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How to Grow in a Relationship for Women

Updated on October 23, 2012
krsharp05 profile image

Kristi graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Human Development and Developmental Psychopathology of Children.

Greg and Mary
Greg and Mary | Source

Transform Your Relationship

Is your relationship at a plateau? Do you feel unsure or insecure about what you can do as a woman to strengthen the bond and enable the love connection to mature and succeed. Use these ideas and tools to help you become stronger in your quest for a healthy, loving relationship.

Love, Empowerment, Approval

You've heard people tell you that if you don't love yourself, how will other people love you? Have you ever really thought about that? Most of the time I think it just goes in one ear and out the other. Loving yourself isn't succinct with narcissism. Loving yourself is the ability to look yourself in the mirror and appreciate that you will never be "her", you will always be you, and that you are good. There will always be people who have negative opinions about you, who may not like the shape of your figure, the style of your hair, the sound of your laugh or the way you cook spaghetti but for those few in the opposition, there are twice as many who love you and want you to succeed.

It's always easier to recognize the enemies and foes because ugliness is painful. The people who are negative live with that negativity and misery loves company. The best choice you can make is to let it go and embrace the positive people around you. Empower yourself and give yourself permission to walk away from the negativity. It's your life.

Becca and Ryan
Becca and Ryan | Source

Be Responsible For Your Happiness

Don't assume that the future of your happiness is the responsibility of anyone but you. It's a disquieting fallacy among women who become involved in relationships. The union becomes more serious and eventually they marry after which the woman is stunned and befuddled at why her obedient and loving husband isn't at her beck and call making her happiness the priority of his every waking moment. Nonsense. Relationships and certainly not marriage, are not based on slavery. Your life should continue just as it did prior to the wedding, engagement or prior to the decision that you are now a bona fide couple. You continue to see your friends, enjoy your normal activities and have good times together as well.

Your identity should remain stable in your relationship. You shouldn't have to give up hobbies, time with friends, time with family or things that you enjoy doing. Certainly, if these activities are monopolizing your time, perhaps you could compromise which activities you do and when or you could find activities that you and your significant other enjoy doing together. CAUTION: If your fun activity is something provocative and your man feels strongly about you quitting, this might be an activity that you either choose the activity or the man. When it comes to personal privacy, you have to respect his boundaries about not wanting to share you.

Randy and Debra
Randy and Debra | Source

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication rules out a few unsavory crafts that women sometimes employ. These techniques don't foster healthy relationships and won't enable you to grow emotionally. If you find yourself using these techniques, it might be wise to take some time off from the dating scene so that you can sharpen your methods of delivery and acceptance. These tactics are things such as:

  • playing games
  • making assumptions about things that don't exist
  • taking everything personally
  • feeling as though suggestions are personal attacks on your character

Since it's not a mystery that men aren't the master's of expressing their feelings, talking about the things that bother them, understanding how and why they have arrived at the XYZ in the road of their lives or expressing to you when they need support, it doesn't mean that the two of you cannot grow together. It means that you have to learn to express yourselves productively. Luckily girls, there are some useful tips you can use when you're trying to understand your man.

  1. Logic is an excellent tool. Learn to make it your friend and you will not only be able to communicate but you will also understand your man on a deeper level.
  2. When you're having a discussion explain your point clearly and concisely. Don't expect that you've met a mind-reader.
  3. Ask him questions about his life; about the things he likes. Find a common interest.
  4. When you communicate, appreciate him and express gratitude for what he does well. Thank him for the things he does for you and boost his ego. He will be more likely to want to have discussions in the future if the two of you can talk positively.

Relationship Wreckers

  • stalking
  • gossip
  • hatefulness
  • cheating
  • being needy
  • being overly controlling
  • selfishness
  • indecisiveness

Be Realistic

When you were a little girl you might have dreamed about having your own Prince Charming. A man who will sweep you off your feet, solve your problems, see to your every need and fulfill your every fantasy and whim. At some point during the reverie your alarm clock will sound and you will wake to reality. The truth is, no man is capable of plucking you from your life and replanting you into a blossoming field of dreams.

Personal relationships are based on reciprocity. The value of a relationship is based totally on what you derive from it which determines how much you will give in return. Relationships are a give and take; a balancing act and at times certainly the scales tip in both directions. It's not uncommon for there to be rough patches. These are the times when you work as a team to cooperate, exchange and balance each other out.

While it's certainly true that over the course of a relationship two people can learn to adapt and compromise so that the bond between them becomes stronger and also more flexible, if only one person is making the effort to better the covenant between you then the relationship will lose it's value.

DeDe and Craig
DeDe and Craig | Source

Mythical Maiden Mindset

I've heard it said many times that once a woman marries, she no longer has to worry about wearing make-up, doing her hair and looking good for her husband. On the contrary ladies, you should go to the same extent to look good not just for your husband (or your boyfriend) but for yourself. Making yourself look pretty is great for your confidence.

Don't make yourself look like a clown and don't take hours to get ready while he waits for you. When he takes you out give him a reason to be proud to be with you. If the roles were opposite, consider the type of person you would want to be with in public. Always present yourself like a lady, with grace and with class.

Be Yourself

The first weeks and months of a relationship are always the honeymoon period. It's the time when you can overlook his quirks, faults and ignore the fact that there are things about him which bother you incessantly. You may also be hiding the fact that you have some personality traits which you're oppressing in hopes that once you "land" your man he'll just have to accept you for who you are.

