The most important trip you’ll ever take in life is meeting someone else halfway…

“Since relationships are one of the greatest vehicles of personal growth and happiness, the most important trip you’ll ever take in life is meeting someone else halfway. You’ll achieve far more by working with them, rather than working alone or against them. The strength of a relationship depends on the strength of its two members, and the strength of each member in the long run depends on the quality of the relationship.” – Practical Tips for Productive Living, Marcandangel.com

1. You know this is the right relationship for you

Any grey areas you might feel are simplified when you commit to your choices – even if you made the initial decision to marry him a long ago. Say to yourself, ‘this is the right relationship for me’ and live it.

2. You bring out the best in each other

Time and life’s stresses are inclined to put pressure on this magical love formula. Always work to support and boost each other, rather than drag each other down.

3. He always backs you

It’s a great feeling to overhear him occasionally boasting about something you’ve done. And you know he feels the same. You should be each other’s most avid fans around work colleagues, friends and family.

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Say what you mean, and mean what you say – playing games isn’t conducive to a strong relationship

4. There’s no outside interference

Every relationship is different, and what works for you, might not work for another couple. Guard against letting outsiders’ opinions affect your relationship (listen up, moms-in-law!), or feeling that you should be more like other couples. People are very good at ‘window-dressing’. When another couple seems to be having all the fun despite the demands of life with kids, jobs and a home, resist the urge to compare.

5. You’re on the same page

How you communicate shapes your perception and defines your relationship, so express yourselves openly and honestly. Half-truths are as good as lies, and remember, he can’t read your mind. Say what you mean, and mean what you say – playing games isn’t conducive to a strong relationship. Listen without becoming defensive and avoid hurting his feelings. Draw on the mature adult in you when trying to resolve your differences!

6. There’s freedom and teamwork

In a healthy relationship, neither person feels trapped. Commitment to your partner, kids, your home and jobs should feel like a choice rather than a noose.

In a healthy relationship, neither person feels trapped

7. You give, then give a little more

Sacrificing easily for each other is one of the deepest forms of love. At times you’ll need to give more, and when you can’t, he should be willing to carry the slack. Don’t withdraw your willingness to sacrifice in big and small ways.

8. You show your love by how you treat him every day

It’s not okay to say you love someone and then act differently the rest of the time. Show your appreciation of him all the time, and not only when it suits you.

9. You don’t try to change him, and vice versa

By this stage, experience will tell you that it’s impossible to change somebody’s innate behaviour. He may not be perfect, but you’ve chosen him because he’s a near perfect fit for you. Embrace this idea and remain focused on the things you love most about him.