My First Relationship Advice: Change Starts With You

relationship advice

When couples complain about relationship problems, the blame is typically put on the other person. “If only he would change his ways, then everything would be perfect.” “If only she weren’t so clingy, annoying or jealous, then I would be happy.”


The truth is that relationship problems are never entirely one person’s fault. In every relationship, both partners have a role to play in the problems that arise. If you want things to change, the best relationship advice is that the change needs to start with you. After all, you’re the only person you can control! By taking a close look at yourself and making some changes, you can set the stage for a healthier, happier relationship. Here are some ways to do so.


Work On Becoming A Better Partner

One of the best pieces of relationship advice is to simply work on being a better partner. How can you do that? By being more considerate of them, more loving, more communicative, and more supportive. That might sound like a tall order, but it’s really not that difficult. Start by thinking about the little things you can do to make your partner’s life easier, like running errands for them or taking care of the house while they’re at work. Then, move on to bigger things, like being more understanding when they’re going through a tough time or supporting their dreams and goals.


Consider putting yourself in their shoes and try understanding what it is that they need from you. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to being a better partner. When you’re a better partner, it builds intimacy and trust in your relationship, and you might just find your partner will become a lot more considerate of you also.


Focus On Your Wellbeing

A loving relationship is something that needs your attention but it’s important to not neglect yourself in the process. Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed can make you feel irritable and snappy. If you want your relationship to be loving and rewarding for you both, making time for self-care is an essential part of it.


If you’re not happy with yourself, it’s going to be challenging to meet the needs of your partner. So take some time for yourself and focus on doing things that you love. Whether that means taking a yoga class, going for a run, or simply taking some time for yourself each day, make sure you’re doing things that build you up.


As you start making these changes, you’ll notice a difference in yourself and your relationship. Your partner will likely begin to look after themselves better too, and your relationship will become stronger as a result.


Understand The Why Behind Your Problems

While it’s easy to play the blame game with your partner, it might help to step back from the situation and understand the why behind your problems. After all, relationships are complicated! There could be a variety of reasons why you’re having some difficulties.


For example, if you’re constantly arguing with your partner, it’s a good idea to look at what your contribution is. It might be because you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or home, instead of getting mad at your partner, try to understand why you’re feeling stressed in the first place. The change that needs to happen could be cutting back on your workload, taking time for yourself, or communicating better with your partner when you are feeling overwhelmed. Once you understand the root of the problem, it will be easier to find a solution.


Communicate Effectively

An essential part of a happy relation is to improve your communication and that begins with you. When we are frustrated, our communication can become critical, judgmental or defensive. If you’re putting your partner down or being reactive when they suggest something, you won’t make any progress.


Instead, try to focus on how you’re feeling and what your needs are. For example, if you’re feeling hurt by something that your partner said, explain this to them with a good attitude and tone. Let them know that their words hurt, and that you would really like them to speak with more respect next time. Just make sure that you’re communicating how you feel without attacking your partner.


When a couple can express their feelings in a gentle way without the threat of a harsh and defensive response, they will both feel a lot more connected and your relationship will begin to safer and more loving.


Look for the good

Are you guilty of noticing everything that your partner doesn’t do right. There’s a big chance that this is causing them frustration. I hate to generalize, but at times women can be very good at criticizing. Because men have an inbuilt desire to make their women happy, men that feel nothing they do is right can feel quite hopeless.


Instead of noticing the bad, why don’t you start noticing the good that your partner is doing. Encouragement is powerful way to inspire people to continue to do good things – in the relationship and outside.


I’m so proud of how you parent our children.

You look cute today.

I noticed how you cleaned my car – thankyou.

You’re pretty amazing at your job. I’d love to work under you.

If change starts with you, noticing your partner’s actions is a great place to start. It will make your partner feel loved up and keen to return the favor.


Know That Growth Is Contageous

When you begin to take responsibility for yourself you will change! A funny thing happens when you begin to change and grow – it’s contagious. As the pressure to change comes off your partner, they become a recipient of all your growth, and it gives them the space they need to work on themselves.


This doesn’t mean that you have to take all the blame for the problems in your relationship. But it does mean that your focus turns towards you contribution for change in the relationship first.


Understand A Relationship Is Not A Sprint, It’s a Marathon

Relationship advice is usually given freely by those who have been in one for a long time, and one bit of advice I have heard often is this: You’re relationship isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes time, patience, and effort to make a relationship work. If you’re having some difficulties, remember that those challenges will not last forever – don’t give up! Work on communication, compromise, and understanding each other.


It’s important to learn from those that have been in relationships for a long time. Couples that have not given up, but persevered through the difficult times, understand that there will be highs and lows in a relationship. Having a short-sighted view of a relationship will only cause you to move from one relationship to another, often never finding what you are looking for.



When it comes relationships, it’s important to understand that each of you have the capacity to grow. As you focus on yourself, communicate openly and honestly, and encourage the growth you see in each other, as you change, so will your relationship.


If you want some more tips on helping to make the right changes in your relationship, download the Spark app available at Unbreakable Love. It’s packed with fun, playful activities and resources to keep the fire burning in your relationship!

About the Author

Fiona Leeworthy

Fiona is a Counsellor & Family Therapist (MCouns, GradDip Psycho, AdvDipFamTherapy and her husband Rick is a businessman, speaker and mentor. Together they share a passion to help couples build strong & healthy relationships in the midst of a busy life.

Leave a Reply

You may also like these