Ah, relationships.

Seems like this year, everyone did one of three things: got into one, broke up from one, or remained a single-in-a-relationship-with-myself kind of person.

Regardless of status, it's important to know how to care for a relationship and how to make sure you're both inspiring each other, and be inspired by each other. Big difference.

A relationship isn't just a happy, sweet cloud. It's much, much more than butterflies in your stomach or that rush of blood to your cheeks whenever you cuddle or kiss.

Here are some ways to create a better, inspiring relationship. :) 

Have realistic expectations 

Nobody is under any illusions. Being in a relationship is hard work, but it's worthwhile when you get into an upward spiral with someone and inspire each other to achieve great things with your lives. But being in a relationship is also a kind of dance you have to master.

The first thing you'll notice is the friction. Small frustrations and annoyances... these come from having different expectations of what you want and need. Understanding these expectations for your life and them is the first step to creating more harmony.

Talk with each other

Communication is the root of a healthy relationship, necessary for it to function well and be inspiring. Communication happens in many forms. It might be everyday communication that feels like it creates a bond. It might make you close, but it's not enough to bring true inspiration.

Meaningful communication, on the other hand, is a powerful way to bring you closer, create real understanding, and allow inspiration to flow. To practice meaningful communication, set aside some time each day or week to talk about your thoughts and feelings. This leads to greater understanding, more inspiration, and [potentially] a 1 carat diamond ring.

Be willing to compromise

If communication is the root of your relationship then compromise is one of its many branches. No relationship can be successful without a healthy compromise between partners. This compromise might take the form of everyday tasks, or it might be more significant life issues.

You'll see how all the parts of the relationship work together to create a healthy and inspiring way of life. For one thing, your communication will create an understanding between you that will help you to compromise. A good compromise usually means neither of you gets what you want, but you each get some of what you want.

Look after yourself

For an inspiring relationship to really work, you need to look after yourself as much as you care about the relationship. If you feel that something isn't working it doesn't mean the whole thing isn't working and you need to abandon it - it might mean you need to take more care of yourself.

If you aren't inspired, then you can't expect there to be much inspiration in the relationship either. Do something that made you happy before the relationship - join a class or meet up with friends. You need to remind yourself that life is about a total experience, not just a relationship.

You need to remind yourself that life is about a total experience, not just a relationship

Be dependable

A dependable partner is someone who is there for you when you need them (or even when you just need a presence to calm you down). That could be logistical, such as turning up at the right time, or giving you a lift home when you need one. Or it could be emotional, like when you need to talk something out and they're willing to listen.

Dependability is another branch of the relationship tree, along with communication and compromise. If you can work on these aspects of your relationship you will start to notice it changing, turning like a giant wheel that's been stuck for a long time. What you thought was rusted and fixed will become loose, free, and once again inspiring.

I hope you're having the best relationship ever, and that these tips will help towards a more mature one. Again, relationships are hard to maintain, but with the right person, the little (and big) things can be resolved without threats of a breakup. ;)