Be yourself. The truth is, if there are characteristics about him that really bother you and times when you have to subdue your personality because you are afraid he won't like the fact that you're really more like the Wicked Witch of the West, chances are, you're probably not as compatible as you want to be. Don't fret about it because there will be more opportunities for you to meet another Scarecrow or Tinman.

Brent and Desi
Brent and Desi | Source

Girl Truths

  • Love is not the same in real life as it is in the movies.
  • Knowing a man for two weeks is not enough time to secure your life's happiness.
  • Tattooing a man's name on your body is NEVER a good idea.
  • Love is a lot of hard work, compromise, patience and forgiveness.
  • There are some battles that just aren't worth having - choose wisely.

The Iconic Misconception

Another iconic misconception is that once couples are together men change. Women believe that "if he loves me enough he will"....just stop right there. Men don't change any more than women do. If you become involved with a man who is:

  • violent
  • controlling
  • an addict
  • lazy
  • a womanizer or an adulterer
  • a liar
  • arrogant or conceited
  • narcissistic
  • co-dependent
  • a serial killer
  • a sociopath

you will be bound to that man - who possesses those qualities until you decide to leave, divorce or you die. Romantic feelings do not become the imaginary regeneration cells which transform a man from the person you met into Prince Charming.

While it's certainly true that over the course of a relationship the two of you can learn to adapt and compromise so that the bond between you becomes stronger and also more flexible, if only one of you is making the effort to better the covenant, then the relationship will lose it's value. You will begin to feel invalidated, taken for granted and angry. It's a blueprint for disaster.

My Brother's Wedding
My Brother's Wedding | Source

What is the worst quality a woman can have in a relationship?

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Things That Women Do

There is an endless amount of banter about how women nag and gripe. You can find conversations about PMS and moodiness on nearly every men's website. These are legitimate issues that men deal with and somehow, men forget that if women could just switch off the floodgate of emotion and mood, we would. While that's a physical impossibility, there is merit to those arguments.

Women are emotional thinkers. Logic is so rarely the foundation for a woman's platform during a dispute. When you feel yourself starting to be emotional about a situation, use these techniques to help you have more control over your emotions and feel as though you can supervise your moods.

  1. Distance yourself from the situation. Don't stay and argue because men consider this nagging and irritating. Walking away will allow you some space, self control and also makes you seem more self-confident. Over time, it becomes much easier to do and you'll find yourself feeling more empowered.
  2. Create your own morals, rules and policies. Develop a set of standards that you believe in and stick to your guns. Make it a habit to practice your belief system but ensure that you have a sound rational basis for what you install into your life.
  3. Read or Listen to Music. When the mood is getting heavy and you need to take some time for yourself, reading and music work exceptionally well to distract your attention from the negativity. It will give you a chance to breathe and re-group mentally and perhaps gain some much needed perspective.
  4. Understand that you might be wrong. Emotions are powerful beasts which can conjure verbal explosions from the depths of the darkest mood caves. Drama aside, once you've had time to self deliberate and think about things, perhaps you did make a mistake. It's always better if you can have a disagreement with your spouse or boyfriend without a theatrical missile attack. Unfortunately, the more often you throw your dramatic Molotov cocktails during the course of conversations, the less often your man will want to chit-chat.
  5. Let It Go. This is a quality women should be taught from the time they are young and they should learn to use it with other women as well. When you have a disagreement with your boyfriend or husband and you discuss it, work it out or fight about it for three weeks before you finally come to a conclusion, as soon as you've arrived at a solution, LET IT GO. Do not continue to bring it up and use it against him over and over.

Be a Strong Woman

You Get What You Settle For

Aretha said it best when she so eloquently asked her man for "Respect". There are many different qualities you might be attracted to in a man and over the years of listening and learning to the generations from my great-grandparents and now to my own marriage I've determined that the amazing women in my life were exactly correct when they said, "you get what you settle for so choose wisely." Don't get married because you think time is running out or because you think there's no other choice. Choices are your most valuable assets and self control is your strongest tool.

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    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      Kristi Sharp 4 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      teaches12345, Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your in put. The couples are all members of my family who have been successful in love! Of course, it's always a work in progress, right? Great to have you here. -K

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      The couples in the photos looks so endearing and represent what it takes to make a relationship work. Great advice and thoughts on how to grow together from a woman's point of view.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      epi, You overwhelm me. Thank you for your continued support. Your comments are always such a tremendous boost. I respect your work and recognize you as an accomplished writer. Your approval means a lot to me. Best wishes to you always. -K

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      You are really such a remarkable writer and this is such a world class hub presentation. You are a master at communicating the written word - this was entertaining and enlightening and so well put together.

      The basic premise for any relationship is based on common sense and self respect - you should always try to treat your partner the way you would like them to treat you - and please 'listen' - communication is the key and an open mind with of course the icing on the cake - a sense of humor - hubbravo for this major work - you write like a queen.

      sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 7:45am

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Mellonyy, Thank you for taking the time to read. I appreciate your comment. -K

    • Mellonyy profile image

      Mellonyy 5 years ago

      Inspiring article on Relationship! Thanks for SHARING!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      sandrabusby, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I feel so fortunate to have such a great relationship and such amazing women to have as models in my life. I appreciate your vote and sharing. -K

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Very comprehensive hub on a complex subject. Thanks for SHARING. Voted up and shared.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      MsDora, Thank you for reading and commenting. Relationships are tricky even for the experts! Hopefully this information will be useful and received well. I appreciate your vote. -K

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Up. Very good counsel for improving the relationship. Especially like the section on effective communication. Clearly stated and great photography. Thank you.