Relationships take time and require effort. There are no shortcuts that can be taken when it comes to forming healthy long term relationships. That being said, if you’re someone wondering what you can do to help strengthen your relationship, read on.
1. Accepting That There’s No Such Thing As ‘A Perfect Person’
Most of us have romanticized the idea of the “perfect relationship” with the “perfect person”. The movies, the songs, the literature, and the art that have celebrated romance and love, feed us ideas of what happy relationships ought to be like. As children, we may have had the perception that that there is one person in this universe who was created specifically for us and that by getting together with that person, our life will pretty much fall into place. But in reality, there is no perfect person. There is no “the one”. These ideas might make us feel better about our place in the world, but that’s all they do. By accepting your partner as a regular person with flaws and quirks, it will help enrich your relationship. You will begin to realize that there is beauty in conflict and imperfection.
2. Understanding That No One In A Relationship Has Control Over The Other
If you’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ on repeat, this part is especially for you. The idea that a person “belongs” to another person suggests that there is a desire for more than that of just love. It suggests a desire to control or to be able to have the authority over another person. This need to control may arise out of our own insecurities and shortcomings. For example, a woman may not like her partner spending time alone with an attractive colleague as a result of her own insecurity about the way she looks. She may then ask and expect her partner to stop said activity only to find that it has created a conflict between her and her partner. Building a relationship based in trust and talking about our insecurities openly will eliminate our need to try and control our partners.
3. Learning To Forgive
In general, forgiving people who have hurt us is not easy. It is harder still to forgive those who are close to us and have hurt us because the hurt feels stronger. But it is essential to heal these wounds and let go of the hurt. Holding it in will cause people to react rather aggressively to things that seem petty or might also be completely unrelated. If you want to ensure that you and your partner have a healthy and enriched relationship, it’s best to talk to them openly in a safe and comfortable setting.
4. Understanding That Your Perceptions Aren’t The Only Ones
We perceive things to be a certain way based on the limited information that we receive. Sometimes, when we receive new information, we are willing to question our previous beliefs and reevaluate our stance. Sometimes, we aren’t. We hold on to the idea that our worldview is the absolute truth and this can cause several problems in a relationship. Because, like us, our partners might want to hold on to their views causing an inevitable clash in belief systems. The only way to avoid this is to understand that your partner is another person and that it’s completely okay if you don’t agree on everything under the sun.
5. Be Honest With Yourself First
Many people claim that they want to be honest with their partners but the problem is that they are not honest with themselves first. It is important to spend time in reflection and understand yourself first before attempting to be honest with your partner. Once you feel like you have reached a certain point of clarity in your thinking, you can begin to share your thoughts, secrets, and fears with your partner. When you and your partner are confident enough to be vulnerable in front of each other, your relationship will have reached new found heights.