What are the keys to a good relationship?
Each and every one of our lives is characterized and often defined by our relationships.
We need each other. Whether that frightens or delights you, it’s the truth.
From friends and family to romance and roommates, we all crave healthy relationships.
It’s not just about love, but companionship and connection in the workplace or in life.
But at one time or another, we’ve all faced “broken” relationships. Maybe for you it was your parent’s marriage, the loss of a best friend or a painful breakup.
Separations and splits, we’ve seen it, and of course, we want to be better. To be better friends, better partners, better parents, better children or siblings, better bosses, or even a better coworker.
Not one of us has a relationship that cannot be improved in some way. Tensions arise, friction happens, communication breaks down, these are just a few symptoms of a failing relationship.
So, how do we build strong, positive, healthy, and successful relationships? What even is relationship building?
I turned to 41 relationship experts, from therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, to love, sex, dating, and friendship experts asking just that. What is the #1 strategy for building strong relationships?
There’s a wealth of relationships advice here, that you will undoubtedly find ways to apply to your own relationships. It’s my hope that they have you breathe life into your friendships, romances, and families.
Let’s start building stronger relationships. Be sure to click here to get your FREE Building Strong Relationships eBook!
Show Love and Appreciation
How do you build strong relationships that last? What’s the best way to show someone we care for them? To improve your relationships, whether romantic or platonic, start by letting the person know how much you appreciate them. How can you should someone how much they mean to you? In what ways can you express your love and appreciation?
- Make them Feel Important and Valuable
- Share Your Daily Appreciation
- Praise Your Partner
- Put in the Effort
- Remember, Love Is An Action
- Show Your Appreciation
- Treat Your Friends Like Sweethearts
#1. Make them Feel Important and Valuable
Certified Life Coach and Personal Development Expert, The Personal Development Zone
For all types of relationships, my number one tip is to make the other one feel important and valuable.
Everyone wants to be seen, heard, and understood. So, when you make someone else feel valuable, this person immediately feels good around you. They might think “I matter! I’m important!” and it’s an amazing feeling to be seen/loved and recognized for who we really are, right?
The best way to do it is to recognize the other one’s strengths and qualities and to acknowledge them genuinely and to emphasize them. It can be in the form of complimenting, listening, asking for advice, etc.
This is creating a strong and genuine connection between two people, no matter the context or the nature of the relationship.
👉🏽 Tamara Pflug is a Certified Life Coach and Personal Development Expert at The Personal Development Zone. She shares How to Foster More Powerful Relationships with Nonviolent Communication.
#2. Share Your Daily Appreciation
Katie Miles LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
When it comes to building strong relationships, you can’t underestimate the power of daily appreciations. During the beginning phases of dating someone, we are more likely to ooze adorations and thanks onto our partners. You can thank Dopamine and Norepinephrine for some of that!
Over time, these verbal or physical communications tend to drop off. While a normal side effect of a long term relationship, this change can really diminish cohesion and intimacy. With most of the couples and families I see in my therapy office, this absence of positive communication is an area of focus. At times, the positive communication has been largely replaced by an over communication of what isn’t appreciated. While letting someone know what bothers you has its place, you shouldn’t do it in the absence of telling them what you appreciate about them. In fact, Dr. John Gottman recommends a 5:1 ratio when it comes to positive and negative communication.
Sharing appreciation not only reminds you of why you love them, but also lets that person know that they are safe and valued. This type of safety and security are the groundwork of healthy and sustainable intimacy and connection.
👉🏽 Katie Miles is a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA who works with individuals, couples, and families who want to improve their relationship.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”tSbdK” via=”yes” ]“Sharing appreciation not only reminds you of why you love them, but also lets that person know that they are safe and valued.” Katie Miles, Marriage and Family Therapist [/ctt]
#3. Praise Your Partner
Certified Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Author.
The number one tip I give my viewers about sustaining a long-lasting committed relationship is to put your partner on a pedestal. People that feel as if they hit the jackpot with their partner (and vice-versa) have the greatest chance for success. No matter what obstacles you encounter in life, you can face it together because there is no one else on the planet you would rather spend your days (and nights) with.
For instance, if someone asks you about your significant other and you respond boastfully, bragging about him/her or citing the latest nice thing he did for you, then odds are, you are in it for the long haul. But if you constantly share a laundry list of complaints about your partner, then no, your relationship is doomed. Sure, we all have little gripes about our partner once in a while, but those are little things that all couples work through.
So, basically, if you look at your significant other through rose-colored glasses, and he/she does the same, chances are the relationship will succeed.
👉🏽 Marie Dubuque is a Certified Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Author. Connect with her on her YouTube Channel.
#4. Put in the Effort
Dating Expert and Founder, Dating Scout
Only the best effort for the one you love. Falling in love with your significant other is perhaps the easiest part of any relationship, but having a good relationship does not happen overnight. It’s effort—a combination of trust and commitment, more than compromise and respect.
To make any relationship work and stronger, you have to put in the effort to get to know your partner—what they like, the little things that annoy them, what makes them happy. Put in the effort to understand their actions, the reasons for it, and their motivations. You have to make them feel loved the way you know how to. Listen to them; to speak less, listen, and learn more.
As they say, love is a verb, and you have to show it through your actions. So give it everything you’ve got to build a relationship that could stand the test of time.
👉🏽 Chris Pleines is a dating expert and the Founder of Datingscout.com which for over 10 years has compared dating sites and apps of all kinds. They also provide their readers with useful tips and tricks for their dating lives.
#5. Remember, Love Is An Action
Blogger, Two Drifters
My #1 tip for a strong relationship is to remember that love is an action. So many of us fall into believing the myth that love should be, first and foremost, a feeling. While emotion is most definitely involved, it is not everything! After all, feelings change; they ebb and flow over time.
