So you’ve successfully navigated the Vancouver dating minefield and met your special someone – great! Now you can just relax and live happily ever after in relationship bliss, right? Well, not exactly.

Truth is all relationships – including long-term, successful relationships – run into bumps along the road to marital bliss. What separates successful relationships from unsuccessful ones isn’t WHETHER they have issues, but HOW they deal with them.

Here’s 4 common relationship challenges and how to overcome them:

  1. Communication:  at the heart of all relationship problems – with your loved one, friends, co-workers or family – is a communication problem. Commit to openly and honestly communicating with your partner and you’ll find otherwise big issues become manageable. At the heart of all successful relationships is mutual respect and mutual trust.
  2. Money matters:  a key issue for many couples is when and how to talk about finances. Avoid leaving this subject until later – ie. when a serious financial issue arises. Work together in a calm and caring manner to develop your financial plans – it’s okay to have individual goals but you should also have family goals, too.
  3. Sex & Romance:  as relationships move from the initial ‘excitement’ stage to a more settled pattern, it’s normal for couples to focus less on sex & romance – particularly when you add career and family stress.  But the truth is this: sex is the last thing you should give up. Make time for romance, mix up your routine and communicate openly about your wants and desires.
  4. Self-Management:  part of having a successful relationship is continuous self-improvement for both parties – this will help you avoid falling into staid and dull routines and make you both feel that your lives (and relationship) are moving forward. People who are skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their goals. At their core, great relationships are great partnerships.