How to Be a Strong Partner

How to Be a Strong Partner

Step 1: Take responsibility for your own happiness. No one else, not even your honey, is capable of making you as happy as you’re capable of making yourself. Expecting otherwise will only set you up for disappointment and your partner for failure.

Step 2: Be healthy. Exercise, eat well, and get your sleep, so you can be your best, most vibrant self. You’ll be more capable of anything with a sharp mind and strong body.

Step 3: Talk—and listen. Have your own opinions and voice them, but also be open to hearing other points of view. Being an echo chamber or a bully serves no one.

Step 4: Make big decisions together, but minor ones alone. Self-sufficiency breeds confidence, and eliminating pesky trifles creates space for each of you to thrive.

Step 5: Champion your mate. You should be his or her first source of strength and comfort, aside from him-or herself. Be generous with praise and stingy with criticism.

Step 6: Spend quality time together, but not at the total expense of your own friendships and interests. If you never pursue anything but each other, your relationship will quickly lose its luster, as neither of you will have anything new or interesting to bring to it.

More tips

• Fight fairly. When you disagree (and you will), do it respectfully. Nastiness will spoil any relationship, no matter how good the good times are.

• Dress to impress. Don’t save your best for the rest of the world and always look a mess at home.

• Never, ever be too busy to give a smile, a hug, or a kiss.

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