This means that you don’t abandon a relationship when you stop “feeling it.” This is, more than ever, when you have to dig deep and focus on loving action. It’s the things we do for our partner, the way we treat them, support them, and care for them, that are the markers of true love. Remembering that love is an action is so vital for maintaining a strong, long-lasting relationship.
👉🏽 Amy Hartle blogs with her husband Nathan at the Two Drifters, where they share their tips for better travel, more romantic adventures, and stronger, deeper relationships. Here are 26 Common Relationship Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately.
#6. Show Your Appreciation
Behavior Analyst and a Mindset Coach, Don’t Worry Be Happy Mindset Development Institute
Appreciation is key to every relationship in the world. I think it is the most important one. If you do not appreciate the one you love for anything they do, you will not receive their true love. Praising someone you love or prioritize the most is a good thing to do. This will stay with them forever. Trust me, and not fake compliments, like the genuine one, from the bottom of your heart.
Every human on this planet likes appreciation and is the best way to strengthen the bonds of companionship. An employer, a boss, a wife, girlfriend, best friend, parents, family members, siblings or anyone. You have all the love and respect for your loved ones, show them the mirror of your feelings. Appreciation is the power, so make everyone’s life shines bright.
👉🏽 Fahim Lashkaria is a Behavior Analyst and a Mindset Coach at Don’t Worry Be Happy Mindset Development Institute. Here’s This Is Why People Leave Your Companionship.
#7. Treat Your Friends Like Sweethearts
Friendship Expert and Author, We Should Get Together
To cultivate strong platonic relationships, it’s important that we treat our friends as if they’re just as important to us as a sweetheart would be. Because let’s be honest: a good friendship will likely outlast the typical romance. Show up for your friends with open-minded curiosity, compassionate empathy, courageous vulnerability, and dedicated attention.
To build your curiosity skills, get really good at asking open-ended follow up questions. Then get curious about the world together. What new skill, adventure, or learning experience you can share?
To get better at empathy and vulnerability, practice identifying your true emotions, and expressing nonjudgmentally. Nonviolent communication and communities of practice like T Group are a great place to start.
To get better at providing dedicated attention, get flexible about how you fit connection moments into your life. Won’t be able to get dinner together for a month? Then have a short phone call each week leading up to it. To find an hour of friend time each week, cut out one TV show.
For dozens more ideas, check out my new book We Should Get Together, but even with just the three ideas above, you’ll start having better friendships in no time.
👉🏽 Kat Vellos is a friendship expert and author of We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships, a book dedicated to helping adults make and maintain strong platonic relationships.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”b3dJ1″ via=”yes” ] “To cultivate strong platonic relationships, it’s important that we treat our friends as if they’re just as important to us as a sweetheart would be.” – Kat Vellos, Friendship Expert [/ctt]
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 143 Inspirational Quotes about Love
Communicate with Each Other
The key to any good relationship is undoubtedly communication. Whether you’re dating and in a new relationship or working with employees and clients, communication is key to building strong relationships. There are so many common communication problems in relationships, from not saying what you mean all the way to not actually listening. To build stronger and better relationships in your life, ask yourself am I a good communicator? How can I improve my listening skills? The following relationships tips can help you with this.
- Check-in With Your Partner
- Maintain Constant Communication
- Evaluate Your Relationship Together
- Learn to Solve Problems Together
- Make a Game of Providing Feedback
- Choose How to Respond
- Repair with Good Communication
- Get Comfortable Through Conversation
- Truly Listen to Each Other
#8. Check-in With Your Partner
Relationship Expert and LGBTQ Matchmaker at H4M
My whole adult life, in every romantic relationship, I have always answered that the one key to building a strong relationship is communication – clear, painfully honest, and positive communication.
But as a real relationship grows, I realize sustainability is about “checking in” each day. Physically, emotionally, and without distraction – whether during just an average normal day, or during times of stress, during a loud party or event, with a house full of company or family, or even in a quiet home while taking time to read or recharge any evening or weekend.
Check-in with your partner, crossing the room for a moment of light touch, eye to eye contact, with a hug, or squeeze of the arm, or even peck on the cheek. Try going out for coffee, holding hands during a movie, or cooking breakfast together with jazz music and no devices. To reconnect physically may not be your love language, but it is reassuring to the human heart, spirit, and soul. Remind each other that this is the person is who I choose to be with each day.
👉🏽 Tammy Shaklee is a Relationship Expert and LGBTQ Matchmaker at H4M Matchmaking. Connect with H4M Matchmaking on Instagram.
#9. Maintain Constant Communication
Relationship Expert and chief Operating Officer and Head Matchmaker at Love and Matchmaking
Communication! I know you have heard it time and time again, but the #1 strategy for building (and keeping) a strong relationship is by talking to each other. Sometimes we get into a groove and expect our partners to just know how we’re feeling or what’s going on in our daily lives (Come on! Read our minds already!).
So maintaining constant communication can feel like a bit of a task on our adulting to-do list that never seems to end. But as we grow as human beings (sometimes together and sometimes apart) you need to be mindful of sharing with your loved one and often.
Do you need a different type of affection than they have been giving? Is there some new you want to try in the bedroom? Is your family driving you up the wall and you need some space? Tell them in a calm, neutral, environment, and genuinely listen to their response. The more open and consistent you are with your wants and needs in conversation, the stronger the bond you will develop over the months and years.
