Most people believe that love is all it takes to make a relationship work. It might be enough to start a relationship but definitely not enough to make one last forever. Believe it or not, a relationship is hard work. In order to make it work with your partner, you need to be dedicated to making it work and that requires more than just love.
Most couples tend to disregard even the most basic advice, thinking that they don’t need any and that is exactly how they end up in couple’s therapy or broken up. There’s so much that can go wrong that doesn’t even have to go wrong. Here are some of the things that experts recommend in order to make your relationship work.
1. Don’t expect perfection.
Author of ‘Couples: How We Design Love Last’, Kate Figs, tells us that there is no unanimous definition of perfection. Accept it; what you consider perfect isn’t what anyone else considers as perfect, even your own partner. Your soul-mate isn’t supposed to be a perfect match in the sense that he or she has to agree with everything that you say. Everyone has different opinions maybe about politics, food, sports or anything else. Finding someone who’s different than us is often what’s best for us.
Furthermore, Kate says that learning to accept that everyone will make mistakes and that every couple will face bad days is key to making a relationship work since you won’t be constantly asking yourself ‘where did it all go wrong?’ The truth is that nothing went wrong; it’s just a bad day.
2. Listen when they talk.
You might laugh at this point and think that it’s the easiest thing to do and I actually agree, it is the easiest thing to do but do you listen? Do you ACTUALLY listen to them? If you’re having trouble in your relationship then psychologist and author of ‘Opening Love’s Doors’, Diana Kirschener, says that you’re not listening. Your partner might have sure concerns about your relationship and every time they talk to you about it, you tend to shut them down by acting as uninterested in the conversation as possible. This might not be because you don’t consider it to be a relevant topic but because you think that their concerns aren’t relevant enough.
Who knows, maybe they aren’t and your partner is over reacting but that just means that you have to listen to them all the more. If you make them feel like you aren’t interested in what they’re saying, odds are that they’ll just bottle all those unnecessary thoughts up inside of them and explode all of a sudden leading you to think that it’s unfair to you.
3. Always support them.
You evidently aren’t supposed to support them when they do something wrong. You evidently know what psychotherapist JoAnn Magdoff is talking about here. In addition to saying that you love them, you need to practically show them that too. Be there for them when they need you the most or not the most but be there when they need you. Comfort them or advise them, do whatever it is to show them that you have their back through thick or thin.
This can even be applied when they aren’t going through some sort of a major trauma, they might need you to be there for them during a couple’s thing that you can’t be bothered with but for the sake of your partner, you decide to go anyway.
4. If family means everything to them, make an effort.
This one comes from Cosmopolitan’s Aunt Agony herself, Irma Kurtz. Your partner might be family oriented and you’re not but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t even make an effort. At least go to any, if not all, of the family gatherings no matter how annoying it might get for you, just realise that it makes your partner happy and that should be enough.
There are many problems when it comes to family, you might not even get along with their family no matter how hard you try and in that case, you should just feel satisfied over the fact that at least you tried and that’ll be enough for your partner as well.
5. Focus on where you are at the moment.
Author of ‘Ms. Typed: Cease Sabotaging Your Relationships and Find Dating Success’, Michelle Callahan, has some on point advice for many people who are so blinded by the idea of staying together for ten or twenty years into the future that they forget to focus on the present. When we meet someone amazing and fall head over heels in love with them, the first thing that comes to our mind is, ‘are they going to stay forever?’. Well, maybe.
You don’t even know the person properly and sometimes it takes days, months or even years to actually get to know someone. Focus on what you two have at the moment and gradually you’ll realise when the time is right for the relationship to go to the next level.
So, are you going to act on any of this?
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé