Is your relationship with your significant other a spicy enchilada or a sweet lump of sugar? Maybe the answer is both. If the tides change with the moon, what’s to say that we don’t as well? What defines your relationship? Chances are it vacillates and that’s perfectly normal. It’s how you manage expectations, deal with changes, and respect each other that truly defines your relationship. Let’s explore…
Dating is not only a time to get to know each other and take part in wonderfully romantic gestures. It’s also a time when we manage expectations, or at least we should. If you expect that your partner is going to spend every weekend going out to events, dinners, movies, etc. and you’re both on the same page with this, then your lifestyle is defined. But, if one person believes that the weekend is for lounging at home and the other wants to hit the clubs, then disagreements can arise. The good news is that this is why we take time to date. Psst… it’s also why you need more than just sexual chemistry. That’s fun, but if that’s all you have in common, your relationship won’t stand the test of time.
Deal with Changes
There’s a great quote from Paolo Coelho that says: “A relationship where you can be weird together is your best choice.” To me, this means that you feel comfortable to be yourself — weirdness and all. More importantly, this comfortability means you can weather storms and deal with changes. Change in life is inevitable. Some people handle it better than others. Even more complicated is the fact that we don’t all experience changes at the same time. This means we need to support each other and be patient when one person is experiencing a life changing moment.
Respect Each Other
Relationships aren’t just candlelit dinners for two and rose petals scattered on the duvet cover. They also include disagreements. What relationships should not include are uncertainty, fear, insults, and basically, not fighting fairly. Every relationship includes arguments, but how you get through the argument defines your relationship. Arguments can be useful because they reveal aspects of our personality that allows us to be vulnerable and share.
Perhaps the next time you find yourself in the midst of an argument, take a step back and try to examine what is at the root of the disagreement. Often times, couples don’t see that one person may be feeling inadequate, wishing they could provide something that is just out of reach. The response might be to act defensively or angrily. But when you examine the reason behind undesirable behavior, you may be better equipped to solve the problem, suggest better communication, and move forward happily.
What Defines Your Relationship?
By trying to see each side of the argument, you might find that you avoid the argument. As a writer, I think having an active imagination is an asset to a relationship. When in the midst of an argument, it’s helpful to pretend that you’re hearing the words from an outsider’s perspective. Rather than react, listen. Listen with new ears as if you’re hearing your partner’s words being told to you by a friend. Give that friend advice. And remember, you were probably friends before you were lovers. The balance between those two roles makes for a strong relationship.