👉🏽 Mallory Love is a Relationship Expert and Cheif Operating Officer and Head Matchmaker at Love and Matchmaking. Connect with Love and Matchmaking on Instagram.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”6cD3J” via=”yes” ]”The more open and consistent you are with your wants and needs in conversation, the stronger the bond you will develop over the months and years.” @LoveMatchmaking[/ctt]
#10. Evaluate Your Relationship Together
Marie Anna Winter
The #1 thing that I teach couples who want a sustaining nourishing relationship is to regularly set time aside to do a ‘relationship-evaluation’: Taking time to zoom out of the relationship together and inquire into questions like: “How is the relationship doing? Where have we been struggling? What has been good? What do we desire? How can we support each other?”
I also highly recommend that a couple does a yearly re-commitment process together, in which they re-commit to their relationship. Is there a yes to be together for another year? What are you saying yes to?
And I believe that these practices would benefit EVERY intimate relationship in our lives; whether it’s with a romantic partner, a friend, family, a colleague.
Every deep relationship that we have deserves and needs attention and care, and a celebration of our commitment to the relationship.
👉🏽 Marie Anna Winter is a relationship coach specialized in long term relationships. She works with couples to increase intimacy love and connection in their partnerships and create the relationship that they desire.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”9aexw” via=”yes” ]“Every deep relationship that we have deserves and needs attention and care, and a celebration of our commitment to the relationship.” – Marie Anna Winter, Relationship Coach[/ctt]
#11. Learn to Solve Problems Together
Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka Dr. Romance)
Licensed Psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners
The best way to build strong relationships is to learn to solve problems together, as a team. If you learn to strategize and negotiate as a team of equals about whatever you are facing in life, you’ll develop confidence and trust in each other. When you fight or argue about problems, you tear your relationship down, when you solve problems together, with consideration for each other, you create a stronger, more lasting bond.
👉🏽 Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance) is a licensed psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working It Out Together. She has 40 years’ experience in counseling individuals and couples and is the author of 15 books in 17 languages.
#12. Make a Game of Providing Feedback
Founder of Projectfather
I feel lucky that I’ve recently become a father. Most moments of a family life are positive, filled with joy and fun. But it has also brought its challenges, especially for me and my fiancée. New tasks have been added to our daily list of activities since suddenly we have someone else to take care of, too. Some of the attention has shifted from us to our daughter. For months we were struggling. We argued more than before, we complemented each other less frequently and we had deep conversations only when we were about to fall asleep exhausted after a busy day.
One solution that we came up with is finding a way to visualize progress, no matter how small it was and even if it was progress in the wrong direction. We put up a paper-based calendar in our kitchen, one for each of us. Whenever one of us found something to appreciate, we put up a red heart on the calendar of the individual who did a good deed. On the other hand, the wrongdoer got a blue heart. To record more information, we also added the reasons to the actions in a few words, and these were placed next to the heart. At the end of the day or later in the morning then we talked around the topic of blue or red hearts.
This little idea has greatly increased our relationship since we made a game out of providing feedback. And once there’s feedback, there’s a chance to improve.
👉🏽 Balint Horvath is the Founder of Projectfather where he shares his journey as a first-time father. His mission so to help you in the A-Z of fatherhood. Here’s What Parenting Style Should I Choose As A Father?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”a3533″ via=”yes” ]“One solution that we came up with is finding a way to visualize progress, no matter how small it was and even if it was a progress in the wrong direction.” @ThisIsBalint[/ctt]
#13. Choose How to Respond
Author & Advocate for Kids and Families
The only person we can control is ourselves, but that can be really powerful.
We all have relationships that are challenging at times. Maybe it’s with our partner, our child, a co-worker or a relative. When relationships are tough, we tend to think, “If only they would ___________ , things would be better.”
Ahhh, if only we could change other people. Life would be so much easier, right? Luckily, we control *how we respond* in tough situations and this choice can be *powerful.*
Think of one your relationships that can be challenging. Now, think of how you usually respond when things get difficult in this relationship? What do you say or not say? What do you do or not do?
Do you like how you respond? If not, how might you respond in a way that *shares your best self* instead?
When you feel triggered by something or someone, pause and try to ground yourself instead of simply reacting. Then, with a level head, *choose *how to respond.
👉🏽Jessica Speer is an Author & Advocate for Kids and Families.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”jezCA” via=”yes” ]“When you feel triggered by something or someone, pause and try to ground yourself instead of simply reacting. Then, with a level head, *choose *how to respond.” – Jessica Speer, Author and Advocate [/ctt]
#14. Repair with Good Communication
Life Coach and the Founder and Chief Coaching Officer, HR Chique Group-HR
My single tip to building effective strong relationships is good communication. Most relationships are broken and fail due to poor communication. You must have effective communication to keep and maintain a good relationship. It’s important to keep open communication in any relationship.
Communication should be respectful and considerate of others. Relationships are a two-way street. It’s acceptable for you to express how you’re feeling and you should inquire about how the other person is doing.
Open communication keeps the relationship on target. It means you both have to be attentive listeners and always deal with each other authentically as possible. If something is wrong, it’s important for you to express it. Communication will save a relationship. If you’re in a place now where the communication is broken, take the first step to repair the relationship. It starts with one word:- Hello!
👉🏽 Angelique Hamilton is a Life Coach and the Founder and Chief Coaching Officer at HR Chique Group-HR and Personal Development Consultancy.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”8090d” via=”yes” ]“If you’re in a place now where the communication is broken, take the first step to repair the relationship. It starts with one word:-Hello!” – Angelique Hamilton, Life Coach [/ctt]
#15. Get Comfortable Through Conversation
Blogger, Leia’s Luxuries
If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my years, don’t be afraid to talk to people! Ya know, strike up a good ol’ fashioned conversation. Ask open-ended questions, respond to others using thoughtful responses and genuinely build your relationships. Don’t let your fears or shyness get in the way of being the first one to talk. So what if you say something silly or awkward. We are all human with quirks. I know this is easier said than done, but I promise, you will thank me later.
