The bitter truths in relationships (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

One way or another, none of my relationships have turned out well. In fact, I’ve begun to realise that I’m not even sure what a good relationship really feels like!

Please put me right so that I can have better luck next time.

Not Even Sure

 Chris says,

Hi Not Even Sure!

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No one ever really knows what a good relationship feels like until they’ve been in one.

But at rock bottom, trust is the most basic essential. So quickly drop anyone who shows the slightest signs of being flakey, unfaithful, dishonest or uncaring.

And once you’re with someone who looks promising, gradually start talking honestly and openly about everything together.

Never ever cheat, and have faith in your partner. That can be difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt before. So if you feel insecure, talk it through together. 

What if one of you does do something awful? Don’t give up. Try to understand why it happened, and ask yourself if your behaviour might have also contributed, so that you might need to change too.

If your partner’s upset, acknowledge his feelings. Apologise if you’re in the wrong. If he’s angry about something you’re doing, then fix it.

Expect him to do the same in return. Forgive quickly, learn from every fight, and once it’s over, let it go.

Accept each other for who you are, because there’s always going to be something that drives you nuts. Instead focus on each other’s good points. Appreciate everything you do for each other, and talk about what’s going right, rather than endlessly moaning about what’s wrong.

Balance togetherness with independence. You both need to do your own things, have your own friends, follow your own interests, or be alone.

But also make time to be close, every single day. Snuggle for a few minutes before you get up. Update each other throughout the day if your plans change. Cook and eat together. Talk about your work, each other, your plans and goals.

That’s a good relationship! Because love’s not about luck. It’s about the things you do together.

All the best,

Chris