I have learned from experience that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. If you cannot talk freely about your problems or concerns to your partner then you shouldn't be in that relationship to begin with. Communication is the only way that you can fully understand the needs your partner has, and if you can't communicate effectively, are you really in good relations?
See, I was so used to doing whatever I wanted with no consequences because I never had a parental figure or anyone close to me that would be affected by my actions -- or that really cared.
So when I dived head first into a relationship that required consistency and openness, I ended up sinking. I realized that I had no idea how to deal with another person's emotions (or my own), I didn't understand how something I did could affect him so much, and I honestly had no idea how to hold a decent conversation (but that's just with everybody in general, I still have no idea!). I wasn't able to open myself up, because it's such a foreign feeling, and very much unwanted.
I realized I was damaging the relationship because I was acting selfishly. I was only concerning myself with, well myself, instead of trying to fix a weakening bond. A one-sided relationship can never work, nor can it grow.
To be able to fully immerse and commit yourself to a relationship, you have to be able to compromise and negotiate -- which is something I am 100 percent awful at, because if it's not appealing to me then I'm not OK with it. But I would not speak up about it, so it continued to happen.
You have to be able to voice what you do and do not like about the relationship, but you also have to be capable of reasoning. So talk about the problem, sort through your feelings (I know, feelings are ick, but we all have them ... some more than others), and come to a conclusion that both of you agree on. And if it's something that neither of you can come to terms with, then there might be a deeper, underlying source that may be causing the problem.
When there is a definite problem, you can't just ignore it (don't ignore each other either, that's one of the worst things you can do. Again experience first hand). So in order to truly make your relationship work, you have to be able to make sacrifices and put aside your pride and stubbornness (@me@you). Basic foundations such as trust, non-judgement, communication, support, love, and commitment should be the qualities that you base a good relationship around.
If you can't communicate effectively, you might end up causing more damage if you hold it in. Get everything out in the open, become vulnerable (even if you hate it), so that you can work on an us instead of a you.
"Commnuication must be HOT. That's Honest, Open, and Two-way."
- Dan Oswald