In the case of a possible break up, there are things that can be done by the partners individually, as well as together to work on the relationship.
On an individual basis, one can:
- Look down on, avoid and ignore other potential romantic partners, in their thoughts as well as in the real world.
- Focus and idealize the qualities of the partner, as well as the ‘specialness’ of the relationship.
- Instead of adding ‘fuel to the fire’ by criticizing negative behavior, try to interpret it actions in a positive, empathetic and optimistic way, believing in his or her capacity to change and improve as a person.
A couple can work together on:
- Conflict management: finding a middle ground between the needs, perceptions of each person. Being able to put a stop to an argument by ‘agreeing to disagreeing’ or apologizing to one another when things have gone too far.
- Forgiving one another, while respecting a certain threshold (too much forgiveness can negatively impact mental health).
- Sacrificing and letting go of certain things for the sake of the relationship.
- Taking care of and helping one another, encouraging interdependence.
- Relieve one another from the stresses of life, providing unconditional emotional support.