Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, leading relationship expert and founder of the online dating network, eharmony.ca, shares with us his scientifically-proven set of compatibility principles on how to build and sustain a satisfying relationship. Read on to discover it's not nearly as difficult as you may think!
"Great relationships begin with partners who know each other fully, thoroughly and intimately." -- Dr. Neil Clark Warren.
1. Learn to communicate at a deep level
Many couple keeps their communication on a superficial level. They may have discussed life histories, goals for the future, how many children they would like to have and so on. But, as important as this information is, they may not be aware of deep-down drives, motivations, fears and joys that compromise a partner's "emotional essentials."
2. Get a wide range of experiences
Sometimes couples have not gone through the variety of circumstances and situations necessary to really know someone. They simply need real life experiences together -- a routine of work and play, excitment and monotony, stress and relaxation. Get to know each other away from situations where you're always looking and feeling your best.
3. Talk at length about your parents and extended families
By far the most important learning we receive from our parents comes from our relationships with them, and these ways of relating, communicating, and
problem-solving are carried into our own relationships. Therefore, explore your partner's family relationships, and you'll gain a wealth of understanding and insight.
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4. Talk, talk, talk
Spend hours and hours discussing the nitty-gritty aspects of life. Explore your views on both weighty issues and lighter ones.
5. Help your partner feel heard and understood
Take a moment and state in your own words your partner's position in the matter. Then let your partner summarize your point of view. Doing this allows both people to feel heard and understood.
6. Set the stage for compromise
If you are firmly entrenched on different sides of an issue, the final step to resolution is for one of you to say, "How can I give on this, and how can you give on this, so we can be together on this?". You lead by expressing your willingness to compromise. This type of kind, sincere olive branch almost
always brings an end to conflict.
7. Take the time necessary to cultivate depth
It takes time -- lots of time- -- to get to know someone well. This can't happen in a matter of weeks or a few months.
Celebrate when you resolve conflict. It helps you appreciate this skill and
reinforces your strength as a couple.