If you knew me personally, you’d probably wonder who I am to give tips on relationships. I am almost never in a relationship, however, I observe all of them. Since I was young, I’ve had a borderline obsession with finding the secret to a happy and healthy relationship. I’m not sure there is one, but these are some of the observations I’ve made.

  • 5:1 Ratio It takes 5 positive things, experiences, or interactions to equal 1 negative. Remember that in all relationships.
  • 5 Love Languages. If you haven’t heard of it, the love languages (physical touch, quality time, words or affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts) are essentially the ways people give and receive love. For me, my primary one is quality time with gifts having little to no importance. The quiz helped me realize that hugs, someone telling me they are proud of me or appreciate me, or someone helping me out when I’m tired or stressed are what’s most important to me in the other areas. To take the quiz, click here. For the book, click here.
  • Address issues quickly and don’t make them guess why you’re mad. Be like Vanilla Ice; if there’s a problem, solve it…now. It’s really easy to keep your irritations to yourself. Ever think that this could be because if you voiced them they’d sound more ridiculous than you’d like to admit? Whether that’s the case or not, don’t let your anger simmer or you’ll end up with a negativity snowball and a confused partner. If you want something to change or stop happening, you actually have to let them know what it is so they know for the future. Now, if they keep doing it after you’ve repeatedly told them your problems with it, that’s a little different.
  • Bring issues up calmly. I believe the calmer you bring something up, the more calmly it can be addressed because the other person won’t feel attacked. Of course, this isn’t absolute, but I think it’s good to practice no matter what.
  • Try not to take it personal or feel attacked. It’s easy to feel like you’re getting attacked when someone has a problem with you. Do your best to remember that you’re two people who do things differently. It takes time and effort to effectively figure out, learn, and, hopefully, understand the other person.
  • Think before you react. Once again, if you feel cornered, it’s easy to react sharply. If you can, take a moment to really think it over and see if you can realize where the other person is coming from.
  • Stop the negativity snowball. I’ve noticed that sometimes one little thing will bug me, but then I start thinking about all of the other little things that bug me and now I’m going down a spiral of negativity and irritation. If you feel this coming on, stop it. If there is something that needs to be addressed, refer to the first thing I mentioned.
  • Accept them for who they are. I’ll admit I struggle with this on multiple levels. Yes, they might have habits that annoy you that you’d like to see changed, but I’m talking about accepting them at their core. More than likely, your partner is going to want to come to you when they’re the most vulnerable (sharing a fear, goal, dream, etc) and they should be able to. If you don’t accept them and, instead, judge them, they won’t feel safe coming to you.
  • Encourage them. I’m sure most of us know what it’s like to share an idea we’re excited about only to have the person we tell react with criticism or subpar interest. It’s difficult when we don’t all have the same passions and, therefore, may not understand the enthusiasm, but try to be genuinely supportive and encouraging when it comes to things that really matter to them.
  • Acknowledge the things they do for you, big or small. Let’s face it, when people appreciate us and the things we do, we’re more likely to continue doing them. Also, if you stay in a state of expressing gratitude for and towards that person, you’ll remain in a happier mental state and will hopefully avoid the negativity snowball.