3 Tips for Every Relationship

Posted March 11, 2014 by Katie Fleming in Life After Five
These are very exciting times for us!  Loving, committed relationships are no longer just for your average cookie cutter lovebirds.  Look at yourself, look around you – you’ll see men with women, men with men, women with women, exclusive relationships, open relationships, and even plural relationships!

Whatever your personal relationship style may be, I promise you have something in common with every relationship out there.  All relationships have their highs and lows, and the qualities that make that relationship unique.  There are three common themes in all relationships that affect how successful that relationship will be.

Three Tips for Every Relationship:

  1. Open communication.  Being able to speak openly with your partner(s) about your feelings and any current issues in the relationship is vital.  Nothing can be worked through unless it is addressed.  When issues are ignored or denied, tension builds, ultimately creating a wall between partners.
  2. Create, know, and follow the rules (spoken or unspoken).  You and your partner(s) need a structure, or framework for the relationship.  For example, the most popular rule in relationships is “No Cheating”.  It is up to you and your partner to define cheating.  What exactly constitutes cheating, what doesn’t, etc.  Rules can be implied (in which case, it should be obvious that all partners are aware and in agreement), or literally written down.  The more complicated the relationship, the more helpful it would be to write down the rules.  For instance, if you and your partner decide to have a sexually open relationship, what exactly are the boundaries?
  3. Respect.  Respect all persons in the relationship, their needs, their wants, their strengths, and their weaknesses.  Respect yourself.  Respect the rules of the relationship, the qualities that make it unique, and the challenges it may bring.

I realize some of these tips may sound vague.  The challenge is to seriously consider each one, analyze it, decide what it means for you, and apply it to your own relationship.  Grab a cup of tea, reflect, and good luck!

About the Author

Katie Fleming

Katie earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, and is currently a Crisis Therapist in Chicago. Her therapy interests include health and wellness, relationships, trauma, and crisis. Katie is also a therapist with a group practice in Arlington Heights. Katie is thrilled to be a part of Career Girl Network, helping to guide all Career Girls towards overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Katie is passionate about animal rescue, running, and yoga. She is the proud dog mom of Gulliver and Duke!