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Long term relationships require care and work to maintain closeness. Common components found in successful relationships include: communication, respect, trust, sharing, individuality and self-care. In addition, it is helpful to approach the challenges and triumphs of life (and the relationship) as a team. Fighting fairly, supporting one another and not holding grudges all help with this goal.
Successful relationships are based on the following components:
· Communication. Listen to your partner. Avoid blame and judgment. Do not make assumptions. Don't let your emotions dictate your behavior.
· Trust and respect. A sense of trust is present when each person feels safe to be open, honest and genuine. Respect helps build this through not judging or criticizing the other's opinions, feelings and beliefs.
· Team approach. When tough times hit, try to remember you're on the same team. You either both win or both lose. Support each other and work together. Relationships are not meant to be a tug of war against each other. In fact, you both should be on the same side pulling against the world.
· Deal with problems as they arise. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. Addressing differences one at a time helps avoid bad feelings spoiling a good relationship. Do not hold grudges; work through the matter and let it go.
· Share responsibility and decision making. Healthy relationships are an equal partnership. This applies to the work involved as well as the power dynamics between the couple.
· Fight fair. Judging your partner undermines a relationship. Address behavior without criticizing the person. Know where your partner's vulnerable spots are and never use these during conflicts.
· Take care of yourself. It is your responsibility to know what you want and determine how to achieve that. Make any requests of your partner clear and direct. It is not okay to blame someone for your failure to assert yourself.