strengthen your relationship

4 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Relationship

Okay I admit it, I am the “girlfriend” type of girl. I’ve been in a relationship since I was 16 years old and have no idea what it feels like to be single. I never really planned or aimed to be that way, that’s just the way things kind of happened. Either way, from my experience in spending 5 years with my past partner and nearly two years with my current partner, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned overtime when it comes to long term commitments to one person. Don’t get me wrong, most of these things you probably already know but I guarantee you’ve forgotten or slacked off on at least one of them (I know I have). So here are my do’s and don’ts for keeping your relationships, successful, happy, and long lasting.

successful relationship

If the day every comes where I’m known as so and so’s girlfriend instead of Istiana the blogger/youtuber/whatever I become, then please punch some sense back into me. Pardon my bluntness, but I strongly believe that before you ever step into a relationship, you need to make sure that you are totally okay on your own as your own person. Whether that’s through your career, hobbies, or other friendships, having independent passions outside of your relationship is so important.

I know someone who depended so much on her husband; when he left, she had no money of her own, no job experience, no identity or life of her own outside of her attachment to him. Imagine how much more interesting your conversations with your partner can be if you both can bring something new and different to the table everyday because of each of your own independent lives.

In short, find someone who doesn’t complete you, but rather compliments the person you already are.

Scheduled Time Together

Taking my first point into consideration, most of us modern women are incredibly busy these days. Sometimes our independent work lives can start taking up an overwhelming amount of our time. Don’t forget to schedule time with your partner too. My boyfriend’s not just my boyfriend–we also run a business together so we’re working alongside all the time. One of our biggest challenges is separating work time and our working relationship with spending real time together sans the business talk. Whether it’s scheduling an intimate dinner date or planning a night off together to watch movies and make snacks, it’s so important to make quality time for each other.

relationship advice
Photo by Andrew Obtinalla


I strongly believe your partner should be like your best friend or at least one of your best friends! I often see girls ranting to their girl friends about problems or insecurities with their relationships–stuff they should actually be talking to their partners about instead. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your partner or sharing the deepest most intimate parts about yourself and feelings, that’s definitely an area you should be working on in your relationship. You should always be able to be completely yourself around someone you commit so much of your life to and be open about your feelings. The more open, the less opportunity for things like jealousy and miscommunication to come up as well.

Give and Take

This one seems pretty obvious but ensuring there’s a balance between give and take in your relationship is surprisingly underrated. If your partner brings you a Starbucks on your lunch break or always gives you a nice shoulder rub when you’re feeling stressed, he or she deserves to see the same love and appreciation shown back to them. Surprise your honey with their favourite treat every once in a while or cook them a nice dinner. Showing love and appreciation doesn’t have to take movie size effort. Even the little things like having coffee ready for when they wake up is always a sweet thing to do. Sometimes we take our lovers for granted and an unbalanced relationship will always teeter totter into dangerous territory.

Do you have any helpful pointers for keeps your relationships healthy and strong? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Thanks for those amazing tips! my boyfriend and I have been together for like 4 years, and sometimes it is difficult to separate business from our relationship (we work together) I think that the best key is to keep the communication going on every single day! and always talk about everything, little or bigger, that is pretty important..
    I just treat him like my best friend and he does the same, so we are really happy

    1. That’s amazing! I completely relate to that with my relationship as well. What’s your business with him? That’s really great to hear that you guys have great communication ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Superliked the way of expressing your thoughts, the post is one of the best articulated article I have read in last couple of months. Keep up the good work, I am adding your website as one of the favorite sites.

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