6 most essential relationship skills

  • By Team TDO

Relationships! One can say enough about them to fill an entire tome. As humans and social animals, our lives revolve around the various relationships we foster in our circles of influence - family, friends, colleagues, marital or sexual. It is through relationships that we either grow and flourish or dwindle and perish. Maintaining a relationship takes as much skill as playing golf or mastering the violin. Here’s some special relationship advice for men to keep your relationship strong and healthy.

1.Accepting the bad with the good (bad first)
As the saying goes – "A real man can take the rough with the smooth". Accepting your partner for what she is the first step towards a harmonious relationship. It could be a physical attribute , a mental disposition or a habit pattern - accept it unconditionally, and don’t try to point out the flaws as it might not be well received. Diplomacy and tact are the key words here.

Some men want absolute charge of their partners and thus can be controlling to the extent of what the partner should even think and feel. Every human is unique and different, and your partner or spouse is no exception. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to suggest some changes for the better, if it is really that important for you. Question being, is it important enough for everybody concerned? As humans we are going to like ten things about someone and absolutely dislike 10 or maybe 20 more. Remember, try and focus on the good things and help your partner make the best use of that. Your relationship will be there for keeps.

2.Blending in and redefining yourself
Change is a constant in every relationship. Either you have a change in relationship (a new partner) or undergo a change in dynamics in your previous one. Either way, you will have to deal with change, and effective change management is the key to successful relationships. As humans, we are afraid and resistant to change and therein lies the problem. It is easier for one to seek change in the other person rather than changing oneself first. You and your partner are a unit – 2 halves that make a whole. Often, the two halves make a hole! It is the ability to communicate your needs and even interpreting the signals that your partner gives you, decides your relationship status. It is your ability to blend your identity with your partner’s and redefining yourself which goes for trouble free relationships.

We often have unrealistic expectations from our partners which may not be fulfilled, and that leads to tensions or relationship woes. If only we did a reality check to see if what we are expecting is realistic or would it burden the other person to fulfill it. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, where you know that your hopes are going to be dashed on the rocky shores of ‘Great Expectations’, and that becomes an excuse for you to play the martyr! Then hear yourself crib about stagnation in the relationship. Instead, try and see how best you can bring fulfillment to the other person or partner. Is there something that you have missed out on? Some expectations are not expressed obviously. They have to be felt, and if a partner is in tune with you, you won’t even have to open your mouth to express what you desire whether sexually or emotionally.

4.Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes
This is maybe a commonplace expression but great wisdom hides within. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes - if not for anything else, for yourself. Yes, for purely selfish reasons (if you care to call it that) but putting yourself in other’s shoes always helps you understand to some extent what the other person wants or expects from you. It will help you reflect on what changes you need to make within yourself to have a reasonable degree of harmony and take the relationship to another dimension.

5.Territorial disputes, the drawing of boundaries and their dissolution
Sharing of space and its violation is the same whether it is disputing nations or people. Countries are, after all, made up of people, so that’s not surprising. In a relationship there is a blurring or dissolving of boundaries initially. Then after a while, there is a mad fight for personal space, as each partner might feel the other is violating or invading his/her personal space.

A respect for your partner’s personal space i.e. not just her physical space but also her unique mental traits or feelings have to be acknowledged and respected. She also has to be recognized for her individuality, and just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t give you the right to pry in to her mobile phone or read her diary without her permission.

Men do it inadvertently but women feel ‘taken for granted’ or violated in certain ways. Same goes for you. If you feel your boundaries are being crossed, then it is time you spoke about it rather than keep it inside. A frank open communication channel between partners is the best way to keep a relationship going.

6.Relationship is a partnership game
You have to breathe life in a relationship to keep it going once the reasons and circumstances that you met under, become a distant memory. Relationship is a partnership game, and that’s the fun of it all isn’t it: to do things for 2, to think for 2 and breathe as 1. The initial reasons for you to be together may have changed but you have to make sure you give your relationship at least 10 better reasons to exist and thrive. Humans always work on a ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ basis and that is perhaps the most essential skill to possess- To provide a better reason for the relationship to exist.

What can keep the relationship going is how well you hold on to your partner's hand and ask:

"Are you ready for the next dance?"