Building Strong Relationships

What makes a good relationship work? What makes a good relationship turn bad and fall apart? Let’s talk about what it takes to build solid relationships.

Most people would never consider jumping off a cliff into the sea without some expertise in swimming, but almost all of us jump into relationships without a clue about how to make them work. We’ve never given much thought to what a really good relationship needs, or about what skills the people in the relationship should have, if they really want to get the most out of it. Nevertheless, we seem to expect some version of happily-ever-after to follow, and when it doesn’t, we’re often surprised and disillusioned.

But if we want strong, loving relationships, we need the foundation of strong and open communication skills, demonstrations of affection that are genuine and understood, and a great deal of patience – for ourselves and the other involved in the relationship. We need the pillars of honesty, acceptance and dependability. And let us remember compassion, forgiveness and freedom, and the ability to successfully negotiate conflicts, as well. Without these, the structure of our relationship will not stand against the challenge of an ill wind.

Both building and maintaining a relationship requires a great deal of skill and lots of energy. It is an investment that requires our attention, if it is to succeed. However, a lot of people assume that, once started, their relationships will just take care of themselves. Relationships are more like flowers planted in a garden. Once planted, they need water and fertilizer, and occasional pruning, in order to flourish and bloom.

Now, if a business owner assumed that once started, the business needed no further attention, no one would be surprised when that business went bankrupt. It is easy to see business as an investment and completely logical to take care to make sure that our investment doesn’t fail. Our relationships deserve at least the same level of care we would put into our business, don’t they?