There are many skills you can learn that improve your relationship.
But there are 3 that had the MOST POSITIVE EFFECT on our relationship and made it LAST!
- Got us through our worst patches
- Are the ones, we use MOST FREQUENTLY to this day
- Dissipated our conflicts before they even escalated
In other words, they’re the most USEFUL and they’ll have the BIGGEST impact in ensuring the growth and survival of your relationship.
I’ve listed them in the order in which we’ve learned and perfected them.
1. Why Reflective Listening Will Keep Your Partner Hooked
Reflective listening is the first skill we discovered, that significantly reduced our fights.
What is reflective listening?
In case you haven’t heard about it before, reflective listening is a communication strategy involving two key steps:
- Seeking to understand your partner’s thought
- Then repeating the thought back to him, to confirm you’ve understood him.
In other words, you listen to your partner carefully, then say what they said back to them to ensure that they feel understood.
Him: “Work was such BS! My boss is so incompetent, he doesn’t even get what I’m working on! But he doesn’t even care to try and understand either! I’d do a WAY better job if I was in his position.”
You: “So your boss is not listening to you or not trying to understand what you’re working on AGAIN?”
Him: “Yes, exactly! Why am I even working for this guy?”
And so on and so forth.
The power of this skill is not to be underestimated, it will keep him absolutely HOOKED.
Because he will feel so understood and heard by you!
I’m speaking from experience here.
Karolina has gotten so good at this by now, nobody can compete.
And when I’m having a bad day, I KNOW that when I tell her about it, she’ll reflect what I’m saying back to me and it’ll help me feel less alone and sort it out.
Without this skill though, you and your partner might find yourselves endlessly turning in circles.
Because it’s extremely difficult to feel understood otherwise.
2. How Resolving Problems Prevents Potential Relationship Crises
It’s a harsh truth, but I don’t want to lie to you.
When problems are ignored and swept under the rug, they don’t disappear…
They actually compound.
And over time, the pile becomes so big it’ll infect most areas of your relationship and cause a crisis that it might not survive.
This is why problem-solving is the second skill on this list.
Karolina and I learned this lesson the HARD WAY.
We got along so well at the beginning, the problems that popped up seemed insignificant, so we ignored them.
But as time went by, they grew and grew, until they erupted into endless frustrating fights.
This is when we decided to tackle our problems head-on and started asking questions:
- “What exactly are we fighting about here?”
- “What can we do to fix this?”
- “What unmet need is driving us to argue?”
We figured it out in the end, but we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartbreak, had we started dealing with our relationship problems earlier on.
3. Romance & Sex Will Keep Your Relationship Healthy & Exciting
Romance and sex are what differentiate your platonic friendships from your intimate relationship.
And they fulfill basic human needs:
Feeling attractive, desired and connected through sex.
You and your partner trying to fulfill each other sexual needs is an important factor that can make or break your relationship.
If you stop making an effort to be intimately close with each other, your attraction will dry up.
Yes, romance and sex can be perceived as skills.
You can learn them and get better at them but not in the traditional sense.
It’s not about performing certain actions or learning to do things in a particular way.
What makes romance and sex work in a long term relationship is developing and deepening the emotional connection with your partner.
You can make your sex life so much more fulfilling and exciting just by getting to know your partner better.
Building trust can help you both open up and let each other in more.
And the closer and more connected you get, the more fulfilling and exciting your sex life can become… 😉
If you have thoughts or questions, let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.