This comfort you are building with another human is important. It will come in handy when difficult situations arise. You will know how to respond or approach someone because you will already know what makes them tick. You will know what, how and when is the appropriate time for them in terms of bringing up something that needs to be addressed that may not be as pleasant as general friendly banter.
👉🏽 April is a stay at home mommy and maker. Sharing her love all things DIY and crochet on her blog Leia’s Luxuries.
#16. Truly Listen to Each Other
Blogger, Frugal Feather
My #1 rule for building and maintaining a lasting relationship is: Truly listen to each other. Don’t just “hear” what the other person is saying, absorb it. Imagine yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself how you would feel. If the other person sees that you are fully processing the words they are saying, they are more likely to trust you and feel safe with you.
The saying “communication is key” does not only mean talking about your feelings, but it also means taking the other person’s thoughts and feelings seriously. Take what they say, and use that to make the changes needed in your relationship to build a strong foundation to grow on.
👉🏽Mellissa Yzaguirre is the creator of Frugal Feather, where she helps you live an amazing life on a budget.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Don't Let Your Goals Ruin Your Relationship
Be Honest and Trust Worthy
Ask 100 people what they think the foundation of any successful relationship is and I guarantee you most will say trust. There’s a reason for that. For must of us, trust and it’s cousin, honesty, are so important. Every relationship takes time to build trust, and we hurt when it’s broken. To build strong relationships with your friends, colleagues and loved ones, strive to be an honest, trust-worthy person. Not just with your words, but with your actions.
- Always Keep Your Word
- Have Integrity
- Establish Trust and Respect
- Stay Humble and Confident
- Don’t Be Sorry, Be Different
- Use Control Free Parenting
#17. Always Keep Your Word
Networking Strategy Coach
Be a person of your word to strengthen your relationships: To build and sustain strong relationships, be sure that if you say you’re going to do something you do it. This builds trust, which leads to emotional intimacy, and the likelihood of more self-disclosure and feelings of connectedness. Have you ever heard, ‘you are only as good as your word?’
This saying has staying power and is often repeated, because when we’re let down, whether it was because a friend didn’t pay us back when they said they would, or a romantic partner said they only wanted to be with us and they were playing the field, it stays with us. People going against their word feels like a violation. If you aren’t sure you can keep a commitment, then do not make it. Be selective with your commitments, and when you do commit, be all in.
👉🏽Stephanie Thoma is a Networking Strategy Coach. Connect with her at stephaniethoma.com.
#18. Have Integrity
Relationship Expert and an author for DatingPilot.net
Integrity entails many things that a strong relationship needs in order to grow and survive. A person who possesses this trait is honest, follows through on promises, does the right thing even when no one is watching, etc. All of these traits are important for every type of relationship (e.g. romantic, parent/child, workplace, etc.). Oftentimes, a person lacking integrity will struggle with different types of relationships.
For example, a parent who struggles with following through on promises made to their children also tends to not follow through with promises made to their spouse. I believe that if more people possessed this trait, there would be less broken relationships. Of course, there is more that a person has to do in order to maintain a strong relationship, but if integrity is lacking, the relationship will definitely struggle and often times break.
👉🏽 Stephania Cruz is a relationship expert and an author for DatingPilot.net, a website dedicated to providing our readers with effective dating tips and the most accurate dating app reviews. Her background is also in Psychology and is a former Family Support Specialist, who has worked with parents involved with Child Protective Services.
#19. Establish Trust and Respect
Executive Director, Vineyard Henderson
Establishing a sense of trust and respect at the onset of each relationship is vital in my career and day to day work. Whether I am meeting or working with a resident at our senior community, one of their family members, or if I’m involved in a project with a local community partner, it is important for me to ensure a sense of trust.
I want the person on the other end to know that they can trust me and that I am on their side. To that end, I do a lot of communicating. I make myself available to talk or answer questions if a resident’s family member is worried. I spend time with our staff and residents every day in hopes of making their days as positive and joyful as possible.
I meet with local community partners to explore how we can best work together to build on and enhance the programs and services for our community as a whole. I ask questions to learn and grow, and I answer questions to help others do the same. We have to be willing to give and receive if we are all going to build strong foundations and greater relationships.
👉🏽 Nicole Hanna is the executive director of Vineyard Henderson, an assisted living community opening in the next few months in Henderson, Nev. specializing in care for those suffering with memory loss. Nicole has more than 20 years of leadership experience with an expansive skill set in dementia education, training and support, long-term care, nursing, senior fitness and rehabilitation.
#20. Stay Humble and Confident
Something I find is often overlooked in relationships is humility.
Humility is becoming an increasingly hard trait to find these days but never underestimate its value. Humility is an amazing quality to have and an amazing quality to find in someone else!
Outside of the gratitude and overall kindness that generally comes along with someone who is humble, there is a quality that I find particularly interesting about a humble person…confidence.
Humility is often paired with confidence. A person who is confident and humble is able to own their own mistakes, and this confidence means that you are able to listen to your partner without fear of the ego getting in the way. The ego is what tends to block us from being able to effectively communicate.
So, to me, confidence paired with humility means more effective communication, less ego, more willingness to step up, and truly wanting your partner to be happy with you.
So, be confident and stay humble!
👉🏽 Siobhan Murphy is a relationship coach for women. She’s a huge advocate for self-accountability and helping women overcome roadblocks that are preventing them from having an amazing relationship.
