Hacking in the Relationship Front

The relationships day is here with us once again. I am sure that the people in relationships are equally as eager to know what next as the people not in them. This article seeks to answer the most significant of questions. How can a relationship be made to last? After checking from many sources and many experts, I have culled some basic rules of relationships. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I am sure there are several other things that you know that will supplement this list, so it’s just acting as a start. Print them out and pin them up on your refrigerator door. I won’t test you on them—but life will. Dan Nthumbi gives the best of advice there is. 

Choose a partner wisely and well. We are attracted to people for all kinds of reasons. Some of us see the tall, dark and handsome and remember Idris Elba; others go for the pear shaped body and the Beyonce-look alike because that is what they got attracted to. Many times they remind us of someone from our past. They shower us with gifts and make us feel important. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend; look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.

Know your partner’s beliefs about relationships. Different people have different and often conflicting beliefs about relationships. You don’t want to fall in love with someone who expects lots of dishonesty in relationships; they’ll create it where it does not even exist. You also do not want to be in a relationship with someone who is not a firm believer in the sanctity of relationships or who cares more about themselves. The men to avoid is a topic I covered here, and my friend Greatrnk covered the women to avoid here.

Don’t confuse sex with love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love. Just because the two of you are shagging in the sheets does not necessarily mean will make it through the tough times of life. Many times, it is a red flag, since if you begin having sex early in the relationship it becomes the focus of the whole relationship and is if it is stripped away or reduced, the relationship crumbles.

Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game. Many people, men as well as women, fear stating their needs and, as a result, camouflage them. The result is disappointment at not getting what they want and anger at a partner for not having met their (unstated) needs. Closeness cannot occur without honesty. Your partner is not a mind reader, neither can they look at your face and be able to decipher all the things running through your mind. That is why the advert says, “Fungua Roho Yako, Ongea (Open your heart and speak)”

Be Respectful. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship. Do not do or say things that are disrespectful to your partner in the relationship.

View yourselves as a team. This means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team—your differences. Someone said that there is no “I” in team. That is essentially the tenet here. Think of the two of you as one, not as two separate entities. Know how to manage differences; it’s the key to success in a relationship. In just the same way that you should not be fighting every single day, it is also okay to have different opinions on things. The key is to find a common ground without hard feelings that the two of you did not agree on the subject of your discussion.

Disagreements don’t sink relationships. Name-calling does. Learn how to handle the negative feelings that are the unavoidable byproduct of the differences between two people. Stonewalling or avoiding conflicts is NOT managing them. Just because you disagree does not mean that the person is necessarily a bad person. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume. I remember hearing that ASSuME stands for Ass of you and me. That is what assumptions do, they make and ass of you and me. Before you decide anything or believe anyone else outside the relationship, ask your partner and clarify everything with them. Just because someone in a past relationship did something out of malice, does not necessarily mean that the person you are with at the moment is doing the same thing with the same intentions.

Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers. Or enemies. Learn to negotiate. Modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by the culture. Couples create their own roles, so that virtually every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time.


Listen; truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own. Work hard at maintaining closeness. Closeness doesn’t happen by itself. In its absence, people drift apart and are susceptible to affairs. A good relationship isn’t an end goal; it’s a lifelong process maintained through regular attention.

Take a long-range view. A marriage is an agreement to spend a future together. Check out your dreams with each other regularly to make sure you’re both on the same path. Update your dreams regularly. Never underestimate the power of good grooming. Just because you have already gotten a partner does not mean that you should abandon the good grooming that you had before the relationship. Focus! Look good; make them feel proud that they are in a relationship with you.

Sex is good. Pillow talk is better. Sex is easy, intimacy is difficult. It requires honesty, openness, and self-disclosure, confiding concerns, fears, sadness as well as hopes and dreams Never go to sleep angry. Try a little tenderness. Apologize, apologize, and apologize. Anyone can make a mistake. Repair attempts are crucial—highly predictive of marital happiness. They can be clumsy or funny, even sarcastic—but willingness to make up after an argument is central to every happy marriage. Some dependency is good, but complete dependency on a partner for all one’s needs is an invitation to unhappiness for both partners. We’re all dependent to a degree—on friends, mentors, spouses. This is true of men as well as women. Maintain self-respect and self-esteem. It’s easier for someone to like you and to be around you when you like yourself. Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have. Meaningful work—paid or volunteer—has long been one of the most important ways to exercise and fortify a sense of self. Enrich your relationship by bringing into it new interests from outside the relationship. The more passions in life that you have and share, the richer your relationship will be. It is unrealistic to expect one person to meet all of your needs in life.

Cooperate and share responsibilities. Relationships work ONLY when they are two-way streets, with much give and take. Stay open to spontaneity. Maintain your energy. Stay healthy. Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs and do not ride at a continuous high all the time. Working together through the hard times will make the relationship stronger. Make good sense of a bad relationship by examining it as a reflection of your beliefs about yourself. Don’t just run away from a bad relationship; you’ll only repeat it with the next partner. Use it as a mirror to look at yourself, to understand what in you is creating this relationship. Change yourself before you change your relationship.


Do you have any more tenets to add and which one did you like most? Let me know, and see you next week, same time.


7 thoughts on “Hacking in the Relationship Front

  1. Number 6 was very important. I would add the significance of romance from the male and the female and how romance and sex are not synonymous. Express how romance keeps the fire burning in a relationship no matter how long you’ve been together

  2. I know two friends of mine who dated. They were so compatible they were like the same person. They held the same views on everything and most importantly loved each other very much. Still, there were times when they would disagree. Disagreements will come at some point but it is how you handle them that makes the difference.

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