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Five essential steps to a harmonious relationship

We can all learn from POTUS and FLOTUS on how to sustain a harmonious relationship.
We can all learn from POTUS and FLOTUS on how to sustain a harmonious relationship.
Photo by The White House/Getty Images

A strong partnership is built on relationships. Creating a solid connection is a given, but it is the individuals behind the connection that drive the success of a relationship. Keeping each other happy may seem more like a job, but there are a few ways to sustain the connection and consequently the relationship.

Relationships are important, especially the one with a life partner. Too often the sparkling energy between couples grow into a "we used to ..." story and both partners find themselves in a comfortable, predictable arrangement than a passionate relationship. While some couples have found ways to ignite the spark back in their love life, others struggle to even keep their interactions in harmony. When one partner feels misunderstood and undervalued, he or she will probably start looking for outside comfort and support. Breaking up might even be on said partner's mind. But before giving up on a relationship there are ways to create harmony.

A great deal of unnecessary discord in relationships generally stems from miscommunication, which leads to other issues. When one notices the beginning signs of potential conflict in a romantic relationship, one must take the proactive measures toward restoring harmony before things escalate. There are many steps toward increasing harmony in a relationship, and many of them are simple but not necessarily easy.

What ensures a good, happy relationship? A lot of things but the most important ingredient of any healthy relationship is good communication. Good communication skills are vital to maintaining and sustaining a harmonious relationship. It is the greatest quality to look for when searching for someone to share life (or part of life) with. So, stop creating those farfetched lists filled with unrealistic qualities that you believe a true soul mate must have. Who can possibly meet all criteria? A list does not necessarily help one find the one; they usually make finding someone harder.

Searching for the right person is often an overwhelming process, full of difficult and painful experiences. Most relationships are like a fairytale; they come with the good and bad times all combined in one single story. But when faced with the bad, do not simply give up. Try taking on any issue head-on, because the power of love generally defeats all. If a relationship is heading in the wrong direction, simply follow the below five essential steps to journey back on the path to a harmonious relationship.

Step 1:  Learn (or re-learn) how to communicate.
Step 1: Learn (or re-learn) how to communicate. David Livingston/Getty Images

Step 1: Learn (or re-learn) how to communicate.

When dealing with others, not all people communicate the same way.  The ability to effectively communicate keeps a relationship strong.  To keep stress to minimal levels, one must learn how to improve their communication skills.  There are many ways to achieve this, but stopping and listening, paying attention to nonverbal signals, and compromising are key.  Learn how to speak a partner's language both verbal and non-verbal.  This will build good rapport, comfort, and most importantly trust.  Also learn how to speak in ways that allows others to understand you.

Step 2:  Try to be more understanding.
Step 2: Try to be more understanding. Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Step 2: Try to be more understanding.

An important aspect of any healthy relationship includes a couple's ability to understand each other.  Learning the importance of how to understand the differences between one another is crucial.  Remember maintaining a relationship is not easy, because most people have an unrealistic notion that love is all their relationship needs.  Many are in awe when they realize that love is not the glue holding two people together.  Love and empathy are essential in obtaining understanding.  Therefore, listen attentively and with compassion.  Ask for clarity to fully understand, never forget to show interest, and always respond in a non-critical and non-defensive manner.

Step 3:  Always respect each other.
Step 3: Always respect each other. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Step 3: Always respect each other.

Being respectful is all about valuing someone.  Everyone has the right to be treated with fairness, be valued, feel safe, and feel accepted.  Respect in relationships happens when each partner respect themselves and others.  Self-respect takes self-awareness, acceptance, and courage.  It is all about someone understanding his or her strengths, weaknesses, needs, and what is important to them.  Being in a respectful relationship does not mean that there will not be conflict sometimes.  Conflict or differences can be handled and do not have to damage the relationship.  However, when differences arise they should be dealt with in respectable ways that lead to a healthy resolution or understanding.  Sometimes the difficulties couples might face may even create opportunities to understand each other more and even result in a stronger bond.

Step 4:  Say please and thank you.
Step 4: Say please and thank you. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Step 4: Say please and thank you.

Everyone needs to feel appreciated in a relationship.  So saying "please" and "thank you" does go a long way.  This is great life advice that will also help maintain a healthy relationship with others, especially in romantic ones.  Saying please and thank you is a simple thing to do.  But too often many partners forget or think it is not necessary.  The rationale is usually he or she knows I appreciate what he or she does.  Thinking this way is flawed.  Being gracious and grateful can be extremely helpful in relationships.

Step 5:  Be loving.
Step 5: Be loving. Mike Windle/Getty Images

Step 5: Be loving.

Relationships are not easy.  Everyone brings his or her respective baggage and feelings, which each relationship reflects.  If one partner has a bad day, he or she will unknowingly take it out on those closest to him or her.  Life does not exist in a vacuum.  It is sometimes as confusing as people are.  Everyone has thoughts and feelings that are confusing.  At some point, the confusion will collide.  When this happens, it is important to always be loving to the other person.  Remember the old saying, "love makes the world go round"?  Love should be one's purpose in life, one's soul calling.