate you are at the beginning of a relationship, it will eventually fade with time if you take your relationship for granted. The important thing is to find new ways to keep the excitement alive in the relationship, even if it means going out of your way to excite your partner now and then.
We mentioned earlier about keeping the spark alive but how can you do that? Try new things! If you find it a bit embarrassing telling your partner about your deepest desires, write them down and let them read them. Trying new things together strengthens your bond and who knows, you might both find a new move that sets sparks flying!
Now that you know the rules for how to be a good partner, why is it that it’s so difficult for so many people to actually follow through? These rules don’t sound very hard, but for some it is. And here’s why.
Most people are selfish to some degree. It’s actually a survival instinct. Think about it – if you were a cave man, your life depended on how much food you eat. And if you eat more food than the person next to you, then you are more likely to survive than they are.
While selfishness served its purpose back eons ago, it doesn’t help us in modern-day relationships. If one or both people are selfish, then it builds resentment that only builds over time.
When people are so self-centered, they don’t realize that they have to change their behavior to make improvements themselves. They are probably too lazy to do that, because they prefer to do what they always do. But that selfishness doesn’t make you a good partner. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]
When we are in school, we are not taught anything about relationship or communication skills. Think about it – did you have any of those classes entitled “Relationships 101” or “Communication 101”? Probably not. [Read: Communication exercises for couples and easy games to be a better lover]
Even if you did, then you probably didn’t have these classes until college. And by then, all of your relationship and communication skills were pretty set by then. They are your habits, and habits are difficult to change.
So, when no one ever taught any one of us how to be a good partner and have a healthy relationship, how do you expect us to learn? We usually learn from trial and error. But in order to do this, you have to be self-aware.
You can’t change what you don’t recognize. So, you need to be aware of your negative behaviors and what you should do to change them. And then, you have to actually take those stops to change to become a better person.
Because most of us have never been formally taught the knowledge we need to have healthy relationships, all we really had to go on was our own parents. They serve as a learning model for what you are likely to do in your own relationships. [Read: Being raised by narcissists – 18 harmful ways it affects your life]
For example, if your parents yelled, screamed, and called each other names when they were fighting, you grew up thinking this was normal. As a result, you probably took on the same relationship behaviors as they did. Or, if they avoided any affection and intimacy, you thought that was normal too.
As you can see, when we see behavior modeled for us growing up, we will probably take on those behaviors – both positive and negative. And they become our habits – which, as we said, are difficult to change.
In order to have a healthy relationship, both partners need to express empathy to the other one. Empathy means that you can put yourself in another person’s shoes and see a situation from their perspective – not just your own. [Read: How to show empathy and learn to understand someone else’s feelings]
Because a lot of people are inherently selfish, they lack the ability to understand how their partner sees a situation differently than they do. When this happens, resentment builds over time.
The good news is that empathy can be learned. It’s a skill you can work on so that you can be a good partner in your relationship. All it takes is being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and more importantly, words and behaviors.
If you are in a relationship, then you should always try to be the best partner you can be. The other person doesn’t deserve any less than your best, just like you don’t deserve any less than theirs.
It’s not always easy to be a good partner. But it can be done if you know how – and now you do. Your partner will definitely appreciate all the effort you put in to being the best person you ca nbe.
[Read: 30 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]
So just how good a partner are you? The next time you find yourself grumbling or whining about how unappreciative or boring your partner is, ask yourself if you’ve been playing your part in a happy romance. Learning how to be a good partner isn’t hard, it’s all about dedication and self-awareness.
Want to know more about how you can be the best partner ever? Check out these:
How to be a good boyfriend – 33 traits that make you the best ever!
How to be a good girlfriend – 27 ways to make him feel like the luckiest guy!
How to have a good relationship that gets better with each passing day
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