So, I know I said that I’d be covering relationships just for the month of February, but I had one more article I wanted to write. This will be the last one, then I promise I’ll write something else. I’m realizing I just have a lot to say about relationships. It has been a crucial part of my life, and I have had to make a lot improvements, and this has given me a lot to share about.
For those of you who may not know me, I’m currently dating a wonderful woman named Tia, and I’m in a relationship that seems so healthy, stable, and fulfilling that it even befuddles me at times. Being in this relationships has given me some big insights, and I want to share what I’ve learned. So, here are my four tips that have made my relationship better.
Do everything you can to promote communication
Communication is probably one of the biggest components to a healthy relationship. The more you can promote openness and active discussion in your relationship, the longer that relationship will last and have minimal drama. This means trusting your partner, accepting and encouraging criticism, and actively having those uncomfortable discussions you want to avoid. As much as possible you want to be in that space where you feel like you can tell your partner anything.
Talk about issues before they are actually issues.
This is a habit that has really made my relationship with Tia prosper. We have a general rule that is something is bothering either of us even slightly, we talk about it and explore it. This can be anything from dealing with an insecurity to sorting out a silly pet peeve.
This works because you stop issues well before they cause trouble. Sometimes an issue will get overlooked and actually become a problem, but keeping up this habit makes it rare.
Tackle problems as a team
When a problem comes up, 9 times out of 10 you’ll see how your partner is causing the issue first and assume it’s their problem to fix. This is unfortunately a biased perspective we are drawn to seeing. It’s always harder to acknowledge how you might be feeding into the problem as well.
To deal with this, you need to shift your perspective to a team perspective. I do this by taking a step out of my relationship. I imagine that I’m not looking at me and Tia, but at a different couple entirely. I then work with Tia to objectively see how the problem is playing out between us, and what we need to do as a couple to sort things out.
Read the books Mastery of Love and Daring Greatly
As a life coach, as well as a person who has had many unhappy relationships, I’ve read a ton of books. Of all the books, I’ve read on relationships, coaching, and self-help, these are the two that helped me the most. I strongly recommend them if you are looking to have better relationships both with others and yourself.
Mastery of Love provides a unique lens to understand your love life. The author uses effective yet simple stories to explain the nature of love and relationships. As you progress through the book, you’ll see how feelings of love or fear influence your own love life and how addressing these feelings can really change relationships. The book does a really good job of showing what a healthy interdependent relationship looks like and is a great guide for anybody looking to improve their life romantically or socially. I particularly like the book because it’s a very light read and can be read within a few hours. I often reread it every year or two, because the insight you get from it changes with your own circumstances.
In regards to Daring Greatly, you may remember me posting two TED talks by a person named Brene Brown. The talks looked at how vulnerability is the key to human connection and how shame is an obstacle you overcome to have that connection. Daring Greatly is a book that follows up on these talks and discusses these two topics in further detail. It investigates how shame appears in our daily lives and how we emotionally close ourselves off from possibilities to hide from it. Daring Greatly is a solid read mostly because it teaches you how to put yourself out there. It helps you recognize the ways you hold yourself back from making new connections and gives solid advice on how to overcome that. Not only that, but it’s also an awesome book for anybody who struggles with perfectionism or overworking themselves. Brene Brown is a recovering perfectionist and provides particularly solid advice for this mindset. I recommend this book for anybody looking to establish more connection in their life, but perfectionists will benefit doubly from reading it.
Well, that’s everything I have to say about relationships, at least for now. Next week, I’ll start discussing something entirely different. If you enjoy these posts and want me to keep writing juicy articles, please message me topics you want me to talk about. It’s sometimes hard to think of new topics to discuss each week, and new ideas are always welcome.
Images provided by Zoetnet and Bubble Fishh