Relationships don’t work by themselves. They require both the partners to oil the engine of their shared love. They require effort and a little change on your part. They require being there but not being too suffocating and giving each other importance.

There are a lot of ingredients that go into the pot that guarantees a longer relationship, or perhaps even a forever. Wondering what these are? To give you a good idea here is a list of 12 tips that you and your partner must follow to make your love work better:

1 – Be understanding

There are many moments in a relationship when you feel like your partner is giving too much time to his career. There are times when your partner feels you’re not open to getting intimate as much anymore. If you both want your relationship to work, you need to the understand one another’s situation. Perhaps the sudden turn toward being more career-oriented is because of your partner is inches away from a promotion. Maybe the lack of interest in intimacy is because of hurt feelings or emotional disturbances. Be empathetic about the opposite person’s condition.

2 – Communicate openly

Is there something that has been bothering you? Is there some effort that you wish for your partner to pour in? Distances are created when things are left unsaid. This is why, it is crucial to share feelings, to talk about what has been keeping you busy, what has been worrying you. If you don’t talk, a solution will never come into existence.

3 – Keep the spark alive

There are two kinds of people. The first sort thinks that material things are not necessary for making relationships work. Then there’s the second type which believes that gifts and dates keep are the decorative pieces that add life to a home. And it’s true. Most couples stop expressing love in the form of outings together, and presents as time proceeds. Often this works with one partner while the other starts to miss what the relationship used to be. Considering how these small things are expressions of love, don’t let them die as your relationship becomes old.

4 – Give time and attention

A relationship is a flower that is watered by attention and time. Many couples stop taking out time for one another which births misunderstandings. Apart from spending time with one another, it is also important to pay attention to each other. So, keep your mobile phone aside and actually listen to your partner’s worries, goals, and simply talk about their day.

5 – Have some patience

These days most people are too quick to run out of patience. While it’s always positive to talk about a negative situation like mature adults, it is also crucial to be forgiving about little matters and mistakes. Rather than continuing a fight, it is better to make peace. If your partner is going through a rough patch, bear with them. Unless of course, his or her behavior has been too toxic to let go of easily. For instance, a rare conflict of opinion leading to a mini fight is not something to hate or leave someone over. However, cheating and abuse of all sorts are unforgivable.

6 – Maintain Privacy

They say you shouldn’t hang your dirty laundry in public. In case there’s a small bad habit that your partner has or a mini argument that you too have had, there’s no point sharing the details of these with anyone. Most people share their private matters with their friends, which is not always a good idea. Learn to solve your differences yourself rather than discussing them with people. If sharing seems to be mandatory, like it often happens, discuss your personal matters with someone who is sincere and reliable.

7 – Don’t harbor jealousy or suspicion

Someone who spies on his partner and is unreasonably suspicious of their actions will create unnecessary problems. Trust is an important part of any relationship. Moreover, you shouldn’t be envious of one another’s success, social life, skills, or interactions with other people. One rule of successful relationships is to actually boost one another’s confidence rather than get jealous and pull one another down. Be confident about the love between you two and don’t be jealous of the people close to your partner who seem to be better than you.

8 – Expect and accept change

Change is what happens when humans grow. Not expecting or accepting it is hampering one another’s growth. Your partner will change physically and somewhat habit plus personality wise too. So as with time you notice positive or just neutral differences in your partner’s nature, don’t be surprised or annoyed. Know that your partner won’t also be and look perfect at all times.

9 – Ensure there’s power balance

Both of you should have a say. One shouldn’t decide all the matters for both. Both partners should have equal power. You shouldn’t be dominant or submissive. If one of you is more controlling, it won’t take time for him or her to manipulate the other. Moreover, the line between manipulative behaviour and abuse is thin, and unfortunately, it is often crossed.

10 – Respect each other

It’s only when you have respect for your partner that you stay loyal. It’s only when you have respect for your partner that you value them. Respect is what demands you not to cheat and speak the truth. It is what makes sure that you don’t expose one another’s flaws and shortcomings. It is what makes sure that you and your partner’s consent is always involved. For a successful relationship, you have to have respect for one another.

11 – Give space

There are people who believe that as a couple you need to live and breathe together in every moment, every adventure, at every place. This can actually feel pretty suffocating when it gets too much. To make a relationship work, both you and your partner need time away from one another. You both should have the time and space to go out with your friends, with your family without having the other tag along.

12 – Teamwork

Teamwork doesn’t mean that you completely divide responsibilities. While that is helpful, it is also essential to be there to shoulder the burden of one another’s responsibilities when it gets too heavy. Teamwork means paying a more significant chunk of the bill when your partner is short on cash, helping in the kitchen when help is not available. Teamwork is what a relationship is all about.

So, with this, our list of tips comes to an end. You see, there will be turbulent times and that’s when you need to be stronger and stick to these pieces of advice more. Which of these do you think your relationship could work on more? Let’s talk in the comments!