Great relationships are not made in heaven. They do NOT require
a soul mate, do not need to end when you fall out of love, are
not always exciting, and are not limited to a few lucky people.

 
Great relationships do require information, attention, time and
commitment to the challenge of creating them.

 
After more than 30 years as a relationship coach and marriage
counselor, studying, practicing and teaching relationship
building, I wrote down the tips I repeatedly give my clients.
Here is one useful tip from each section of my booklet, 124
Tips for Having a Great Relationship
.

 
1. About Relationships

 
Expect the closeness and distance you experience with your
partner to vary from hour to hour, day to day, and season to
season. People experience enough closeness much as they
experience enough food-any more leads to discomfort. We all have
different capacities.

 
2. Communication

 
Say “Maybe” when you are not sure about something. Give a time
when you will provide an answer and keep your commitment.

 
3. Difficult Communication

 
Speak in sentences or, at most, paragraphs instead of pages
during a difficult conversation. Your partner will only remember
the last sentence or two you say and forget the beginning of a
long speech.

 

4. Play

 
Laugh together. Share the jokes or cartoons that make you grin,
rent a funny video, or remember the stories about funny things
(especially in retrospect) you’ve experienced together.

 
5. Tasks

 
Hire someone to do the chores you both hate-or do them
together. Start by looking at the things that never seem to get
done, probably because neither of you wants to do them.

 
6. Boundaries

 

Name the movie you would like to see, or the restaurant you
like best, before you ask your partner’s preference. That way
you avoid being angry because your partner did not read your
mind.

 

7. Money

 
Create shared financial goals. Be sure you discuss and agree on
priorities. If one of you thinks your savings are for a great
vacation and the other expects to use them to invest for
financial independence, you are headed for trouble.

 

8. Special Occasions

 
Give gifts that your partner has indicated that s/he wants or
needs instead of what you believe s/he wants or needs. You can
give other gifts, too, but first paying attention to your
partner avoids disappointment.

 
9. Separateness

 
Encourage your partner to grow and develop in his/her own way.
This does not mean to chase your spouse around the house with a
self-help book.

 
10. Togetherness

 
Expect major life changes to impact your relationship. Having a
baby, losing a job, getting a new job, illness, death of a
parent, retirement, etc., may create a need to renegotiate
almost everything you thought was settled.

 

11. Care of Your Partner

 
Hug your partner frequently-not just when you want to get sexy.
Touch is an important way that people use to know that they are
loved.

 
12. Self Care

 
Do whatever makes you feel vibrant and alive, even if you need
to do it alone. When you feel vibrant and alive, you are
attractive to your partner and to others.

 


 
About the Author

 
Joyce Weiss shows leaders easy ways to boost the bottom line. Be Direct with Respect is a fresh approach to increase morale. She is the author of Full Speed Ahead: Become Driven by Change and
Take the Ride of Your Life! Shift Gears for More Balance, Growth, and Joy Joyce has been quoted in USA TODAY, INC, Chicago Tribune, Selling Power, and other national magazines. Joyce can be reached at
1-800-713-1926, Joyce@Joyceweiss.com or www.Joyceweiss.com. Visit www.tipstobehappy.com for free weekly reports on easy ways to add humor and balance at work and home.