Relationships, in general, are hard. It’s a matter of having good communication, being respectful to one another, and completely honest with each other. Non-romantic relationships aren’t as hard as romantic ones. However, sometimes in both, we can say and do the wrong things that can change the entire relationship.

For most, our very first relationships are with our parent(s) and family members. The values we learn from them shape us into who we are today. When we meet new people and start new relationships we tend to seek out and stick with the ones who are similar to us in values, appearances, and experiences. However, that doesn’t mean that the people who we seek relationships with will be just like us. It’s important to keep that in mind because although we may share some key characteristics with these people, we aren’t the same and some things may seem odd to them but not to you, and vice versa.

For a relationship to work, you have to be open to possibilities and as much as we all hate it— we have to open ourselves up and be a bit vulnerable. That is at least for the most important relationships and people in our lives. When a problem arises, you shouldn’t walk away or let the other person just walk away, too. Give yourself some time to cool down, or course, but at the end of it all you should talk to that person and let them know how you feel and why you were upset. In return, they should do the same.

As easy as it may sound, we all understand how hard it can be for us to just let it out in a respectable and calm way. It also can be difficult if the other person in the relationship isn’t cooperating. Which then only makes things frustrating for the both of you. However, with persistence and with the right tone, things can work out. That’s also not to say though that you should stick around with someone who isn’t willing to be open and vulnerable with you. Relationships should always be mutual. You give and you take. It shouldn’t be any less than what you want from a relationship.

Relationships are important because in a way they make life a bit more bearable because you have somebody to share it with. Relationships can offer you support for each other, making things easier for one another by being there for each other. The best relationships we can have are when we are the most honest with ourselves and others. Knowing is hard, but at the very least have an idea as to what you want from the relationship and what you expect from yourself. Know what bothers you, what you look for in people, and most importantly what makes you happy.

A relationship should be an addition to your happiness. Remember, you have to be happy and comfortable with yourself before you start any new serious relationships. When you’re pleased with yourself things will begin to fall into place all within its own time. Your relationships will have better foundations and will be able to withstand even the toughest times. Have faith in yourself, as well as in others, and be optimistic about each and every new relationship you create.