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Relationship advice: 15 pieces of advice for a successful relationship

relationship adviceWe all want to have the kind of happy, inspiring, successful relationship that we’ve read about in books or watched unravel in a film or television show, but so often this type of relationship evades us.  Perhaps it’s unrealistic to hold ourselves to the standards of fiction, but that doesn’t mean that there are not some things we should all do to give our relationship the best possible chance.  Our relationships can be happy and inspiring.  Our relationships can be successful.  Here are fifteen key pieces of relationship advice you should keep in mind if you want your relationship to succeed.

A key piece of relationship advice: Communicate

Talk to each other

There is nothing more important in a relationship than keeping the lines of communication open.  You should be able to talk to your partner, and your partner to you, about anything and everything, without fear of being judged or ridiculed.  Express to your partner any concerns, needs or fears you have about your relationship, or indeed about any other aspect of your life.  The other person is there to listen to you and support you and will always be on your side.  Don’t close yourself off to your partner.  Always remain open in your body language as well as your dialogue.  Don’t turn away from your partner, and make eye contact and touch often.  You should be able to confide in your partner about anything that’s troubling you. And your partner should be able to do the same.  Communication is the number one piece of advice recommended to a couple.


Equally as important as talking and the second part of communication, listening to your partner is something that many people take for granted.  Don’t nod along while your partner is trying to talk to you, barely listening and with one eye still on your newspaper.  Listen to what your partner is saying, read their body language, he/she may be more upset than you think.  Is he crossing his arms?  He may be closing himself off to you, because if you’re not listening then he obviously can’t confide in you.  Is she rolling her eyes?  She’s clearly irritated by your lack of sympathy and response.  Sit up straight, make eye contact and give your partner your full attention.

You want your partner to be able to confide in you about anything, so make sure you’re ready to listen when he/she does come to you to talk.  And don’t just listen, actually hear what your partner is saying and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. If he/she has a problem, try to help him/her find a solution.  You would not appreciate it if your partner was ignoring or only half-listening to you, so don’t do it to them.  Be communicative and attentive: talk and listen to one another if you want your relationship to succeed.

Take an interest

Take an interest in your partner’s life.  Ask him/her how his/her family and friends are doing, how their day was, what he/she is working on at the minute… And don’t just ask, be attentive to the answer.  Be interested in what is new with him/her and what’s going on in his/her life.  Don’t fall into the trap where you get so bored of hearing the same answers that you stop listening.  Ask anyway.  Your partner will want to know that you’re still interested in his/her life.  Dale Carnegie famously wrote, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you”.  Taking an interest in your partner’s life shows that you listen to him/her and that you care about him/her, and will bring the two of you closer.

Give your partner a reason to take an interest in your life, even after months or years together.  Perhaps to avoid falling into the same boredom trap you could think of something different to tell your partner each day when he/she asks you how your day was.  Think of some small anecdote or joke to keep him/her interested in hearing about your life.

Be supportive and understanding

Your partner should be able to confide in you about anything that’s bothering him/her. Even if it is some doubts he/she is having about your relationship, be supportive and understanding.  Don’t immediately fly off the handle and get angry or hurt.  This is not about you.  You need to show your support. Talk it through with him/her and help him/her decide what is best.  Just by showing your partner your support and understanding you’re showing him/her that you are the kind of person he/she wants and deserves.

Be patient with your partner too. If you are ready to take the next step in your relationship but he/she is not, try not to rush him/her.  Be understanding of the fact that everyone moves at a different pace. He/she may just need a little more time to be ready to commit than you do.

You should also make an effort to be understanding and supportive of your partner’s hopes and dreams, their career, travel or family goals.  Don’t be the type of partner that will hold them back.  Be the type of partner who will encourage them to chase their dreams. Help them to achieve their goals.  Our relationship advice is to be supportive of all your partner’s endeavors.

Have confidence in your partner is a main relationship advice


relationship guidanceNo relationship can survive without a certain level of trust. Whether it’s a relationship with a family member, a friend, or a lover.  Trust is at the center of all of our relationships.  Of course, it is not something that is present right away. Trust is something that has to be built over the first few months of a relationship. But after that it should be given freely.  It means that you have faith in that person, that you have confidence that they will not deliberately hurt you. Knowing that you can tell them anything and they will never betray your confidence.