#21. Don’t Be Sorry, Be Different
Hold These Moments
Apologies mean nothing if you don’t change your behavior. It is inevitable that every type of relationship will face conflict at some point. The best kind of apologies result in behavior that exudes love, not hurt. A sincere apology is the best way to get the relationship back on track, and let the person know how much you care. Here’s how to apologize and mean it:
- Make sure that you do some self-reflection.
- Accept blame for the situation.
- Make a plan to change you behavior.
- Sincerely apologize for your actions.
Be sure to follow through with your plan. Be different so that you don’t hurt that person again. They might need to see proof of your changed behavior before they can truly forgive. Let the person know that you will give them time and that you still want to maintain a relationship. Apologies are never easy, but they are truly worth it in the end.
👉🏽 Rachel Ketcham is a wife, boy mom and former teacher turned stay-at-home-mom. She blog’s about everything related to Motherhood and Mindfulness. Her goal is to provide tips and inspirational quotes that enable us to appreciate life as it happens. And to encourage everyone to #holdthesemoments. Here’s How to Apologize and Mean It.
#22. Practice Control Free Parenting
Chief Editor, Parenting For Brain
The most common reason why parents are not as close to their children as they want is control. Parents’ attempts to control every aspect of their children’s lives create conflicts and power struggles.
The best way for parents to rebuild a good relationship is to practice Control-Free Parenting. It’s a parenting style that gives children the freedom to make as many decisions as possible – but only decisions that are non-critical and do not involve safety, health, harm to others, or situational constraints. It doesn’t mean that we let kids do whatever they want.
It means we help them make decisions by patiently guiding them and exploring options.
When parents guide their children on decision-making in a positive and supportive way, they build trust and a close relationship.
Also, when kids feel respected and are allowed to have control over their own lives, they listen when it’s the parent’s turn to make critical decisions, eliminating the power struggle and further creating a collaborative relationship.
👉🏽 Pamela Li is the Chief Editor of ParentingForBrain.com and author of the bestseller Turning Tantrums Into Triumphs
[ctt template=”3″ link=”a9F1x” via=”yes” ]“When parents guide their children on decision making in a positive and supportive way, they build trust and a close relationship.” @parenting4brain[/ctt]
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How To Not Lose Yourself In A Relationship
Be Your Best and Complete Self
Want to know one of the best-kept secrets to a successful relationship? It’s so simple, you might not believe it. You need to be yourself, your most complete and best version of yourself. For the singles out there looking for love, that means focusing on yourself first. If you’re looking to strengthen your existing relationships, continue to work on yourself. Be the best possible version of you. Your friends, colleagues, partners, children and everyone in your life deserve you at your best.
- Know Who You Are
- Be Self-Confident
- Be Your Authentic Self
- Become More Self-Aware
- Be Truly Vulnerable
- Keep Learning About Yourself
- Always Give it 100%
#23. Know Who You Are
Write and Coach
Know who you are and what you want in life. Relationships involve compromise, of course. But if you are clear on who you are as a person, what your purpose is and what’s important to you in life, you’re much more likely to find someone who aligns with you (and vice versa).
If we aren’t clear on this, it’s easy to fall into a relationship that just isn’t right for us in the long-term – and this always comes to a head at some point. Take some time to get clear on who you are first; figure out what your values are, what your purpose is and the different things you’d like to experience. It makes it so much easier to find a person who is a great match!
👉🏽 Misty Sansom is a writer and coach who teaches people how to find their purpose and bring it to life. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Daily Guru and MindBodyGreen, covering personal growth, personal development, intuition, and of course, finding your purpose. Through her online tools, ebooks and articles, she helps you find clarity on who you are and what you want out of life. Want to find your purpose profile? Take the free quiz here: www.mistysansom.com.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”zLFdr” via=”yes” ]“Take some time to get clear on who you are first; figure out what your values are, what your purpose is, and the different things you’d like to experience.” @mistysansom[/ctt]
#24. Be Self-Confident
Sex & Relationship Expert
Be genuine, confident, humble, trustworthy, positive, and fun. People who build great relationships feel good about who they are and always look for the positive in their world. They genuinely want the best for others and want to see them succeed.
The energy of people who are comfortable in their own skin, upbeat, and positive creates an atmosphere where we feel good, want to be around, and want to spend time with them. They don’t gossip about others and keep what we tell them in confidence. Being self-confident, they don’t feel the need to draw attention to themselves. They always have time for the significant others in their lives. They are life-long learners who are always open to and looking for opportunities for self-improvement.
👉🏽Alexis Taylor is a Sex & Relationship Expert. Find matching love tips by dating experts at TinderoPlus.com.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”n971_” via=”yes” ]“People who build great relationships feel good about who they are and always look for the positive in their world.” – Alexis Taylor, Sex & Relationship Expert[/ctt]
#25. Be Your Authentic Self
The Afterlife Coach
Strong relationships are built on the courage to be transparent and honest. We do not deeply bond with anyone if we haven’t dedicated ourselves to the art of intimacy, but that is never fully mastered externally.
To strengthen our bonds with others, the most effective path is to strengthen our bond with ourselves. The more we learn about who we are authentically, the more we can fall in love with ourselves. That allows us to be truly seen by those we choose to reveal ourselves to. Truth and authenticity are the keys to intimate connections. As within, so without.
👉🏽 Kat Courtney of The Afterlife Coach offers coaching that embodies all manner of plant medicine assistance, spiritual support for shadow work, and the path of understanding and embracing death.
#26. Become More Self-Aware
Speaker, Certified Life Coach and Corporate Trainer at the Amazing Women Network
My #1 Tip for building strong relationships is self-awareness. What are your likes and dislikes? What makes you happy, sad or mad? What are you tolerating? What do you no longer tolerate?
