5 Tips for a More Fulfilling Relationship
May 14, 2018 04:41PM
One of the most common misconceptions about relationships is that they should happen effortlessly, without conflict or discourse. Sure, things may seem to fall into place and be perfect in the beginning, but the honeymoon phase can’t last forever. When things start to get difficult, and you’re unprepared for conflict, it can be shocking. We must shift our understanding of relationships from what we see in popular media to what happens in real life. Having to work at it doesn’t mean you’ve failed in your relationship; in fact, it’s just the opposite! Happy, long-lasting relationships take effort. In order to enjoy the good, you have to address concerns that arise. Much like a delicate flower, relationships take constant care to flourish and be sustainable over the years. Here are some tips to keep your relationship thriving.
Discard ExpectationsWishing your partner will do something to make you happy is setting yourself up for disappointment. You cannot rely on him or her to be your sole source of happiness. The pressure of performance can be crippling to anyone and cause resentment to build. Imagine if the roles were reversed: Could you be living your best life while constantly worrying you weren’t doing enough? A fulfilling relationship is when both partners’ actions are freely given. Take ownership of your happiness and let everything else your partner does be the icing on the cake.
Self-DevelopmentWhile relationships are a team sport, it’s important not to overlook the value of self-development. Before you joined forces, you were on your own; you had your own set of dreams that you wanted to accomplish. Now, many of your goals include a “we” aspect, but don’t forget to cultivate things on your own. A relationship is fulfilling when there is a mix of individual and joint goals. When you overlook your own individuality, feelings of resentment can arise when working toward a joint objective or in the case that your partner is pursuing their own plans without you. Make sure you both have something to work toward individually and encourage each other to realize those ambitions.
Re-evaluationNo matter how hard you’d like to argue against it, few of us are immune to the influence of media and society on our relationships. It’s one thing to admire a couple you see in a TV show or a celebrity tabloid, but it’s another when you use it as a comparison to your relationship.
You may idolize a celebrity couple because their life looks so easy/romantic/sexy, but you only see what is shown. Instead of using media as a checklist against your own relationship, sit down with your significant other and discuss what your ideal partnership looks like. If you are on the right track, great!
If you decide changes need to be made, even better! Keep the communication channels open and clear.