8 TIPS FOR A HAPPIER RELATIONSHIP
You’re on the wrong side of 25, half your friends are married, some are happily single, some are dating and then there are those who are in a serious relationship; like you. I don’t need to tell you that relationships at our age can get fairly tricky.
There is a part of you that doesn’t want to abandon the endless possibilities of single-hood; even if those possibilities never become realities. There is of course another part of you and this one’s harder to please because, it wants you to find someone. Not just anyone, but the one you want to be with, maybe even get married to.
Forgive me for using the M word; I know a lot of us aren’t ready for it. We’re either not ready financially or we’re just not prepared mentally to take such a big step. It’s all understandable and life keeps getting more and more overwhelming. So, what is it that we can do to make our lives, relationships or attempts to get into relationships less stressful? Here’s my take!
1) Know What You Want
Whether you’re in a relationship or aren’t, this is something you have to do. It’s something you will always have to do, otherwise you’ll just end up pushing your expectations against someone else and the person you love will end up becoming the person you detest. Sit alone; understand what you really want and why you want it. What are your beliefs? What compromises are you willing to make in your life? Only once you understand yourself will you be able to articulate it to your partner. To be honest, there is a lot of scope for miscommunication even then, which brings us to our next point...
This seems obvious but, isn’t that simple is it? Firstly, are you and your significant other even willing to communicate right now? Are you mad at one another? Are you likely to say hurtful things to each other in this state? Because, if you are, then you’ll probably make things worse! What I mean by “communicate” here, is that you should take a moment to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and then calmly ask them how they feel. Once you’ve given them an opportunity to tell you what they are going through, they are more likely to listen to you and reason with you. Now, talk.
3) Really Listen
It’s normal for us to always try and get our word in first. This habit largely comes from competition in school, college and in the workplace. We know that if we don’t put our point across now, we might not get a chance to. However, it’s not like that in a healthy relationship, is it? You’ll both be right here... so why not lend the person you love the courtesy of letting them finish? Listen to what they are saying, try to understand where they are coming from, introspect how you feel about it and then respond to them.
- Oh yes, fight! Anger like all others is also an emotion and while we can be civil and restrained at most times, sometimes there is nothing more relieving than yelling out to your heart’s content. It’s okay to fight as long as you’re not getting physically or emotionally violent. To be honest, you will often realize you are both fighting for the same thing – your relationship. That puts you on the same side of the fence and that is why you feel more in love after a big fight than you do after a casual date night.
5) Travel / Experience Life
Travelling together can be really therapeutic; especially if you’ve been dating for a while. This is primarily because we bond as humans over shared experiences. That’s why we are excited on first dates when we find out that our date shares a common interest with us. However, in long-term relationships you’ve probably spoken to each other more than you spoke to your parents the whole year. Of course you’re out of things to talk about! It doesn’t mean the “magic is gone” or that “the love is fading” it means you need fucking go out and share new experiences. They don’t even have to be good ones! Getting stuck together in an elevator may suck when you’re in it but, it’s going to be a fun story. As a writer there is one thing I can assure you... we’re all just looking for great stories.
6) Share Friends & Family
If you’re serious about the person you’re with you’ll have to get to know their friends and family. It is the one act that will at least show them you care. That doesn’t mean you HAVE to like their friends and family, just that you must try. It’s hard to do... trust me, I know. I’m a pretty friendly person, I get along with pretty much anyone and even I meet people who don’t get along with me. The problem is pre-conceived notions; we assume people are a certain way before we even know them. It’s difficult but we have to always keep cleaning the slate and giving people chances. What can I say, “lovin’ ain’t easy!”
7) Make Love/Have Sex/ Get It On
What? This is after all an article for adults. Jokes aside, there’s a reason they call it making love. Physical intimacy is crucial for a romantic relationship and there is very little that can make up for it. So unless you’re temporarily barred from having sex due to broken body parts or illness... go get some and always wear a condom! Find out what your partner likes, explore each other’s fantasies, and get to know each other’s kinky sides. Have fun while you’re at it!
8) Give Each Other Space
Yes. Before the other person asks for it... give it to them. Just let them be from time to time. Stop calling and texting desperately. Go take a walk instead. While too little communication can be a problem, too many attempts at communicating can also be a pain. There’s no set time frame for this, so you’ll have to sort of... wing it. As a litmus test – if you think you’re annoying your partner, give them some time off. Give them some time to miss you.
To wrap it all up, I have this final piece of advice for you my lovely reader... if you find someone you really love... give it all that you have got because as someone I love, respect and admire deeply once told me: "There are too many things in life that are average, let your love not be one of them."
Do you have any thoughts on this? Leave a comment, Tweet to me @Likhnewaala or message me on my Facebook Page.
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