Relationships are tough. Quite the cliché, but clichés are just that for a reason—they speak a deep, universal truth. There really is no such thing as a perfect relationship, considering the unions are comprised of two imperfect people. Nor does a relationship have to be perfect to be worthwhile. Everyone fights and gets on the other’s nerves; it is all par for the course. But, there are things we can do to handle the negative things in a healthier way, and just be happier all around.
While I am far from having a perfect relationship, I think it is pretty solid and we have been through some really challenging times that have really strengthened our bond. Through my experience, I have learned a thing or two, and I would like to share some tips that have worked for us in hopes they will work for you too.
Carve Out Some Alone Time
This idea that the amount of time you spend together as a couple is somehow proportionate to the love you have for your other half is kind of silly. Often timesthat constant togetherness is born of anything but love. Rather, it stems from jealousy, mistrust, or the idea that since you are a couple, it means you live attached to each other’s hips. Now, of course, if you never want to spend time with your significant other, that is an issue to be addressed. Anyway, alone time is crucial. It helps you decompress. It gives you a chance to just focus on you for the moment. You have time to be alone with your own thoughts. It recharges you and most of all, it makes you miss your significant other and appreciate the time you have with him more.
Talk With Brutal Honesty
When I say brutal honesty, I am not saying to spit out cruel things that serve no other purpose than simply lashing out and hurting the other person’s feelings; I am talking about saying all the stuff that most people let fester, the stuff that is the breeding ground for resentment and contempt—two feelings that will destroy a relationship like no other. The ability for us to talk about the things that most people would shy away from has helped us tremendously. Once we get it out on the table, we can talk about things, let things go and make changes that address the problems. Sure, there may be some hurt feelings on either side, as no one likes to be criticized, or hear how her partner is really unhappy with certain aspects of the relationship. But, you will both be better for it.
Let the Relationship Be What It Is
There is no shortage of advice out there about what makes a good relationship and what you ‘’should’’ be doing. Now, I have no doubt that there are some objective suggestions that really do apply, but ultimately, it comes down to the two people involved. Conduct your relationship in a way that works best for you. If you two are happy doing whatever it is you do, that is all that matters. I like to sleep in a separate bedroom because I sleep better when I am alone, not being woken by snoring or trips to the bathroom. Some may think that is breaking a cardinal rule of relationships, but for me, it has nothing to do with unhappiness or lack of intimacy. It is just about sleep, something I highly value. You should only worry about your union if there are aspects of it actually bothering you, not because it does not align with other’s opinions.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things relationships; if you are over 50 and on the dating scene, check out 50 Plus Club for a great online matching site.