Trust is the key to providing a sense of safety in the relationship. Therefore, if there is no trust, the relationship will always be unstable and will never be successful.  So even if you’ve been burned by a past lover, you need to show your partner that you trust him/her, and that he/she can trust you.  Don’t be overbearing.  Don’t get irrationally jealous if your partner spends time with other people.  Give him/her some personal space. And don’t invade his/her privacy by reading their texts or emails. Trust is a two-way street.  If you want your partner to trust you, you have to trust them. This trust is a key piece of relationship advice for any couple who want their relationship to succeed.


If you want your partner to have confidence in you, to trust you, then you have to be completely honest with them, and vice versa.  Secrets have a way of coming out and have been known to kill many relationships, so one of the best pieces of advice is to make sure that you’re open and honest about everything.  If you have something big or damaging in your past, like a marriage, a prison sentence or being left at the altar, be upfront and honest about it.  Your past can’t hurt your present relationship as long as your partner finds out about it from you and not from someone or somewhere else, and being honest shows that you respect your partner.

Dishonesty breaks relationships.  It destroys the trust the other person has placed in you or you in them and undermines your relationship.  Secrets hurt worse than the truth so it is better to be honest.  If you have some indiscretion during your current relationship, it is better to tell your partner about it and hope that he/she can forgive you than for him/her to find out months or years from now when you will both be even more invested in the relationship.  Sometimes the lie can hurt worse than the betrayal, and a lie of omission is still a lie.  If you build a relationship based on a lie or dishonesty, then that whole relationship is a lie and will never succeed.

Deal with conflict

A crucial part of our relationship advice is to accept that things will not always be perfect in your relationship.  There will be rough patches.  There will be disagreements.  That’s just what happens when you share your life with somebody.  You are still two different people and occasionally you will argue over things, it doesn’t matter whether it’s your children, your in-laws, your finances or your hobbies.  You need to learn to deal with these conflicts.  Don’t shout or scream and walk out and slam the door, talk it over calmly and rationally, and accept the fact that sometimes you’re going to have to compromise.

You will not always manage to make your partner see your side just as your partner won’t always succeed in proving he/she is right.  Sometimes you have to simply agree to disagree and move past the argument.  If you have to insist that you’re right and fight to win every single argument, you’re never going to have a successful relationship.

Be yourself

Preserve your individuality

People change over time. Obviously, after five years, you will not be the same person as you were when you and your partner first got together.  However, don’t let years in a relationship take away the things that made you stand out to your partner, the things that made you different, and the reasons why he/she fell for you.  If you were the funny guy, keep telling jokes even if you’ve become much more mature. If you were the girl who always said what was on her mind, continue to be bold. Even if you’re a little more considerate now.  Time will change you, it’s unavoidable. But don’t get too comfortable with who you are as part of a happy couple. And don’t forget who you are as an individual. After all, that’s who your partner first fell in love with.

Retain some independence

So you and your partner have been together for a long time. You have come to rely on each other for almost everything. Don’t become totally dependent on your partner.  Retain some independence in your own life. Spend time with your friends without your significant other being there too. Don’t spend every waking minute together. Be able to go and buy a pair of socks without needing your partner’s input…

It is good relationship advice to create some healthy boundaries.  If you spend every single minute of every single day together, you’re going to get sick of the sight of one another.  If you’re constantly joined at the hip, everything your partner does is going to start to annoy you.  You’re going to become dependent and needy and that is going to be very unattractive to your partner.  Spending time apart is healthy.  Have your own friends and your own hobbies.  You don’t need to stick to your partner like glue, and if you want to have a healthy, happy and successful relationship, spending some time apart and doing some things separately is essential.

Break the routine

Change it up

successful relationshipOften we get very comfortable in our relationships and quickly settle into a routine.  We do the same things every evening; come home from work, eat dinner and watch television with our partners until it’s time for bed; and while it is not necessarily a bad thing to feel so comfortable with our partner, sometimes we need to change it up, do something different, and take a break from the monotony of our daily lives.

Our relationship advice is to spend some time with your partner, just the two of you, but do something different.  Try different activities; eat at different types of restaurants; go away for the weekend to somewhere you’ve never been.  Boredom is a common cause of relationship failure so do what you can to keep your relationship interesting.  You don’t have to do these things every day or every week, but try to do something different at least once every month or two and you’ll find yourself enjoying your partner’s company and falling in love with him/her all over again.  Avoid the trap of boredom if you want to have a successful relationship.

