A relationship, no matter the type, is like anything else in life and must have some effort put forth in order to be successful. With a little common sense and a lot of consideration and compassion, you can ensure that all of your relationships are pleasant, positive and healthy.

Here are five very simple things that you can do to improve the relationships you currently have and also pave the way for successful ones in the future.

Take Responsibility for Yourself

This is probably the most important choice in maintaining a healthy relationship of any kind. Taking responsibility for your own needs and feelings is the most effective way of ensuring a happy, lasting partnership with anyone. Realizing that you are the only one responsible for your destiny and happiness will allow you to be in control of your own life instead of relying on someone else to do it for you.

Gratitude Instead of Attitude

Many of us take for granted the numerous things people regularly do for us, whether it’s monumental or simple and insignificant. Nothing will sabotage a relationship quicker than taking someone for granted and not appreciating what they do, or even just who they are and what they mean to you. Showing your appreciation, no matter how small, will validate the person’s actions and show that you truly care about the effort they put forth for you.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Life seems to pass us by all too quickly, which is rather unfortunate considering we’re often left with not enough time to do and say the things we’ve always wanted. But by stepping back and relaxing for a moment, you’ll be able to put things in perspective better, and then, in turn, appreciate the beauty of all aspects of your relationships, regardless of how small they may seem.

Acceptance Instead of Judgment

Continuously pointing out a loved one’s shortcomings will only hinder future relations with that person. And while one may forgive hurtful words and actions, it’s often much harder to actually forget them. By accepting someone for who they are, the loving person you chose to be in a relationship with, you’ll be better able to interact with them on a more satisfying level of love and acceptance. A critical nature will only create lasting strife and unpleasantness.

Make it About Them Instead of You

There are many times when we must selflessly put others and their needs ahead of our own. A lot of people mistakenly enter a relationship wondering what’s in it for them instead of how they’re going to better the lives of those around them. A relationship where both parties treat each other with love, kindness, understanding and respect instead of negativity is one that will surely flourish.