Relationships can be in all forms, from romantic and/or sexual relationships to friendships and family relationships. Relationships can have a huge impact on us and our lives. They can impact our lives in all different ways; good, bad and confusing.
The best way to make sure you know what you want in a relationship is to get to know yourself first. Spend time thinking about what you want in life (right now and/or in the future) and from the people in your life. It’s important to respect yourself and expect the people you have relationships with to respect you. Respecting and understanding yourself will help you to get respect and understanding in your relationships.
Some people feel that friendship, closeness and love are the most important things they get out of an intimate relationship. Others feel that sex is most important.
Regardless of the type of relationship, it’s best to be open and honest with the people you have relationships with so you both know what you want and expect from each other. Open and honest communication is an important part of a relationship. The most important thing is that you both feel comfortable, stay safe and enjoy yourselves!
- Talk to each other – just because you love each other, it doesn’t mean you automatically communicate well or can read your partner/ friend/ family member’s mind, or that they can read yours. Listen to each other and communicate your needs and wants.
- Spend time together – make your relationship a priority and make time for each other.
- Work on feeling good about yourself – this will help the way you feel about your relationships.
- Everyone is different – accept and value differences in others, including your partner/friend/family member.
- Be flexible – let your relationship grow and adapt with you as you change.
- Make plans – set goals for your relationship and plan for your future when you’re both ready.
- Be supportive – try not to judge, criticise or blame each other; we are all human. Support your partner/friend/family member to be their best.
- Learn from arguments – accept that arguments will happen and try to resolve them with respect. You’ll usually be able to learn something about each other, yourself and/or your relationship.
- Be sexually considerate (in sexual relationships)– be affectionate and accept that individuals have different sex drives and feelings about sex. Remember that sustaining a healthy and happy sex life requires negotiation and compromise.
- Be attentive – demonstrate your commitment to the relationship and think of how your partner/friend/family member is feeling.
- Enjoy yourself – have fun and celebrate your life together. Spoil each other and show them how you feel about them.
- It’s better to talk it out early if you are having difficulties, rather than waiting for the situation to get worse. Sometimes how we feel doesn’t have to make sense, or is contradictory, but we need to get it off our chest and be honest about it anyway.
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