Self-Awareness allows us the opportunity to understand our own thoughts and emotions enabling us to recognize those in others. Have you ever found yourself repeating the same situations with the same people? That is due to the lack of self-awareness. I tell my clients that if you run into the same people with different names and different faces, it’s because you are drawing those people to you. You are the common denominator! It’s all you boo!
As long as you keep having the same thoughts, doing the same things, and making the same choices, you will always end up in the same situations with people. When you become self-aware, you will be able to identify your emotional triggers allowing you to manage your emotions. You will begin to ask yourself powerful questions that will lead you to more self-discovery and empathy toward yourself and others. As you become more self-aware, you will create relationships that are nourishing, peaceful, and joyful. Self-awareness is the foundation for building any relationship.
👉🏽 Bonita Owens is a Speaker, Certified Life Coach and Corporate Trainer at the Amazing Women Network.
#27. Be Truly Vulnerable
Your Green Grass Project
In order to build a truly strong relationship then you will need to be comfortable with being vulnerable. Only when we are vulnerable with others can we let them into our hearts and build the foundations of a healthy relationship.
Being vulnerable means being open about your worries, fears, and hopes for the future, sharing them without being scared of judgment from your partner. It’s difficult to be truly vulnerable with people because we all worry too much about what others think. However, when you allow your partner to see who you really are, you will begin to build strong bonds with them and create a bright future together.
There is no need to fear being vulnerable with people because the right partner will accept you for who you are, your attributes and your flaws together. If they don’t accept you for who you are then they are not the right person for you anyway.
👉🏽 Phoebe Gill created Your Green Grass Project to help you start working on yourself and creating your dream life. Here’s Why Do You Feel So Lonely And Sad All The Time?
#28. Keep Learning About Yourself
Speaker, Youth Activist and Author, For Black Girls
Learn more about yourself, your partner and about being in a relationship. It’s easy to fall into routine within a relationship. Routine in itself isn’t bad unless it puts you on autopilot. You feel like you know how your partner thinks so you no longer try to discover them the way you did when you first met. Conversations dwindle and gross assumptions become the norm.
Make finding out more a priority for as long as the relationship lasts. If you’re married, be committed to being a student of your partner. Be creative, introduce new experiences that you can both share. People change in very subtle ways over time so don’t ever forget that you grow together by investing into each other.
As you figure out more about what makes you tick, it helps bring a depth to your relationship. What are your hang-ups and why are you the way you are? Analyzing where your beliefs and habits formed will help take away unrealistic expectations you demand from your partner. Find ways to constantly be growing and learning together in conversation and you will keep the romance alive!
👉🏽 Nana Abraham is a speaker, youth activist and author of For Black Girls: The Shaping of a Young Woman – a handbook for life that discusses relevant issues for young women today.
#29. Always Give it 100%
Co-founder of Robe-Trotting
Often, people measure their relationship efforts with the intent to be 50/50. It’s impossible because nothing is every 50/50 in any metric of a relationship or even friendship or family relation.
My partner and I moved abroad together in 2017 and it changed all the dynamics of our relationship. We both left our current jobs to pursue professional interests for just one of us. Suddenly we went to one income but one of us sacrificed our career to benefit the other.
What we learned was to stop keeping score. We realized things are never 50/50 and they never were or will be. Instead, we spend every day making sure that things are 100/100. We both put in 100% effort of what we can into our partnership. Realizing that we both contribute different things to our relationship in different ways at different times has made us incredibly strong and we always give it 100% of what we have.
👉🏽 Derek Hartman is the co-founder of Robe-Trotting, where he and his partner Mike share what it’s like living in a new country and a new culture while traveling the world as a gay American couple. Here’s Life Abroad – Expat Advice for the first 30 days.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”2d32O” via=”yes” ]“We realized things are never 50/50 and they never were or will be. Instead, we spend every day making sure that things are 100/100.” @robe-trotting [/ctt]
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Put Yourself Out There in Life and Love
Be More Understanding
How do you build stronger and deeper connections? Stretch and use your empathy and understanding abilities. Be more compassionate, be more understanding! This is especially important if you’re prone to broken relationships, romantic or otherwise. Learn to see things their way, to be more in tune with what the other person is feeling, experiencing and facing. That’s why to build strong relationships you need to be more understanding. Here’s how:
- Become a Great Listener
- Cultivate More Empathy
- Recognize The Other’s Perspective
- Listen and Give Validation
- Practice Healthy Communication
- Stop Keeping Score
- Face Problems Together
#30. Become a Great Listener
Girish Dutt Shukla
Digital Marketer and Author of Maroon In A Sky Of Blue
Everyone is wired in such a way that they intrinsically want to be heard and understood. However, it is unfortunate that most of us don’t possess the art of listening. We are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next to really listen to what the other person is saying. The moment you notice yourself being party to this, take a deep breath and correct your behavior by listening well.
A customer with a bad experience at a restaurant, a client unhappy with the work, a co-worker or employee not carrying out their roles properly, a spouse always in the mood to pick up arguments and fights, and plenty other such instances all people want to be heard so that they can share their stories and problems. I can’t stress enough how listening well will naturally improve our work and personal relationships as we naturally bond with people who want to listen to us.
👉🏽 Girish Dutt Shukla is a Digital Marketer and Author of Maroon In A Sky Of Blue. He shares How Texting is Making Us Disconnected More Than Ever.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”wzi1q” via=”yes” ]“I can’t stress enough how listening well will naturally improve our work and personal relationships as we naturally bond with people who want to listen to us.” – Girish Dutt Shukla[/ctt]
#31. Cultivate More Empathy
Author and Speaker
If you’re dealing with someone challenging in your life, whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional colleague, consider shifting the relationship by practicing compassion—and directing kindness toward them.
