Relationships seem hard. Arguments ensue; grudges are held; the “spark” is lost.
And it’s normal to feel hopeless. To watch things slowly slip away from you. To feel like the person laying next to you in bed is like a complete stranger.
Or, you can take charge of your relationship.
You can put in some tendering loving effort and watch your relationship flourish into the kickass partnership it has the potential to be.
Let’s dive in:Thou Shall Speak Up.
Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t bottle up how pissed you are that your partner forgot to take out the trash, again. Don’t let that remark that felt like a dagger in your chest slide by.
Your partner is not a mind reader, nor are they responsible for your unspoken grievances. If something is on your mind, it’s your responsibility to speak up.
You deserve to have your feelings heard and understood. Your partner won’t be able to do that if you hold them in, though.
With that being said, once the issue is out, find a solution and don’t hold a grudge. Grudges only end up hurting yourself in the long run.Thou Shall Not Put The Other On A Pedestal
You are equals in this relationship. I don’t care what your job, attractiveness level, or income is, you’re both at a level playing field.
Putting your partner on a pedestal is a recipe for disaster. It’s dehumanizing and making them into an idea.
We’re all imperfect humans; we slip up, make mistakes, fail, stumble, bleed. A partner is meant to be there through all of that; to support and accept us at our worst.
If you believe your partner is above you, that they can do no wrong, then you’re going to have a relationship that’s not based in reality.Thou Shall Be Selfish.
Your number one priority in life should be yourself. But guess what? That, in turn, makes you a better partner.
The idea of sacrificing everything and essentially becoming one with your partner is unhealthy and delusional.
It’s essential to take charge of your own happiness. You have to fill your own proverbial cup with whatever it is that gives you purpose and sets your soul on fire. It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy; it’s yours.
With that being said: be selfish. Take time for yourself. Hangout with your friends without your partner. Pursue your hobbies. Create new ones.
You must remain an individual outside the relationship instead of losing yourself in it.Thou Shall Get Familiar With Their Partner’s Love Language.
Have you ever felt unloved? Perhaps that person showed love in a way that was unfamiliar to you.
There is a common idea of how people show love. They’re categorized into five ways: words of affirmation, actsof service, quality time, gift-giving, and physical touch.
These are known as Love Languages.
Say you feel most loved when someone tells you how much they care. Your partner shows love through physical touch, though. If you never talk about this discrepancy, you’ll encounter issues. Understanding each other’s love languages helps alleviate feeling uncared for.
Have a conversation about each other’s love languages. Not only is it fun, but it’s essential to a thriving relationship.Thou Shall Prioritize One Another’s Health
Eating pizza every night while you both binge Stranger Things, until you fall asleep on the couch, sounds fun, but it’s not in the long-run.
Getting adequate sleep, eating (somewhat) healthy, and moving every day is part of being a healthy person in general. You’re going to have more energy, feel more confident in yourself, and have a more positive outlook on life.
All of those results will make you a better partner as well.
Aiding your each other in healthier goals not only forms a deeper bond but ultimately creates two people that can love even stronger.Thou Shall Listen
It’s important to know when to shut up and just listen.
Actively listening is actually pretty hard. It’s common for people to be up in their heads thinking about what they’ll say next.
Then they realize they heard nothing the other person said.
It’s important to listen when your partner is speaking. Hear what they have to say, clarify what you don’t understand, and ask questions if need be.
Know that sometimes, people just want to vent too. They’re not always looking for you to fix things. More often than not, they don’t expect you to have answers. Rather, people just want their pains to be understood, especially by their partner.Thou Shall Check-In Regularly
The most thriving couples have regular times they check-in with one another. And I’m not just talking about a random time during the week; I mean scheduled time to talk one on one.
Even if you’re practicing speaking up (hello, Commandment 1), there are some things we just don’t think to bring up. Deciding on a set time to talk about the relationship creates space for both you and your partner to speak freely.
Use this time to find solutions, become aware of things, or simply state what your partner did that week that made you grateful they’re in your life.
Remember: compliments and gratitude go a long way too.Thou Shall Argue Effectively
The best couples know how to argue.
We’d all like to avoid arguments, but they’re inevitable. They also don’t have to suck as much as you think they do.
Want to know a sure-fire way to prolong an argument and hurt your partner’s feelings?
- Trying to win the argument
- Accuse your partner
- Name call
Or, you can avoid all of those.
Instead, opt for healthier arguing.
- Listen to your partner completely.
- Clarify what you think they said.
- Speak your truth.
- Have your partner clarify what you said.
- Come to a solution.
- Give apologies or forgiveness when necessary.
- Don’t hold grudges.
Ahhh. Doesn’t that sound so much better? If you can healthily manage arguments, you’re going to have a pretty kickass relationship from that alone.Thou Shall Give Without Expectations
Relationships are partnerships. It’s not about what’s in it for you, it’s about what’s in it for the greater good (the relationship).
That means sometimes, you’re going to have to give when you’ don’t receive anything in return. That can be as little as helping your partner’s mom repair her sink to going to a concert of a band your partner loves but you secretly despise.
When you give without expecting something in return, you’re acting selflessly (a bit contradictory to Commandment Number 3). But this kind of behavior is benefitting your partner and the relationship as a whole.Thou Shall Take Themselves Less Seriously
Relationships are meant to be fun too. Remember not to take yourselves too seriously.
You’ll mess up; you’ll slip up; you’ll quite literally trip up. And, given your partner didn’t break their wrist, it’s crucial to be able to laugh at these things.
So have silly sex. Eat ice cream for dinner (though not every night). Push each other around in the cart at Target, pretending like you’re kids again.
Life is a crazy, roller-coaster. Shit gets hard.
Our partners are there to support us and also be our best friends.
If we can’t laugh with them, maybe ignore our troubles for a bit, then is that really a kickass relationship?