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How to Build a Great Relationship

Updated on February 28, 2013
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When we consider the term "relationship," it is often the romantic type that immediately springs to mind. In actuality, "relationship" is much broader, and can include friendships as well as business associations. It can include same sex as well as opposite sex interactions. It can cross the boundaries of age, ethnicity, and religion. In fact, relationships cross all boundaries. Thankfully, the general principles of relationship building are universal, and can be applied to romantic relationships as well as any other relationship type you can think of.

Sharing secrets is often a major part of the greatest relationships. A secret between friends can be a powerful relationship binder as long as the promise not to tell is kept.
Sharing secrets is often a major part of the greatest relationships. A secret between friends can be a powerful relationship binder as long as the promise not to tell is kept. | Source

One basic concept which is essential to building a strong relationship is that both parties must be involved. A relationship can only reach its full potential if both sides are taking the initiative and working together. In the strongest relationships both parties typically:

  • View the relationship as an opportunity to give. Regardless of the type of relationship it is essential that both individuals have something to give and are willing to give it. This can be something as simple as time, energy, or a listening ear. Have you ever been friends with someone and felt you got absolutely nothing out of it? Maybe your conversations always involved their problems or what their hopes and dreams are. Perhaps you always did what they waned to do or you were never provided with the opportunity to share the important aspects of your life. It is easy to see how this might makes for a lousy relationship.
  • Show a willingness to change. Nobody is perfect and there is always room for growth and development. In the greatest relationships both parties are willing to change and/or compromise. This does not mean you have to change every and anything to placate the other party, but their will always be times when change is necessary. For example, when things go wrong it may be examine what you could have done differently and possibly even change you point of view, attitude, or response.
  • Show a willingness to admit mistakes. Mistakes will be made, and quite often it is better to openly admit them than to become defensive.In the best relationships both parties realize this and work together to correct mistakes.

Being supportive is essential to building a strong relationship. Showing concern, offering advice, or just being their to listen are all great ways to show support.
Being supportive is essential to building a strong relationship. Showing concern, offering advice, or just being their to listen are all great ways to show support. | Source
  • Support each other. We all need some form of support at times and making sure the other half of your relationship gets that needed support is essential. This does not necessarily mean financial support (though I am sure the partner in your relationship would appreciate this type of support as well). Instead, being supportive in your relationship can simply mean providing emotional support by being their in a time of need to listen and even provide advice. Support can mean showing up for important events or remembering an special occasion.
  • Show some integrity. Trust is a really big thing when it comes to relationships. In the best relationships both parties do what they say they are going to do. They keep their promises and act in a trustworthy manner.
  • Show a willingness to listen. You may not always understand or agree with the other person in your relationship, but having a willingness to listen is essential to keeping your relationship at its best. Try to understand the other person's point of view and even if you don't understand completely at least give them the opportunity to be heard.
  • Show a willingness to be open. How often have we heard that communication is the key to any successful relationship. Well, it is so true. Being open about the things that bother you, expressing your likes and dislikes, communicating your desires instead of keeping them locked inside is essential to building a happy and healthy relationship.


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