Most of us have at least one relationship role model that we look up to and use as inspiration for how our own relationships should be. I'm lucky that I have a few right in my own family. We know they're wonderful examples, but do we really pay attention as to why? Knowing what makes them so successful can help transform the way we date and who we choose to spend our life with. I've had many talks with my relationship role models about how they make things work and the information they passed on is truly invaluable if you want a successful and happy relationship.
Handle disagreements like an adult
Disagreements are bound to happen in any relationship, but it's how you handle them that makes a difference. How you argue, how you talk out the problem and how you make up are some of the most important things you can learn from your relationship role models. It's also vital to learn how and when to choose your battles.
Don't stop laughing
While at the doctor's office, I noticed an adorable elderly couple who stopped in to get a prescription. The wife was getting impatient and started complaining, so rather than tell her to cut it out and relax, the husband started bopping around in his seat to the theme song of a children's television show that was playing on the television. She didn't look amused at first, but then she burst out laughing and didn't utter a complaint the rest of the time they were there. Humor is so important in a relationship. It can change a situation for the better and alter a person's mood. Make each other laugh and it can be a wonderful thing.
Always work to improve your sex life
The friends who are my relationship role models have excellent sex lives and they're curious enough to ask questions so they can learn how to make sex even better. Everyone is obviously different, so what works for someone else might not work for you. However, sex is such an important part of a relationship that it's worth doing what you can to make improvements, even if it means talking to close friends about the subject.
Make couple time no matter what
Relationship role models have repeatedly told me that you have to do what it takes to make time for each other even when you have very little time to devote. One couple I know runs errands together just so they can have a little more time for each other. It may not seem like much, but when schedules are crazy it's better than nothing.
Have respect when making requests
I was at a party and heard a guy ask his girlfriend to get him a drink by poking her arm and saying in a nasty tone "Go get me a drink. I'm thirsty." My boyfriend at the time said to me "I wonder if she knows he's treating her like a dog." I don't care how long you've been together, saying "please" and "thank you" never goes out of style.
Develop excellent communication skills
You've probably heard a thousand times how communication is the most important thing in a relationship and it's absolutely true. It takes practice, but it's vital to learn how to talk to your partner. It's also incredibly important to differentiate what's necessary to tell your partner and what can be left unsaid. For example, a friend once told me that a friend hit on her but she didn't tell her boyfriend because he would only get upset and him knowing would change nothing. Instead, she cut off ties with the friend and that was the end of that. Not all information necessarily needs to go past your lips.
Surprise each other
Every relationship role model I know puts time and effort into surprises regardless of how long they've been together. Never stop surprising your guy whether you've been together for two months or twenty years. It shows him that you appreciate him, know what he likes and still think he's worth the effort.
Support each other's successes
I know quite a few people who seem more excited by their partner's successes than the individuals are for themselves. It's sweet to see that even after several years of being together, they're still supportive and proud of each other and don't care who knows it. Don't hesitate to let others know how proud you are of your partner regardless of how small the achievement seems.
There is absolutely no person and no couple who is perfect. Even relationship role models have their rough moments and arguments, so never feel pressured into thinking you need to have the perfect relationship. The best thing you can do is be yourself, enjoy your guy and work together with him to make your relationship as wonderful as it possibly can be.
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