No two relationships are the same. You and your partner approach things differently than your parents, than your partner’s parents, than your best friends, and so on and so on.

Despite this fact, though, all great relationships need to be built upon the same basic and necessary qualities and characteristics – love, trust, respect, honesty, patience, and understanding.

Unfortunately, these traits aren’t always inherent. We’re not automatically given them. And even if we do have these traits within us, we don’t always know how to use them or what to do with them.

But that’s okay. We don’t have to be experts right off the bat. Instead, we should be able to recognize our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to relationships and realize that – like with everything in life – we always have something to learn. There’s always room for improvement.

You’re probably wondering, “How can I improve? How can I learn new skills that will make me a better partner, which will ultimately lead to a better relationship?”

The answer is relationship education.

For decades, couples research has continued to show that the vast majority of couples need relationship education much more than counseling or therapy, even if they would also benefit from counseling or therapy. Moreover, studies have shown that the benefits of the one weekend, 20-hour IMAGO Couples Workshop – which is held frequently in both Houston and Galveston Island – are equal to 6 months of competent marital therapy for 90 minutes every week!

How is that possible? Because the relationship education IMAGO Couples Workshops are designed to help you succeed at commitment by helping to end conflict and restore and deepen the connection between you and your partner by helping you learn and hone beneficial skills.

What Skills Are Beneficial?

When you’re in a relationship, there are numerous skills that will be beneficial for your relationship’s success. Let’s look at 5 essential relationship skills that can immediately start impacting your relationship.

Communication. This is probably one of the most important skills needed in a relationship. It’s great if you and your partner are able to talk to each other. But are you able to communicate effectively? This means that not only are you able to share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, but you can also listen, express empathy and validation, and refrain from criticism and judgment.

Conflict resolution. It’s easy to get into an argument with your partner and yell at each other, but does anything ever get resolved that way? What a fight does is let you know that there’s an underlying problem. Instead of ignoring or avoiding it altogether, couples should know how to use conflict resolution skills to stay focused on the issue, arrive at a solution together, and be willing to compromise, apologize, and forgive.

Knowing your partner. Sure, you know your partner’s favorite food and the kind of movies he or she likes, but do you really know your partner? The more you know about your partner, the more you will be able to show them how much you care. You will also be better equipped to meet your partner’s needs and offer them the right kind of support.

Romance and intimacy. You might not think romance is a skill, but it is. We’re often a lot more romantic at the beginning of a relationship than we are further down the road. The longer we’re in a relationship, the easier it is to be complacent and set in our ways. But maintaining the so-called “spark” is necessary for a thriving and healthy relationship. Your partner needs to feel loved, desired, valued, and special. And couples can easily discover new ways to be romantic and rekindle their spark.

Intimacy skills are often overlooked in a relationship, but they can be important to ensure couples are on the same page. Couples need to set aside time for intimacy as well as communicate with their partner to make sure their needs are being met.

Patience. Without patience, many relationships would fail. You have to be willing to give your partner, your relationship, and yourself a chance. No one is perfect. People make mistakes. But then they learn from those mistakes and adapt. If we gave up on something at the slightest fault, flaw, or issue, we’d never be able to have a long-lasting relationship. That’s why learning how to be patient and accepting certain things that are out of your control will be an advantage in your relationship.

The IMAGO Couples Workshops can teach these skills along with other essential ways to build and strengthen your relationship through lectures, demonstrations, guided imagery, and writing exercises. After a weekend of relationship education, you and your partner will then be able to take your new skill sets and begin applying them within your relationship to see immediate and lasting results.

Bottom line? The workshop saves people a ton of time, energy, money, and suffering. Imago is the world’s most effective, cutting-edge therapy and educational method, with over 2,000 Certified Therapists and 200 Certified Workshop Presenters.

I’ve presented almost 200 of these workshops, in addition to serving as the Chairman of Imago International’s prestigious Professional Training and Standards Committee, which includes many of the wise elders of marriage and family therapy. These workshops aren’t just for struggling couples. They’re for everyone who is currently in or wants to be in a relationship.

Imagine how much better off you’ll be in your next relationship if you start honing your relationship skills now. Current relationship is going well? What if it could be even stronger and more passionate? And if you are in a struggling relationship, what can you learn to not only save it, but together make it prosper?

If you want a loving relationship that lasts forever – the marriage of your dreams – then come learn the skills necessary for a conscious and intentional relationship. Attend a safe, yet powerful IMAGO Couples’ Workshop or seek out a Houston relationship therapist. Contact me today to set up a consultation.