How To Have A Successful Relationship

Dr Thanh-Tam Pham - 20/7/2020


A happy relationship will give a good quality for the life you live.

The rate of divorce in Australia is about 50% so breakups cause immense stress for both partners and their children.

People need a relationship to fulfil different types of needs such as physical, psychological, financial, social…

 So how can you build a successful and long lasting relationship?


1-   Be together for the right reasons

Some people start a relationship for the wrong reasons:

-      Pressure from friends and family

-      Feeling bad of being single and settle for the first person that comes along.

-      Being together for a good image such as same social status…

-      Desire to use the love of someone else to solve your own emotional problems, this will lead to an unhealthy dynamic between the 2 persons.

-      Being naïve and think that love will solve everything. There is no such thing as “happily ever after”. Love by itself is never enough to sustain a relationship.

-      Good looks and superficial character will fade and change over time

-      Money can come and go

The right reason is true love, understanding and the commitment to build a life together.


2-   Have realistic expectations about a relationship.

If you have two different individuals sharing a life together, it is inevitable that they have different values and perspectives in life so they can clash.

The important thing is not to try to change the other person to suit you as it is impossible but you have to respect the difference.

With blind romantic love, people tend to overlook each other’s faults and that can cause conflict and disappointment later on. Romantic love usually lasts for a few years at most. When reality settles in, that is when the relationship is tested.

Some people get into a relationship as a way to compensate for something they lack of. It is common to hear people saying that their partner complement them and make them feel complete. That kind of love is conditional as you will only love your partner as long as that partner makes you feel better about yourself.

If you are thinking that your partner will fulfil all your needs and expectations, your relationship is doomed for failure as no one can fulfil all your expectations.

If you expect to find someone like you and you are longing to become one with the other person, that need can never be fulfilled as two can never become one.


What can you do to nurture a relationship?

1-   Respect:

You have to hold each other in high esteem with strong belief and trust.

-      Never talk and complain about your partner with your relatives and friends. It is potentially humiliating for the partner to find out about it.

-      Respect that your partner has different hobbies, interests and perspectives in life.

-      Respect that your partner has different needs at time such as about sexual frequency, social attachments, external family obligations…

-      Respect your partner’s opinion to have an equal say in the relationship so you can work as a team.

-      There should be no secrets between partners.


2-   Communication:

Try to be open and communicate with each other to sort out any problem. It is natural to have some argument from time to time but when the argument is too heated and you are angry, try to walk out of the situation and come back when you are calm to discuss about the problems.

Sometimes when your partner does not agree with your suggestions and you know you are right, do not force the issue. Let the thought sinks in your partner’s mind to digest the proposition. After some time you can repeat the suggestion again and if your partner does not see your way, just leave it again. After some time, your partner may give the same suggestion believing that it is your partner’s idea.  I find that this strategy works every time in my relationship so you have to be patient and eventually you will get what you want.

The key is to not argue over little things because if you do so you will find yourself arguing endlessly. This a common mistake that many women make as they are often upset that the partner forget to put a cup where it should be, not clean up the mess, not help with some chores…Little things pop up all day long and it takes a toll over time. Helping your partner with little things to share the responsibilities such as take turn to do chores, cleaning the toilet, wash the dishes…will strengthen the relationship.

Do not bring previous fight/argument into the current one, it only make the fight becoming worse.

In the heat of the argument do not:

-      critisizing your partner’s character like “you are stupid”, put down your partner and make him/her feel inferior

-      blame shifting

-      withdrawing from an argument and ignoring your partner completely.

Do not forget to show your love and your appreciation to your partner. With the pressure of work and stress people often forget to have meaningful time together and sometimes they slowly grow out in separate ways.


3-   Commitment and trust:

Both partners must be committed to each other to build a mutual satisfying relationship. You must keep an emotional connection and support available at all time especially when an unexpected adversity happens. Each partner knows the other will be there unconditionally.

Many relationship ends because one partner thinks that the other is not trying as hard as he or she could to make things better.

Trust is something you have to build over time. Always be truthful and never tell lies even some lies just to make your partner happy. 

Some people do not trust their partner to go out with friends, they tend to be paranoid and jealous due to their insecurity. Generally, the more uncomfortable you are in your own worthiness in the relationship, the more you will try to control and manage your partner’s behaviour.

Forgiveness: every one can make mistakes so be prepared to forgive and forget and do not make your partner feel bad about personal failure or unintentional mistakes.


In summary, a healthy relationship needs 2 happy individuals.

In a successful relationship, you have to build yourself to be “complete” with no demanding need for the other to fulfil. Therefore, you do not attempt to control your partner and you give each other’s space and respect.

Try to enhance who you are, mentally, psychologically and physically so you are not a burden to your partner.