Relationships Done Right: Several Simple Steps to Improving Your Relationship With Your Significant Other
We all know what they say. Men are from Mars, women from Venus. Although I think most of us, in frustration and exasperation, might object that the opposite sex is from an entirely differently galaxy altogether. The truth is, men and women just don't get along sometimes.
We have seminars about it. We have women's groups about it. We pay hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars attempting to learn about it.
It's really not all that complicated. Some good common sense and a little hard work can do more than you could possibly imagine in improving your relationship. So before you shuck out the plastic to the nearest shrink, I'd like to introduce some tips that have proven to be very helpful to me in improving my relationship with my significant other.
Oh communication. Such a lovely concept and yet so elusive to many. How many relationships have bit the dust simply because a word, a phrase, a glance, was misinterpreted? How many days are spent in strife simply because a pair does not take the time to understand each other?
The first thing we must remember is this: We are different. Men and women are wired differently and tend to view life from completely different perspectives. And that is OK. We can oftentimes make the lethal mistake of assuming that if someone does not have a perspective similar to ours, they must be wrong. We are a very egotistical species.
If you don't know, ASK! You'd be surprised how many fights can be averted by simply saying, "So let me make sure I understand," and "Let me repeat what I thin you said." I usually find that when I do that, the message I received was not the message which was intended.
Communication is a two way street. A message is given, and a message is received. Most of our problems arise from making sure that the message received is the same as the message given. Let's take the time to ask. To clarify. To understand, instead of immediately assuming meaning.
Let's face it. we're not the only ones with desires and feelings in the relationship. Our needs, wants, and desires are just as important as our SO's, and we would do well to take the time to give in every once in a while. To watch the T.V. show they want to watch without complaining. To pick up that dirty sock they left on the floor. To wash the plate they forgot to wash. I'm not saying we should go overboard and let the other person walk all over us. Balance is key. Even if your SO shows no sign of wanting to initiate compromise, why not be the bigger person? Let it be you? A simple oversight can go a long way in producing a cordial atmosphere. This leads me to my next point:
Don't sweat the small stuff. There are plenty of big problems that we have to deal with on a daily basis which require a lot of energy. Like bills, buying a car, planning for our kids' college, etc. Is it really worth getting upset a the dirty sock on the floor, the neglected task, or a forgotten promise? A question I like to ask myself when I begin to get upset is this: is this going to matter to me tomorrow? The day after tomorrow? A week from today? If my answer is no, then it's probably not worth it. Making mountains out of molehills is a common mistake.
4. Be Secure
There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with someone who is insecure about themselves or their relationship. Even though it may not be recognizable as such, here are some common "symptoms" of insecurity.
1. being extremely sensitive to criticism, even tactful constructive criticism
2. being easily jealous
3. being highly critical of the other person
This is where individual focus is key. In order to be secure in a relationship with another individual, we must first be secure in ourselves. Who we are, what we perceive to be our value, and our value to our Significant Other.
Insecurity is the root of a lot of problems, but especially jealousy. If we are not secure in our relationship with our SO and have to worry they will abandon us for someone else, then no amount of evidence will assure us of that fact.
In addition to jealous, insecurity causes us to be (the dreaded word) needy. Yes I said it. We get clingly, sensitive, and an all-around difficult person to be around because we always need to make sure we feel loved.
This leads me to my next point:
5. Love Yourself
This may seem self-serving at first glance, but let's think about this for a moment. If we hate ourselves and constantly feed off negative thoughts about ourselves, how can we possibly project positiveness, love, and confidence towards our partner? We cannot give what we do not have. If we've never experienced it, we have no idea how to handle it or what it even is. Not to say that those certain ones of us are incapable of loving, but it certainly prevents us from doing so in the way which I think most of us would like. We all have differing definitions of love. But in the end it is the same: love yourself in a healthy balanced way. Loving yourself enables you to fully love your partner because you are not concerned about proving anything to anyone. You will be emitting an aura of confidence and stability, a trait more admirable by some than physical beauty. I have been told that confidence shines brighter than looks. Confidence tells your partner you're not high maintenance. It tells them they are secure and do not have to be responsible for your own happiness.
Own your own happiness!