1. Debates, arguments, bickers and disagreements aren’t always a ‘bad thing’
Most people believe any sign of discomfort such as a disagreement or argument equals a doomed relationship.
We all know that no two people are the same, nor are they going to always share the same opinion or views. Conflict is bound to come up to the surface after you’ve spent enough time with someone; it’s how relationships are.
Arguments, debates, bickering etc becomes an issue when things spiral out of control and become violent, aggressive, destructive and emotionally manipulative.
Once a couple learns to have effective disagreements/arguments they can see and feel more satisfied with the outcomes. They then understand that whilst arguments and disagreements are unpleasant experiences to have, that if their effectively worked through the growth can be beneficial for the development of the individuals and overall relationship.
2. Each individual within the relationship has a responsibility to understand their own perceptions/misconceptions and issues
The stubborn individuals (like me) might find this requires a tad more effort than others.
There may be certain occasions when we are upset/hurt by something our partner has said, this is due to how we have heard it or perceived it have been delivered. Many individuals in moments like these instead of questioning the comment will remain closed lipped, and left feeling hurt.
If we are left feeling hurt or offended by our partner’s words it is our responsibility to understand why.
Are we upset because what they said has truth to it? Are we upset because we don’t like being wrong? Are we upset because our partner is right? Are we upset because our partner has called us out on something that makes us uncomfortable?
If you honestly believe your partner has said something to INTENTIONALLY HURT YOUR FEELINGS than that’s a RED FLAG because intentional malicious words are not healthy in any form of relationship. Ever.
Take the time to follow up questions that have hurt your feelings or perhaps ‘rubbed you the wrong way’ with a sentence like ‘when you said that did you mean this…because that’s how I heard it’. This way you are clarifying the situation before it blows into something unnecessary.
3. A relationship requires continuous support, dedication, effort and prioritisation from both individuals in order to survive –
There are TWO people in a relationship, which means both need to bring their ‘A game’ to the table. A relationship will become boring, stale or routine when both parties allow it (harsh truth). I have heard the following comments from couples:
We used to go on date nights all the time
We just don’t have the time anymore to do things together
We’re becoming two different people, I’ve lost the spark
I don’t even remember what we used to be like anymore, I only remember it was fun
I’d like to laugh with them again
People become lazy, distracted or unfocused and this is why relationships can become repetitive, stale and uninteresting. Instead of looking at what’s right in front of them, their eyes and minds focus on work, children, bills and other things.
Whilst I understand that certain things require priority and even immediate attention (such as raising children, paying bills etc) it is equally as important to ensure that your relationship receives the SAME LEVEL OF PRIORITY.
I understand it can be hard to juggle many things at a time but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Couples owe it to themselves to ensure that they are prioritising their partner and relationship.
- Schedule in date nights, just because they’re planned doesn’t mean they’re not romantic
- Order take out, rent a movie and sit on the couch together for a cuddle.
- Cook for each other
- Demonstrate your love for each other in ways you know the other person would appreciate it. Maybe a back rub? Maybe tell your partner how much you appreciate them in the morning before they go to work? Why not run a bath for your partner while you put the clothes on the line? All of these demonstrate that your partner and relationship is a priority for you.
4. Independence and individualism are healthy
A healthy relationship has two individuals in it that are allowed their own ‘me’ time. Living out of each other’s back pockets can have a negative impact on the relationship. It’s great to have time where you can do things you like that maybe your partner doesn’t enjoy as much. That way when you both reconvene afterwards and have something fun and interesting to talk about!
Maybe your partner wants to go away for a weekend with their family or best friends? Fantastic! Looks like you get to do what you want that weekend and when they’re home Sunday night why not grab dinner together and have a chat about your weekends?
Maybe you want to go for a coffee with friends while your partner stays home? Great! Looks like they get to catch up on those TV series that you don’t watch and relish in their own ‘me time’.
If you’re wanting to spend every moment with your s/o, that’s completely fine and up to you! However, a relationship that exists on top solid foundation can certainly allow for ‘me time’ as opposed to ‘us time’. Don’t ever feel guilty about it!
5. The person you’re dating you should actually LIKE
If you’d never dated and still know that you’d want to be friends with them, you’re most certainly onto a winner!
Relationships work well and thrive best when the two individuals have a great friendship built on trust and mutual respect.
6. Trust, Transparency and Honesty –
Can’t leave your phone around your partner? Worried they’re reading your text messages whilst you’re in the shower? Scared to tell your partner how you’re really feeling about something because of how they’ll react?
These might sound funny or trivial to you but they’re real scenarios I’ve heard from many couples over the past 6 months.
They are each in their own right RED FLAGS in a relationship. Unless you are being secretive because you’re planning a surprise holiday, birthday, proposal or anniversary celebration nothing in your relationship should require secrecy.
Also, if something has bothered you in your relationship you should be able to talk about it and bring that issue up (if you want to or you believe it’s worth a discussion)
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