Yet even really good friends, whether they are romantic partners or not, sometimes get irritated and disappointed with each other. It’s really sad if these little things fester and the relationship suffers.

So how can you deepen your really important relationships and make them resilient to the difficulties all relationships experience?

Stressed Businesswoman

Allow me to share five things with you that help me. I think of them helping me cherish yesterday, live today and dream tomorrow:

Cherish yesterday

Bad things happen in all relationships. I tell myself that what has happened in the past, has happened. I can’t change it. What I can change however, is how I allow the past to impact on me in the present. It’s up to me to either stay stuck in the bitterness of a past event, or to put it behind me.

Here’s what to do:

1. Change your story about your past
When something bad has happened that you want to put behind you, ask yourself the three transformational questions: How can I accept this? What can I learn from this? Is there an opportunity? Decide to forgive, commit yourself to not reliving the hurt, let go and move on.

2. Find the positive
Focus on the positive in your relationship. What are you deeply grateful for? What three good things have happened in your last interaction?

Live today

I know that I only have today to live, and that tomorrow may not come. Well, I know that intellectually, but the challenge is to make my relationships reflect that insight.

Here’s what to do:

3. Do little things for the other person
Little things sometimes have a big impact (think of caring for a new baby to allow the mom a full night’s sleep). Doing several little things may be more valued than a big thing (think of washing the dishes, cleaning the car and a walk in the park compared to an expensive night out). Giving little surprises are great for keeping the sparkle in relationships (think of slipping a love note into her packed lunch or sending an unexpected SMS).

4. Show your trust
Deepen your relationship by disclosing what you are thinking and feeling: what’s making you happy and enthusiastic; what’s worrying you and making you afraid. Encourage the other person to do the same – listening intently before responding shows your respect. It may be helpful to do this in a setting that allows both of you to talk without distraction.

Dream tomorrow

I challenge myself by asking: what I will be remembered for in 100 years time? Yesterday has happened; I am creating today, but tomorrow is waiting for me. I am the author of my story, so how would I like it to go?

Here’s what to do:

5. Dream about how your life will be three years from now, as if all the good things that could happen, have actually come about. Write down what you see yourself doing and how you are living. Read it to your partner. Ask them to do the same. Then together create a new, joint dream of your relationship together. Finally, decide on what small thing you can start right now on the road to bring your dreams to reality.

Now I need to confess that I am seldom successful in doing all these things all the time. But even trying and not being as successful as I would like, has really helped me.

Why not try them yourself and see if they help you create deep and resilient relationships too?