1. Be Supportive yet realistic with your partner. - This is very tricky. On the one hand your partner could see you giving them advice as "nagging" or "bitching" or "telling you what to do" but you are the person that can influence your partner the most before anyone else. Your partner wants to be an "aspiring rapper", Support their dreams by encouraging them but also be HONEST. If they suck, TELL THEM THE TRUTH, but encourage them to improve themselves. If they are "aspiring" to improve their lives through a chosen path, it is on YOU if you choose to join them on this ride to think in the clouds but still keep their feet on the ground. I know A LOT of women who support their man's aspirations but at the risk of sacrificing other more important things (like bills, rent, etc.). Be there for them and be their biggest fan, but don't accept "dream talk" unless they are moving towards actually attaining or meeting their goals. Your honesty will and should be appreciated.
2. It's better to keep the peace than be RIGHT. - As men we have a distinct need for things to make sense or be "right" when it comes to disagreements. Just go to your local barber shop on any day and you will hear HOURS of endless debates about any and everything until we feel we have effectively proven that our point of view is correct. This thought process can prove to be especially troublesome in relationships. While I know the moderator of this site is an atheist, I subscribe to Biblical wisdom on this particular topic:
"It is to one's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." - Proverbs 20:3Arguments and disagreements will be inevitable, but take every disagreement and look at it in its proper context before you believe a response is necessary. "Is this REALLY that important to our relationship?". In most cases, you will find that most of the things you are disagreeing about aren't important to the long-term status of your relationship. Just remain calm and think it through, it will be hard and this may take some practice and mastering on BOTH sides.
3. Forgiveness and FORGETFULNESS are not the same. - When you have been wronged, there's no need to consistently remind your partner of their wrongdoings if the two of you have chosen to move forward with continuation of your relationship. Don't say you have forgiven someone if you are going to bring up past actions on a repeated basis, true forgiveness is actually FORGETTING about it, otherwise, its just denial which explains why you keep bringing it back up.
4. Think Positive. - The source for all good things is to think positively. Once again, be realistic, but do your best to think the best of your partner. Recognize that the reason you are with them is because their GOOD qualities outweigh their FLAWS. Increase your relationship focus on accentuating the positive and helping and supporting each other through your flaws.
5. No matter how busy you are, you must make time for each other. - Our minds are flooded with to-do lists, problems that arise, news and distractions that truly have nothing to do with our day to day existence. While in the midst of all these thoughts we tend to take our significant others for granted and forget to take their thoughts, feelings and needs under consideration. Make sure you keep them at the top of your mind and MAKE time for them. There should be no excuse for this unless you're occupied with other things 24/7 which means you have NO TIME, SPACE OR NEED to devote yourself to a relationship. Whether its a simple as making dinner for them or just making yourself available to listen to them talk about their day, devote time to your partner (let me state this one caveat: IT DOES NOT HAVE TO TOTALLY BE JUST SEX, OR SEXTING, just showing your partner the attention and love they deserve mentally and spiritually can lead to a deeper connection.
I could have stated that "Listening... Understanding...Loving...etc." could be keys but those are things that take time, mastering, and attaining a level of maturity in yourself and your relationship, but the steps I've listed above could be implemented IMMEDIATELY to make your partner happy and confident in being with you. Good Luck!