Good communication and trust are the foundations of mature adult relationships. When all of these elements are present, both partners feel supported and committed to the relationship. Build a healthy bond, develop positive communication habits, and improve trust between you and your partner if you want to help your relationship mature. It may also be beneficial to gain insight into your past habits in order to solve common relationship problems.
Method 1: Fostering a Positive Relationship
1. Allow your partner to be true to themselves. Because a mature relationship is free of judgments and unrealistic expectations, you must stop attempting to change your partner. Committing entails letting go of the notion that you are correct and your partner is incorrect. It’s almost never either—you’re just different. Accepting and respecting differences demonstrates maturity.
Allow yourselves to remain individuals because you will only resent your partner if you give up your own opinions, interests, and relationship goals.
For example, don’t try so hard to persuade your partner to like your favourite music or food. The fact that you and your partner have different tastes keeps the relationship interesting and vibrant.
2. Investigate the overlap in your core values. While it’s fine to disagree on minor issues, such as how to launder darks, the two of you will be happier if you agree on major issues. Your personal values, such as honesty, family, and charity, should be similar or at least complementary.
To reach an agreement, sit down and have a conversation about the important topics. Mature partners understand where their significant others stand on key issues such as major career goals, whether you want to marry, whether you want children, and where you want to live.
You may not always agree, but you should be aware of your partner’s values. If you disagree with your partner on major issues such as politics or religion, consider whether you can agree to disagree or if this is a dealbreaker for you.
3. Create your own definition of commitment. In modern relationships, commitment means different things to different couples. Do you and your partner intend to be mutually exclusive in your relationship, or do you prefer a more open, fluid relationship?
Talk with your partner about what you both want in terms of long-term commitment.
Others, such as friends and family, may disagree with your definition of commitment, but the fact that the two of you agree is all that matters.
4. Keep the fire burning. Mature relationships do not sustain themselves. They remain satisfying and happy because both partners share common interests, they continue to “date” one another, and they prioritise the relationship and intimacy.
Spend quality time with your partner doing things you both enjoy to put effort into your relationship.
Schedule a weekly date night to engage in shared hobbies, relax, have sex, or simply have an uninterrupted one-on-one conversation.
Method 2: Developing Communication Skills
1. Make conversation a part of your daily routine. Improve your communication skills with your partner by looking for opportunities to interact and make small talk throughout the day. Over breakfast, share your day’s goals with a prompt like, “So, what’s on your agenda today?” At dinner, take turns sharing the highs and lows of the day.
If your partner provides brief responses during small talk, use clarifying questions to elicit more information. When your partner describes having a “tough” day, you might ask, “What happened that made your day tough today, hun?”
Make small talk more interesting by talking about something you’re both excited about, such as an upcoming music festival or a special dessert your partner prepared.
2. Be a good listener. Immature relationships frequently have nonexistent communication patterns that slowly erode the connection. Mature partners must work hard to maintain open lines of communication by giving and receiving. Listening is a major issue for many couples, so brush up on your listening skills.
Give your full attention to your partner when they speak. Listen to understand rather than to respond. Before saying anything, wait for them to finish completely. To avoid misunderstandings, restate or paraphrase what you heard (“It sounds like you’re saying…”) to ensure it’s what they meant.
If your partner believes you are listening to them, they are more likely to be attentive when you are speaking.
3. Say what you mean in a polite manner. Don’t be evasive or expect your partner to read your mind. Speak up if you want to express an opinion or request that a need be met. However, do so tactfully and without attacking your partner. This can be aided by using “I” or “we” statements.
For example, if you believe your partner is not listening well, make a request in the form of a “I” statement. “I don’t feel like you’re paying attention to me,” you could say. Could you please put your phone down while I’m speaking? That would be greatly appreciated.”
4. In disagreements, keep your head above the belt. Partners in mature relationships fight fairly. No matter how enraged you become, try to keep your voice level and the insults to a minimum. Adding negativity to an already stressful situation only adds to the tension and makes it more difficult to find a solution.
If you find yourself becoming overly angry, pause, take a break, and take a deep breath. Return to the discussion when you have gathered your thoughts and are ready to communicate effectively.
“Can we take 15?” you might ask to indicate that a break is required.
However, taking a break is not the same as giving the silent treatment. Don’t try to avoid conflict by using breaks. After you’ve calmed down, you should return to the problem and discuss it with your partner.
Method 3: Establishing Trust
1. Do what you say you’ll do. When you break your word in a relationship, your partner begins to question you and your commitment. Minor broken promises gradually erode trust and introduce insecurity into the relationship. Aim to be dependable—make only promises you can keep.
For example, if you promised to spend time with your partner over the weekend, don’t cancel at the last minute to hang out with a friend. Keeping your word demonstrates that you value the relationship and appear trustworthy.
If you are running late or unable to make a commitment, call as soon as possible to notify your partner and apologise.
2. Establish and respect one another’s boundaries. You and your partner should feel more at ease communicating your personal boundaries as your relationship progresses. After you’ve communicated your boundaries, do your best to uphold and respect them. This fosters trust.
For example, if your partner expresses a preference that you not look through her cellphone, respect her wishes. Allow your partner some space.
You will have difficulty developing a mature relationship if either partner refuses to respect boundaries. Talk to a couples therapist about working on boundary issues.
3. Rely on your partner for assistance. When you and your partner can demonstrate that you are there for each other, trust grows. You can earn your partner’s trust (and vice versa) by asking for favours. If they follow through and keep their end of the bargain, you are more likely to trust them in the future.
For example, you might ask your partner to pick you up from work while your car is being serviced. They will appear more dependable if they arrive on time.
Asking for help can also increase intimacy because you are demonstrating that you trust the person enough to have them do something for you.
4. Be forgiving and admit when you’re wrong. Holding wrongdoing over your partner’s head, as well as failing to own up to your mistakes, jeopardises trust. Although it may appear counterintuitive, admitting wrongdoing and offering forgiveness helps to build trust.
If you make a mistake, admit it right away and ask for your partner’s forgiveness. Similarly, if your partner makes a mistake, be ready to forgive and move on. Holding grudges will cause resentment in your relationship and stymie its growth.
It’s okay if forgiveness doesn’t come right away in some cases. Some transgressions necessitate more time to resolve. But if you stay true to each other, you can overcome any obstacle.
5. Tell us about some of your secrets. Making personal disclosures to a partner is another way to build trust. If the person keeps your secret, they will have earned your trust.
Make a minor disclosure if you’re just getting started. If the person maintains your trust with a small disclosure, you can gradually progress to sharing deeper, more intimate secrets.
Method 4: Resolving Relationship Issues
1. Examine previous patterns. Do your previous relationships have a pattern? Examine them carefully and look for common threads. Most people’s previous relationships followed a predictable pattern: you meet, fall in love, and then fall out of love. However, the specifics of where and how you met, what caused you to fall in and then out of love, can provide valuable insight.
Examine your previous relationships for recurring themes. You could even make a table with the headings “Met,” “Fell in Love,” and “Out of Love” and describe what happened during each phase.
For example, if you fell in love with a previous partner because they “saved” you from depression, it stands to reason that you would not have felt the same level of attachment to the person once the depression was gone. Perhaps as your mood improved, you began to notice less-than-favorable characteristics in your ex.
2. Accept responsibility for your destructive habits. The most difficult aspect of revisiting old relationships is having to accept responsibility for your role in their demise. Consider your most recent romantic relationships and how they came to an end.
What caused your previous relationships to fail? What could you have done differently?
You may discover that whenever your partner wants to commit, you cheat on them because you are secretly afraid of commitment. Accept responsibility for whatever role you played in the relationship’s demise.
3. Set specific relationship objectives. Set action-oriented goals to change these patterns once you’ve identified the common patterns that occur in your relationships and the roles you play.
If you discover that you have a proclivity to avoid conflict, you might set a goal to improve your conflict resolution skills in order to face your problems. If you have commitment issues, you should tell a new partner so they can help you avoid sabotaging the relationship when things get serious.
4. Consult a therapist. It is difficult to change faulty relationship patterns on your own. It may be beneficial to consult with a professional therapist who can assist you in identifying and overcoming negative relationship habits so that you can have the healthy, mature relationship you desire.
If you are already in a romantic relationship, you may want to bring your partner to some of the therapy sessions so that you can learn techniques for dealing with both of your bad relationship habits.
If your partner is unwilling to seek help or work on serious communication issues, you should reconsider remaining in the relationship. It is impossible for one person to bring about change.
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