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Relationships: making it work
Relationship guru Anthony Rockliffe tells you why you can’t sit idle in a relationship to see ‘if it works out’...

It constantly amazes me how people these days leave relationships up to fate. “I will see if it works out!” we tell ourselves and our friends, as if it was up to somebody else to make it all work.

People are quite simple: a normal, well adjusted individual, who sees that their partner is working at the relationship, will respond in kind. If you are waiting for the other person to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, you will be waiting for a long time.

Ladies, unless they are told otherwise, most guys will assume everything is hunky dory

To wait until it all goes to pot and then wonder what went wrong is not ideal. On the other hand, if you are in a relationship where the other person is not prepared to work at it then you don’t have a relationship.

So here are some things you can focus on, and, if necessary, discuss them with your partner:

1. Pay attention

Every good gardener knows a little weeding every day saves him/her from a lot of hard work later. What needs work? Communication? Time management? Spend some time every day working on the relationship. You will be amazed at the results.

2. Respond, don’t react

Most people tend to emotionally react to things, and reactions are usually “over” reactions. People are always right according to the information they have at the time. If your partner does something to annoy you, they are simply doing the best they can with what the information they have.

Take a moment, and choose your response. Respond to move forward, don’t react and move backwards. This brings me to number 3:

3. Right or happy? You can either be right or be happy

You can’t be both. What’s the point in always being right if it means that you will eventually be alone? Everybody is always right from their own point of view anyway, and everybody hates being told they are wrong. If you have a disagreement, don’t make being right your priority, make win/win your priority. This brings me to number 4:

4. Always protect the relationship

It’s no longer about you. In everything you decide, in every disagreement, protect the relationship first. Don’t get caught up in who is right or wrong; protect the relationship. Don’t decide something to make you happy; protect the relationship. Treat it like it really means something to you. Always go for win/win in your relationship, and win/win is when the relationship wins.

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