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Lawrence E. Kincade, Ph.D., LCSW > Relationship Tips

  1. Think before you speak.  Sometimes we say things to our partner that we wouldn't say to a friend or even a stranger.
  2. Wait.  Timing is everything.  Can this issue be discussed at a later time when you or your partner are less emotionally charged?  Sometimes waiting a day makes a major difference in your perspective.
  3. Accentuate the positive.  Try to say at least two positive things to your partner each day.  Make sure the positive interactions outweigh the negative.
  4. Take your own inventory first.  What can you do to make the relationship better?  Sometimes one change on the part of one person can set a positive chain reaction in motion.
  5. Ask for what you want.  Your partner cannot read your mind.  Be specific if you can.  Instead of saying, "you never hug me," say, "I would really like more hugs."
  6. Remember that all relationships go through stages (see Five Stages of Marriage).  Just because romance has dwindled doesn't mean your relationship is in trouble.
  7. Make it a part of your regular routine to have a date with your partner.
  8. Remember, you won't solve all your problems.  Agree to disagree and live with it more peacefully.
  9. Be an inquiring mind.  Ask your partner questions that help you get to know them better.
  10. Lighten up.  Use humor to keep things from getting out of control.
  11. Stay friends.  Be respectful.  Remember, your partner is a separate human being with different needs, thoughts and feelings.