Directing kindness their way doesn’t mean that you like or accept their behavior; rather, it means you hold this person in compassion despite the behavior.
Here’s a simple compassion meditation that can help you cultivate more empathy toward a person who is challenging for you. Hold this person in mind as you silently recite these words one or more times:
May you be held in compassion.
May you be free.
May you be at peace.
This type of meditation may feel awkward if you’ve never practiced it before, but believing in the intent of the meditation can help cultivate a true sense of compassion for others.
👉🏽 Joy Rains is a mindfulness speaker and author of two books on mindfulness: “Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind” and “Ignite Your Sales Power: Mindfulness Skills for Sales Professionals.”
[ctt template=”3″ link=”2yxc9″ via=”yes” ]“If you’re dealing with someone challenging in your life, whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional colleague, consider shifting the relationship by practicing compassion” @joy_rains [/ctt]
#32. Recognize The Other’s Perspective
Kathy Taberner MA, PCC
Certified Executive Coach and Co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity
Set an intention around this and ensure you are focused on seeing, hearing and understanding others. There was a time when we all assumed that everyone had the same perspective on things that we do. And if their perspective was different, they were wrong.
We now recognize that each person has their own unique perspective and it is right for them. To build strong relationships in all aspects of our lives, we need to understand the perspectives of others, not necessarily agree with them, just be open and non-judging while listening to and understanding them. This ensures everyone feels seen, heard and understood, the fundamental key to building strong relationships.
How do we do this?
We become curious. This means we:
a) are present in conversations, focused on the other (stop multi-tasking, conversations in our head etc),
b) listen in a way that is open and non-judging. No one idea or perspective is right or wrong, they are just all unique and different.
c) Ask open questions (begin with who, what, where, when and how) and provide the opportunity to explore perspectives and discover new ways of moving forward.
As we get out of our own way, listening and asking questions instead of telling, we move towards more effective relationships built on understanding. This strategy works with all relationships – parent-child, partners, workplace, sports teams etc.
👉🏽 Kathy Taberner MA, PCC is a Certified Executive Coach and Co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity. She is also the Co-author of: The Power of Curiosity: How to Have Real Conversations that Create Collaboration, Innovation and Understanding.
#33. Listen and Give Validation
Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C
couples counselor and director of the Baltimore Therapy Center
Validate. So many conflicts get launched when one person argues with or contradicts their partner, and a fight quickly follows. You don’t have to agree with your partner to validate their perspective!
Validating just means saying, “I understand how you could feel that way.” If you *don’t *understand, go ahead and ask! Why does it make you angry when I ___? Listen to the answer without trying to disprove it. Maybe they are right to be angry with you, and maybe they aren’t, but explaining why they shouldn’t be angry doesn’t make them feel better. (If you’ve ever tried it, you know that this is true!)
Don’t try to persuade them out of their feelings. Just listen with the intent of understanding how they feel, from their perspective, and then allow them to have those feelings. You’ll avoid many fights this way and greatly improve the quality of your relationship.
👉🏽 Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C is a couples counselor and director of the Baltimore Therapy Center.
#34. Practice Healthy Communication
Licensed Professional Counselor
Healthy communication is essential for building strong relationships. The great thing about improving communication skills is that it can positively impact all of your relationships, not just a certain set.
Clear communication allows for the expression of thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns, questions between people. It leaves little to no room for misinterpretation. There are many perks of having healthy communication in a relationship. It can increase: trust, empathy, listening, problem-solving, acceptance, affection, feelings of connectedness, etc.
So how can we do this? Listen more. Listen for meaning. Do not half listen, give the person your full attention. What they have to say and how their interpretations of events/situations are important.
Reserve judgment and be open to compromise. Be empathetic. Really try to see where the other person’s point of view. Be aware of your body language and your facial expressions. Be respectful, even if you disagree. Be patient.
When it comes time to speak, be honest, be specific, be assertive. Know what you want to say and be truthful to yourself in saying it. Be aware of your audience and speak in a way that they are able to understand.
👉🏽 Erica Wiles writes for the site, LifeInsuranceTypes.com and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
#35. Stop Keeping Score
Author of The Mirror of Motivation
This is the #1 killer of relationships, when people treat the engagement more like a transaction than a relationship. They’re more focused on things being “even” than just doing good for each other because of genuine care for a person.
And we all have a sixth sense for people who keep score.
In thriving relationships, neither side keeps score of who’s done what for whom, or how much money has been spent, who owes who, etc.
The best, most valued and sought-after people in this world are those who focus on others and give so much that they essentially become needed by the people who know them — the reverse of how most people try to build significance, which is by taking and hoarding their resources.
This scarcity mindset repels people, good karma and all kids of blessings away from people. Give without expectation and it will come back to you!
👉🏽 Dre Baldwin is the Author of The Mirror of Motivation. He shares How To Get Lucky More Often, Crush The Haters, And Destroy Every Challenge You Face.
#36. Face Problems Together
Bliss Health Coaching
My tip for successful relationships is to look at your problems together and not let the problems come in between you. You are on the same side in life. Stand together and look at your problems in front of you instead of blaming each other.
👉🏽 Amanda owns Bliss Health Coaching where she focuses on the physical and mental health of women. She writes and speaks about reducing anxiety and depression naturally so people can live happy and healthy lives. Here’s How to Set Boundaries in Relationships for Your Health.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”m8eL_” via=”yes” ]“Stand together and look at your problems in front of you instead of blaming each other.” – Amanda, Bliss Health Coaching[/ctt]
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Make New Friends
Spend Time Together
If you’re ready to invest in your relationships and make them stronger, you need to actually spend time and energy with that person. Relationships don’t thrive overnight, you need to put in the time, energy, and effort. It doesn’t have to be hard either. Spending time together is easy when you’re doing things you enjoy. Here are ways to nurture your relationships by spending time together:
#37. Spend Quality Time Together
Writer, Grand Ascent
Spending quality time together is probably the one thing that will strengthen your relationships, regardless of the type of relationship.
