Relationship Development


  • Author Shimil Varghese
  • Published June 30, 2011
  • Word count 1,642


Man is a social animal. No one can lead a happy life without social relations. All types of relationships include sweet and sore. It is the way we perceive things which makes relations fruitful or harmful. There are certain things to be considered to make a fruitful relationship with others.

Self awareness:

Know your values-both positive and negative and accept them as it is. Knowing yourself is the first step towards a successful relationship. If you have poor self awareness, you are less likely to understand others. Understanding others is the key to successful interpersonal relationships and when you fail to do so, your relationship also fails.

If you have a better understanding of yourself, you will be able to accept your mistakes and correct them. Also, if you know your limitations, you will be able to accept the mistakes of others. Accepting self and others is an important thing in relationships.

Value clarification of others:

Understanding others is also an important factor in relationship. Each individual is different and the behaviour and reactions of an individual is different from time to time. Keeping this in mind, will help us to cope with undesired behaviour from others.

There are certain aspects of others that we need to clarify. They are:

Belief: Have a better understanding of the pattern of belief others have. Some of the belief patterns are-rational belief, faith and irrational belief. Rational belief is believing something only in presence of an evidence. Faith is believing even when there is no evidence and irrational belief is believing something even when there is an evidence suggesting that it does not exist.

Misunderstanding is common in relationships. The survival of a relationship during misunderstanding is largely depended on the belief patterns of individuals.

Attitudes: Each individual have unique attitudes towards things related to them. A person will have a positive attitude towards something while having negative attitudes towards other things. It is important to clarify the attitudes of your partner (in a relationship)towards things related to your relationship. When there exist a difference in attitude towards certain important things in life, between the partner, it is necessary to understand and accept the attitudes of him/her and adjust with it. This adjustment does not mean that you have to change your attitude, but accept the attitude of your partner.

Values: Every individual have an internal value system developed early in childhood. This value system changes rapidly as a person matures and have experiences of life. It is depended on the value system of family, culture, religion and many other factors. Understanding a person’s value system is inevitable in determining the extend of a relationship. We all expect our partner to be loyal, honest and having good values and morals.

Emotions: Emotional response of an individual is also unique and is depended on the external factors also. Certain emotional response may be unacceptable for us but understanding the emotional response of an individual help us to understand the reasons behind such behaviour and adjust accordingly.

Needs: Clarify the needs of your partner. All types of relationships are to be mutually beneficial. The unmet needs of an individual are met during a relationship. This is what makes a relation meaningful. Never hesitate to help your partner. The beauty of relationship is in understanding the needs and fulfilling it even before asked.

Conditions essential to development of a relationship

Rapport: Rapport means the exchange of ideas or communication. Good communication skills are necessary in relationships. Communication helps to clarify the values, understanding each others, identifying the needs of others and to develop trust.

Trust: Trust is an important factor in a relation. We open our heart to people whom we trust. Be honest in actions and conversations. You can say your opinions openly, but with respect to other’s feelings. Criticism should be in such a way that it must help the person to understand own problems and solve them. Criticism arising from love is always in this type and that from selfishness is always harmful.

Respect: Give and take respect. Respect is one of the basic needs of an individual. Respect a person because he is a unique individual. Respect a person because he is another human being.

Genuineness: Artificial or formal talks will make your partner bored. Have some fun and genuineness in your relationship. If you have something to hide from your partner, you will naturally lose your genuineness and he/she will lose trust in you. Avoid anxiety because it will ruin the freedom and you will start talking formally.

Empathy: What is empathy? Empathy is the synchronized feeling with other. For e.g. If your lover had a family problem and she is experiencing depression you can react to it in many ways. One is feeling ‘Oh! Poor girl’ and another is ‘oh my God! I can’t feel better when she is suffering this much’. In the first reaction you have sympathy and in second one you have empathy. Empathy is actually experiencing the feeling of others as our own while in sympathy, we understand others feeling but do not experience it as our own.

Nobody likes sympathy from others. Empathy is a way of telling ‘I am with you’.

Phases of relationship development:

The pre-interaction phase:

As the name suggests, it is the time before two individuals meet each other but has planned for the meeting. This is the preparatory phase. Always remember, first impression is the best impression. Do not plan the conversation in advance. It will not work. Communication should come naturally. Plan for making a better atmosphere in which both of you will feel better.

Orientation phase:

Most of the people feel anxious on their first date. It is normal but do not allow the anxiety to take control over you. Moderate level of anxiety is helpful while uncontrolled anxiety ruins everything. Physical comfort is also important. Do not keep thinking what to say next and keep your mind in what you are saying and listening at present. Conversation is not a planned task. The continuity of a conversation comes from one matter to another which has a relationship between them and so on.

It is normal to be anxious and no need to hide it. Your partner will also be experiencing the same and once you let your anxiety come out, it will go away. If you try to hide your anxiety, that will further increase anxiety. The easiest way to avoid anxiety is by letting it to be shown outside.

Working phase:

One the first date or the orientation is over, it is time to explore each other well. Be open to your partner and let her understand you. This will help you to understand her better. This is another give and take policy in relationship.

When you assess your partner, try to have an objective look rather than looking in to her with a suspicious manner. Objective assessment is when our personal opinions and prejudices does not interfere with the assessment.

Evaluation phase:

The working phase will be over when you understand your partner correctly. Many relationships will have a full stop at this point. This is because, most of the people will have unrealistic expectations from their partner and when they find out that their expectations were in vein they start disliking each other.

A clear picture of your partner with an open heart to accept their drawbacks will make your relationship strong and beautiful. If there are problems that you can never accept with your partner, you can now think of a break up. If you have such serious reasons and you are trying to adjust with it, makes your life miserable. So if you can’t adjust in any way just say goodbye.

If you feel comfortable with the relationship, you can continue exploring more, supporting and caring for each other.

Few more points to take care of:

  1. Setting up the limit or boundaries.

It varies based on the type of relationship. Everyone has a boundary both physical and emotional. If a stranger comes and put his hands on your shoulder, you feel irritated and ask him to keep some distance. At the same time, your friend can site close to you, keep his hands over your shoulder and you will still feel comfortable. Your girl friend can kiss you, sleep with you and you will not be irritated. All this is because you have in your mind, certain boundaries to people around you.

Clarify this boundary and never try to break this boundary beyond the acceptable limits.

  1. Clear picture about your position in relationship.

In some relationships, both partners have equal position and in some other relationships one may have a higher position. These positioning should be mutually accepted and the behavioural pattern must be adjusted. However such a positioning is not always admired.

  1. Self protection.

All relationships include the risk of being rejected and you should be prepared to face this situation. Never be addicted to relationships. You must keep your identity while you are in a relationship. People with relationship problems often tend to lose their identity when they are committed to a relationship and this must be avoided.

  1. Setting up the emotional boundaries.

The mutually agreed line of boundary in emotion should not be trespassed in relationships. Trespassing this boundary will cause a damage to the self esteem of your partner.

  1. Allowing freedom each other.

Committed relationships also should allow personal freedom. Relationship is actually an agreement between two individuals and not the fusion of two individuality.


We meet a lot of people every day and are in to commitments and relationships. Relationships are of many types based on the purpose of it. Relationships are beneficial if we pay a little attention to it, if not it turns out to be harmful.

Shimil Varghese, A student Psychologist, researcher and a web developer.

Blog: Bestmailer - Be positive! Mental wellness is as important as physical health

Website: Relationship Development

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