Surprise each other

Another useful piece of advice that follows the idea of breaking the routine and avoiding boredom: surprise each other.  After being in the same relationship for a long time, we know the other person so well that the relationship can become dull and predictable.  Showing your partner that you’re still capable of surprising him/her can keep things fun and exciting, and now that you know him/her so well you can probably think of a dozen little things off the top of your head that he/she would love.  Even if it’s as simple as surprising your partner with their favorite wine, a candlelit dinner and a bubble bath or some sexy new lingerie, surprising each other will help keep the excitement and romance in your relationship alive, and while romance isn’t always essential after the early stages of a relationship, it certainly doesn’t do any harm.

Retain some mystery

This piece of relationship advice may be easier said than done, especially after a couple of years when the other person knows you better than you know yourself.  Much like surprising your partner, being mysterious can help to shake your relationship up a little and stray from your daily routine.  Be playful, maybe serve dessert before dinner, and catch him/her off guard.  You could plan a holiday or a weekend getaway.  Let your partner know that you’ve got something planned but don’t tell him/her what you’re doing or where you’re going.  Don’t let him/her find the information. By doing this, you’ll surround yourself and your plans with an air of mystery and appeal to your partner’s sense of curiosity, something which can be very exciting and sexy.  A little mystery can help create some much-needed spontaneity and adventure in a long-term relationship, and can help contribute to a successful relationship.

Be affectionate

Make your relationship a priority

This is some relationship advice that is particularly important at the beginning of a relationship: you have to make the relationship a priority if you want it to succeed.  This means that even when you’re young, and you’re making plans to travel the world or moving away to start an exciting new job or creating a five-year career plan, you have to think about where your relationship fits into the equation.

Maybe you’re not ready for that level of commitment. Not ready to give your relationship the same priority as your other goals and dreams. And maybe when you’re young that’s okay. But if you want a relationship to last, you have to prioritize it along with everything else in your life.  Even when you’ve been in your relationship for years you should continue to prioritize it.  Maybe your boss wants to send you to a different part of the country, or asks you to start working weekends. Then, you need to think about how this will affect your relationship. How your partner will feel about it and talk about it with them.  If you don’t care enough about your relationship to make it a priority in your life then it doesn’t have much chance of succeeding.

Preserve intimacy

For many couples, sex is a very important part of the relationship. So in order for the relationship to succeed, a sense of intimacy must be preserved.  It is no secret that in a lot of relationships, sex becomes a lot less regular and a lot less exciting as the two of you get older and have been together for longer.  Perhaps when the relationship first began you couldn’t keep your hands off of one another. But now you maybe only have sex once every few weeks.

If you want to have a successful and satisfying sexual relationship, our relationship advice is to take care to make time for each other.  If necessary, allocate date nights, for example, every other Friday you drop all other plans and spend the night together.  Or share your deepest sexual fantasies with one another and try new things in the bedroom to spice up your sex life and keep the relationship exciting.  Be aware of the other person’s needs and try to fulfill them.  Being aware of what your partner wants or needs, sexually or otherwise, and how he/she is feeling is an important part of any relationship.

strong relationship

Say “I love you”

Making your partner feel valued and telling and showing them how much you love them is an important part of our relationship advice.  Sometimes it’s the little things that count; whisper to her that she’s beautiful, bring him a cup of tea, tuck a strand of hair behind her ear… Do little things to show your affection and prove your love for your partner.  For most people, their main expectation from their relationship is to love and be loved. So if you want your relationship to be successful, show him/her that you love him/her regularly.  Say “I love you” too.  Tell your partner how you feel about them. Nothing will make them feel more special and appreciated. And if both parties in the relationship feel loved and valued, the relationship is much more likely to be successful.

Every relationship is different and every couple have their own strengths and struggles.  Maybe the things that work for you and your partner will not work for another couple. Or the things that work for another couple will not work for you. But these are 15 pieces of relationship advice that every couple should follow to have a successful relationship.  These 15 pieces of relationship advice could be the key to your happily ever after.

Antoine Peytavin, fondateur du site

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