Spending an hour playing barbies with your 7-year-old daughter will undoubtedly create a powerful bond. She will remember those moments for years to come.
Likewise, building forts, playing hide and seek, exploring and woods, or doing any other “manly” activity with your son will reinforce your love for each other.
As adults, we need to remember to take time out of our busy schedules and intentionally plan to spend time together with our loved ones. And while planning fun, meaningful activities is desirable, it doesn’t always have to be planned to the ninths. Here are some “together” activities that don’t really require any special preparations:
- share about your day
- dream together: plan a vacation, imagine your future home, etc.
- watch an old movie
- read together (or individually, but while in the same room)
- play games: card games are easy and convenient, but you can also play video games
- exercise together: go for a walk, play tennis, go hiking, etc.
- cook together. Baking and decorating a cake can make for some crazy fun times you’ll remember for a long time!
👉🏽 Adriana Copaceanu writes at Grand Ascent, where they are passionate about making women’s lives easier and more fulfilling. Here are 8 Fun Family Day Activities You’ll LOVE!
[ctt template=”3″ link=”5Ur7c” via=”yes” ]“Spending quality time together is probably the one thing that will strengthen your relationships, regardless of the type of relationship” @adrianacopacean [/ctt]
#38. Maintain a Healthy Friendship
Blogger, Dancing Through the Rain
My best tip for building strong relationships is to maintain a healthy friendship with your spouse. Attraction and feelings of romance ebb and flow over the years, but if you and your spouse and best friends, you still want to be with that person.
You have jokes that you can share and activities that you enjoy together. Find that friendship and you’ll find your way right back into each other’s arms.
👉🏽 Alli Doubek is the creator of Dancing Through the Rain, where she shares encouragement to keep moving, keep living, and keep being joyful. Here’s How to Stop Arguing In Relationships About Money.
#39. Meditate Together Daily
Blogger, This Anxious Mum
My husband and I have been strengthening our relationship via doing a daily meditation together. Using an app or guided meditation on YouTube, we lay down or sit across from each other cross-legged and close our eyes, holding hands. Taking the time out to connect before bed is so important and this is a way we’ve found to create that strong bond even when we don’t have the energy to have a big discussion.
It’s a practice we can adjust the timing of too, either opting for a quick meditation or a longer guided relaxation. Strengthening our relationship is so important given the birth of our daughter almost two years ago and while more traditional dates aren’t always possible, this is something that we can do from home, right before bed. It’s also cost-effective! I’d encourage lots of couples to give it a go if they’re looking to grow their bond with their loved one.
👉🏽 Renee Shaw of This Anxious Mum is a believer in the healing power of the written word, self-awareness and comfy knickers.
#40. Travel Together
Blogger, Adventures of Alice
I know it sounds cliche but I don’t think you truly know a person until you have traveled abroad with them. Different countries test your strengths, coordination and how well you get along when you can’t escape one another.
Plus, when you travel it’s all about new experiences. It’s easy to fall into that couple slump of work, dinner, TV, bed which doesn’t really leave much time for exploring new things. However when you travel it’s ALL about exploring new things. You can re-awaken that excitement, sense of adventure and make memories that will last you forever.
If you can tackle 2 weeks traveling alone in a confusing foreign country with your loved one and not want to rip each other’s heads off, you can survive a lifetime!
👉🏽Alice Smith shares her travel adventures over at Adventures of Alice, where you’ll find itineraries, packing guides, and tips from all over the globe.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”MR4cb” via=”yes” ]“If you can tackle 2 weeks alone in a confusing foreign country with your loved one and not want to rip each other’s heads off, you can survive a lifetime!” @in__wanderland[/ctt]
#41. Go On Outdoor Adventures
The Stoke Fam
The most important relationships in my life are the ones I have with my husband and kids. Over the years, I’ve found that life can get really crazy and we can start to feel disconnected if we don’t make an effort to connect. We’ve are able to do this most effectively when we take the time to get out and adventure in nature together. We’ve found that those times are when our kids are most likely to open up to us.
When you take away all the noise, stress, and distractions that come with everyday life, it frees up your headspace and allows you to truly connect with those around you. Although life can be busy, if you can intentionally put one or two blocks on your calendar each month for quality time in the great outdoors, you may be surprised how much of a difference it can make in your relationships with each other.
👉🏽 Tiffany writes over at the Stoke Fam. Whether you need ideas for your next adventure, gear recommendations so you aren’t wasting your hard-earned money, or tips & tricks to stay organized and make adventure happen, they’ve been there.
Start Building Strong, Healthy Relationships
What incredible tips for improving your relationships! A special thanks to each and every expert who shared their relationship-building tip with us. You are so appreciated!
If you’re looking to work on your relationship and require help, don’t be shy, click and connect with any of these relationship experts.
Things can’t get better if you don’t actually put in the effort and the energy. Relationships don’t become successful overnight.
If you’re missing an old friend, drifting apart from your loved ones, disconnected from your family, then reach out. Just say hello and go from there.
Start building healthy and happy relationships, at work, at home, and everywhere you go.
Life is beautiful when you have the right people at your side.
If you remember anything make it be this: communication is key in relationships. Start there!
Ready to improve your relationships? Want the keys to good relationships? Click here for how to build strong relationships from 41 relationship experts. #RelationshipGoals #RelationshipAdvice
How do you build strong relationships?
Last Updated on July 31, 2021