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Tips for a Happy Relationship

Given it's the 'month of love', we thought it timely to share these great simple tips on how to foster a happy and loving relationship with your partner. A lot of my work as a psychologist is working with people who are in dysfunctional relationships, or have a desire to improve the quality of their partnerships. A common denominator across many of the individuals and couples I work with is a breakdown of healthy communication. All couples have conflicts from time to time, but some couples are able to resolve those conflicts successfully or 'agree to disagree', while others find that they are not. Whilst there is never one simple reason relationships fail, at the heart of a lot of my work is the focus on healthy open and assertive communication (see our blog on this topic). These ten tips below are a simple and effective checklist that might help you keep your Valentine's Day alive all year round! Actively keep your love alive by valuing and nurturing your relationship in the following ways:

  1. Plan regular time together doing something you both enjoy.

  2. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming the worst. Be curious and seek to understand why your partner is acting the way he/she is.

  3. Make sure the positive experiences in your relationship outweigh the negative experiences by five to one, and make sure you show your appreciation for your partner's caring actions.

  4. When there is conflict make sure you calm yourselves by taking time out when emotions are high, and coming back to the discussion later.

  5. When mistakes are made, make sure you both work to repair the damage.

  6. Be there to support your partner in times of difficulty, and encourage him or her in work, friendships and leisure activities.

  7. Be prepared to be influenced by what is important to your partner, just as your partner needs to be influenced by you.

  8. Have a ‘team mentality'. When there are difficulties, talk about what ‘we' need to do about it.

  9. Have high standards for your relationship, and stick to them yourself.

  10. Keep your sense of humour, and make sure you have fun.

* Source: Australian Psychological Society To make an appointment with Matt at Incorporate Psychology to work through your relationship issues, contact us on (07) 3852 2441 or email Medicare and health fund rebates can apply.

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