How to Keep a Relationship Moving Forward

Listen to your partner's feelings to show her that you care.
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Your relationship may feel as though it is at a standstill. But think of it as a marathon, not a quick sprint. Whether you hope to move your romance from a high school crush to a more mature relationship or are simply stuck in a rut, look to the future with caring and patience. Move your relationship forward in a thoughtful, deliberate way.

1 Slow Down

Slowing down your relationship may seem in opposition to moving it forward. That said, making rash decisions or jumping into an overly eager romance won't keep you going for the long haul. A rushed relationship typically doesn't move forward and often ends in an untimely break up, according to professor of psychology Susan Krauss Whitbourne in her article "Take It Slow If You Want Your Relationship to Last" on the Psychology Today website. Instead of moving out of your college dorm and in with your girlfriend a month after meeting, wait until the next school year before you consider this proposition.

2 Dig Deeper

Moving forward also means going deeper into your relationship. Start sharing your feelings with your guy or girl. Tell your partner more than just your basic likes and dislikes. Let her know your dreams, worries, fears or proudest moments. For example, instead of telling her that you want to major in education when you go to college, explain that you want to follow in the footsteps of a teacher who changed your life. Sharing similar values can create a base to move your relationship forward.

3 Flirty Fun

Although taking the serious side of your relationship into consideration is key, don't forget that you are still young. You don't need to settle down immediately or act like a married couple well before your time. Instead of getting into a predictable pattern of renting a DVD every Friday night, keep your relationship moving forward with a mix of fun-filled date nights. This doesn't mean that you need to seek adventure at every turn or that you have to give up low-key nights. Add a pinch of spice -- such as going ice skating at an outdoor rink or taking a trip to a local amusement park -- to keep your dates from getting stale.

4 Own Your Identity

Instead of pretending to like an activity that your mate does, maintain your own identity. A healthy relationship requires each person to have and respect their separate identities, according to the article "Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships," on the University of Washington Tacoma's website. For example, if your guy adores football and you have no interest, don't act like a super-fan. Accept his interests, but don't give up yours. Unless he wants to date himself, he'll appreciate your differences.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.