Relationships bring out best and worst in us. Here are some ways to bring out best in yours:
1. Focus on yourself. Do things to increase your self-awareness, like how you behave in relationships. It can help to stay aware of patterns, reactions, feelings, beliefs, and triggers (from your childhood and previous relationships) that arise in your relationship. It is often true that how you feel may have little to do with your partner, and is more about you and your past experiences.
2. Take responsibility for your own feelings, thoughts, needs, and behaviour.
* Use "I" statements ("I feel..." vs. "You make me feel...") * Check out assumptions, interpretations, and fears. * State your feelings and thoughts clearly and without blame. * Make requests. Ask for what you need. She/he may not know what you need. * Know that you may not get exactly what you need. * Find ways to meet your own needs.
3. Take care of yourself. Treat yourself as you would a good friend.
4. Be present with yourself. This is important not only for your own well-being, but also for your relationship. Being present with yourself can be achieved in different ways, such as meditation, yoga, relaxation, rest, exercise, body awareness, dance, being in nature, and prayer. Anything that helps you to be in moment will help you to do that with your partner, as well. Many people find that being in moment while they are with their partner is a lot harder than when they are alone or with other people. Some couples work on this together. You can:
* Lie down with your partner in a spoon position (one person's front side hugs other person's back side) and then breathe in unison for five to ten minutes. Generally it is better if larger partner follows breath of smaller partner. If your mind wanders, bring your focus back to breathing together. Variations of this are standing up and breathing in unison while hugging, and sitting down facing each other, holding eye contact while breathing in unison. This can also be helpful to do when you feel upset or angry with each other.
* Sit facing each other. At first, look down or close your eyes. Become aware of your breath. Follow natural rhythm of your breath, and let your mind be clear of thoughts and worries. When you have done this for a while, open your eyes and look at your partner. S/he may not have opened her/his eyes yet. If not, look at your partner from this meditative place and see what you notice, while you continue to follow your breath. When your partner opens her/his eyes, hold eye contact, while continuing to follow your breath. If you lose your connection with your breath, take a moment by looking down or closing your eyes to reconnect, and then hold eye contact again. Just notice what you are aware of as you do this.
5. Nurture all of your relationships. Try not to isolate yourself in your primary relationship.
6. Explore your own creativity, needs, independence, leisure activities, hobbies, career Anything that makes you feel better about yourself, or makes you feel whole and feeds your soul is important and will have a positive effect on your relationship.
7. Take another look. When your partner does something that bothers you,
* Ask yourself, what does this mean to me? Why am I bothered by this? Is there anything from my past that is effecting how I am feeling or seeing this right now? Have I in any way contributed to this issue, perhaps without being aware of it? Is there anything about this issue that might reflect something I don't want to look at within me?
* If you are feeling critical or judgmental about your partner's behaviour, step back for a moment and see if you can come up with alternative explanations for that behaviour—ones that are less critical.
* If you need to say something, this is a helpful formula to use: When you...(describe behaviour in neutral terms), I feel...(describe feelings without blaming), and I would like to ask that you...(make your request about a concrete behavioural change).