As you probably know by now, there are few things more fulfilling in life than a supportive and happy relationship. With the solid foundation of a good marriage or partnership, you can more easily make good decisions for your financial advisory business—including ‘risky’ decisions like going out on your own. Once you know what it takes to have a successful relationship, the next step in your career is to help your clients improve their relationships as well. You likely have a lot of older clients and can help them deal with personal issues like resolving family discord and learning how to talk to their spouse about money without fighting. However, if you have some younger clients who are just getting started in the adult world, you have the unique opportunity of helping them lay the groundwork of what a good relationship takes. Do you have young adult clients who you can talk to about relationships? Here’s how to start.

Show Them the Importance of Ignoring the Fantasy

It’s pretty easy—especially nowadays—to look around and believe that really good relationships are like magic. They simply work by themselves, everyone is always smiling, and you come home to a blissful partnership at the end of every day. This, my friends, is a fantasy. You probably know this already, but your young clients who are constantly seeing their friends’ ‘perfect lives’ on Facebook and Instagram may not. What they are seeing on social media, in movies, and on TV is not reality. In real life, no matter how good a relationship is, it takes work. This is the first lesson you need to teach your young client: to achieve a happy partnership, you have to be willing to put n the work.

Help Them Understand It’s a Process

Your clients may be thinking they’ll eventually get to a point in their relationship when they can stop putting in the work and just enjoy it already. It’s time to burst their bubble and tell them the truth: they’ll never reach that point. No one does. As they continue to evolve and grow and their partner does the same, they’ll have to keep working to understand and support each other. They won’t have everything figured out on the honeymoon. Heck, they won’t even have everything figured out on their 50th anniversary. Help them see that rolling with the punches and continually striving to be better is what truly makes a relationship great and that these efforts are ongoing.

Emphasize the Importance of Communication

Any good book on marriage will stress communication and for good reason. If your client can’t figure out how to talk to his or her significant other in a way they can hear and respond to, they simply can’t build a solid relationship. Figuring out to lovingly and effectively communicate with each other should be a top priority for young adults. If they’ve never had the right role models, though, they might not have a clue how to do it. Suggesting good books, seminars, or even counseling can be one of the best things you can do for your client as they start to develop their relationship toolbox.

Explain How Conflict Can Be a Way to Grow

When you are able to have emotional flexibility, you can see conflict not as a problem, but as an opportunity. This is a called a growth mindset, and it’s something that will help your client in all aspects of their lives if they can develop it. Help them see that a relationship without conflict is a relationship without improvement and that true growth comes from friction and from both members of the couple figuring out how to resolve that friction and learn more about each other in the process. If your client is in a good relationship with loving communication, conflicts will inevitably lead to deeper connection.

Whether your young clients have already entered into a committed relationship or are still looking for that special someone, helping them understand that relationships take work is the first step in mentoring them to a happier, healthier life. Have questions or comments about relationships? Please leave them below!