Someone asked me the other day how I would define a good boyfriend or girlfriend. To me it is more than just showing up on time, having fun on a date, and doing unexpected little things that might make someone smile that day. A good partner is someone who figures out what your triggers are and then does everything possible to avoid them. For example, if you sense that someone is stressed out about going on vacation, then just postpone it. If someone is freaking out about expenses, let’s just fire up the grill and make dinner at home. If someone is telling you that they worried about something, then the other will try do everything possible to reassure that person that it will all be okay.

Obviously, none of us can predict the future, and 100% guarantees do not exist in any relationship. But when you hit a road block, if you can remember what your original goal is (to be a good partner) then you should be able to work through the problem. Remember what your mission is– to make the other person’s life easier and happy. What is your vision? To stay together. What do you value? Time with that other person. Great- now you can reach out and seek to understand what is creating the road block, and if you have two rational human beings that share the same mission, vision, and values, you should be able to work out a compromise.

It is funny how many business concepts can actually apply to other aspects of our lives, like the one I just stated above, but one of the best seminars I ever attended was by Jack Himmelstein, who taught me that understanding is the enemy of conflict. Truly- watch what happens next time you start sensing an argument is about to erupt, and just stop and ask, “why is this so hard?” Some are quick to say that love should not be hard, but when you have two strong-willed individuals with opposite personalities, it is not going to be easy– that doesn’t mean it is impossible. You just need to learn the art of compromise– assuming you want that love to last.