A couple in a relationship are always both contributing to making the relationship thrive and flourish. If done properly, it won't even seem like work, but the most critical thing to keep in mind is that relationships grow and thrive only when both parties are involved. The responsibility for making a relationship work falls squarely on the shoulders of both parties - if either isn't sincere or serious about making the relationship work, it won't. The tips discussed here may seem apparent, but the number of breakups people go through make it clear that an awful lot of people need this advice.

Honesty is the best policy

The first essential foundation of any relationship is honesty. People in a relationship share their private thoughts and feelings with each other, but how can you do that if your partner lies and cannot be trusted? Lying to your partner gets complicated - you've must keep the details straight in your head about what truths you've shared, and what lies you've told. If you tell her, for instance, that you like a certain author because you know she likes him, and then she hears you tell someone else you cannot stand that author, she's going to be hurt and frustrated that you lied. It's easy - lies are like wedges you deliberately put between you to keep you apart. Nobody wants to get close to someone who can't be believed, because how can they be trusted in any other area? So every lie that's told helps keep you apart.

Relationships thrive on integrity

Someone who lies lacks integrity, but it goes deeper - integrity has to do with matching your words to your deeds as well. Thus, you demonstrate that you've got a problem with integrity when you break promises or don't live up to other commitments. Integrity has to do with issues large and small - if you stand her up for a movie date, that's major. But if you tell her you'll remember to put your dirty socks in the hamper and then keep leaving them lying around the place, that's also an integrity problem. It may appear minor, but it's going to fester and make problems. The faith that's so important to a relationship doesn't just spring up - it's nurtured by your constant attention to keeping your commitments large and small. As you keep on doing this as time goes on, she will trust you more and more and you'll grow ever closer.

Communicate with each other

Men too often get into the bad habit of hearing their women without listening to them. A relationship isn't going to flourish if you don't know how she spends her days, or what things interest her or make her upset. The best way to learn these things is to listen to her when she's talking to you. It may seem that she always wants to have serious discussions at inappropriate times, like in the middle of the fourth quarter of the game you're watching. You can work these difficulties out - but make sure that you pay attention to what she's saying when she's talking! Paying attention when she's talking is a way of showing her that you care. Sometimes she'll be agitated about something - comfort her as appropriate.

Cool, calm and collected is always the best way to be

If your objective is to win on those (hopefully rare) occasions when disputes arise, rather than to settle the differences you're experiencing, you're going to damage your relationship. If your only goal is to win an argument instead of solve a problem, the relationship won't grow, it'll wither and die. When you have differences, use the opportunity to understand her better. The relationship will be strengthened and you'll both have greater respect for each other.

And here's a bonus pointer - never let her forget how beautiful she is, how marvelously she treats you, and how much you love her. You do this simply by opening your mouth and telling her so. If you haven't yet told her today that you adore her, go find her right now - or call her - and tell her! Make sure she is loved always and she'll never want to leave!

Author's Bio: 

Steve Steiner enjoys helping men deal with the conflicts and challenges they experience in relating with women and helping them form successful relationships.

If you found this article helpful and would like to learn more ways to improve your relationship, check out Make Your Relationship Work and How to Make a Relationship Work.