There are many reasons why your daily interactions may become tense and even fractured, but if you decide to mend a relationship, you could also take a few extra steps to improve it.

The repair of a relationship does not happen only as a result of good intentions or kind behaviour or words, nor if the two behave as if nothing has happened. Psychologists offer some suggestions for those who want more than just their relationship to be rescued:

1. Don’t try to deny the past

Acting as if the past does not exist, or that the things that hurt you never happened, is not a solution, nor an optimal way to repair or improve the relationship. Of course, it is very important to eventually forget. But not before clarifying things, because otherwise it is very possible that the old problems will reappear. In order to be able to forgive, it is sometimes important to understand why certain things happened. It’s also important for the other person to understand how you felt and what his/her attitude meant to you. By talking in a healthy and balanced way, the relationship will not only be repaired, but also improved.

2. Do not deny negative feelings and thoughts

Similar to the case above, denying something does not mean that it does not exist. Suppressing or denying negative thoughts does not help at all, because sooner or later they will resurface and will again be a source of conflict. On the other hand, if you allow yourself to express your feelings and discuss them with your partner gently and patiently, you increase your chances of solving the problems that generated such feelings within you.

3. Don’t create a protective wall

After a rupture of the relationship, many tend to create a self-protective wall around themselves because they fear a new failure or heartbreak. But if you want to rebuild the relationship and, more than that, improve it, emotional distancing will not work as a strategy. Restoring a relationship involves intimacy and vulnerability. It is said that the ideal relationship is one in which each of the partners is the guardian of the other’s vulnerability.

mend a relationshipYou might also want to read: How to restore trust in a romantic relationship

4. Do not tolerate, but accept

It is possible that some of your partner’s past behaviours, which were a reason for quarrel or misunderstanding, may not be bad in themselves, but may not fit into your list of preferences. Again, if you want to rebuild and improve the relationship, it’s advisable to re-examine the situation, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, attempting to understand why they do the things they do. Try to accept the fact that not all of us think the same way, and, therefore, something that seems unreasonable to you might not look the same to the other. Tolerating a behaviour is not exactly the best option, because it can create resentment, but understanding, respect and acceptance are indispensable conditions for the success of a relationship.

5. Do not think you are the only one who is right

If, in rebuilding the relationship, you take the position of the one who is always right, and who is doing the other a favour by trying to rekindle the relationship, then chances are the situation will likely not improve. Restoring and improving a relationship means accepting and admitting that you are not always right or that the other person may also be right, from his point of view. Of course, not everything is either black or white. In some cases, there is clear evidence of who is right, but when it comes to feelings, impressions and other subjective things, no one can claim the right to be right. We each understand, interpret, perceive, live and think differently.

True love is not what movies or novels show us. True love is not just about wanting the person next to you, nor about wanting him/her to become a copy of your own person. True love means constantly keeping in mind the question, “What can I do to improve my partner’s life?” and do everything for the good and happiness of the other.