I’ve been thinking about something lately. I have been thinking about the term “fall in love,” and wondering…does it really make sense? There are a lot of terms we say or words we use that, when really broken down, don’t actually fit with the purpose of saying them.
So, love – real love – is it something we just stumble and fall into, or is it something that we work alongside another person to build together? And, if we do “fall” into it, we know that loving another person is not enough to really maintain a long term, healthy relationship.
In this article you will find a few bricks that will help you build your relationship’s foundation alongside your teammate.
Value your relationship over your ego.
When two individuals attempt to mesh their lives together, there will naturally be differences of opinions and viewpoints. When it comes to ways to live your life or making difficult decisions, it’s important that we are willing to compromise and talk through the scenario, rather than nailing our opinion to the floor and refusing to move it.
Now, obviously, I am not saying to sacrifice your dignity or your viewpoints – nobody wants a ball of mush for a romantic partner. But what I am saying is you’ve got to choose your battles. Be willing to be flexible. If you are right, tactfully make it known, but if you always have to be right, there will be unnecessary tension.
Communicate your needs.
For some of us, this is more difficult than it sounds. We may be willing to put much of our energy into keeping our teammate happy and satisfied, but we can only focus on that for so long before we start to lose sight of ourselves and our identities.
Even when we really get to know someone, we cannot be expected to be able to read their minds or vice-versa. If your wants or needs are not being met, it’s entirely possible that your partner doesn’t even know what those wants or needs are. They should be willing to put just as much effort into your happiness, as you are into theirs. But, you’ve got to help them understand how.
You’ve got two ears and one mouth – so listen twice as much as you speak. But still, remember the speaking part.
Have things to look forward to.
Whether it’s an ice cream date or an extravagant week overseas, having fun things planned for you and your teammate is important to keeping you both excited about life and the future together.
Plans and events are almost like checkpoints along the road of life, if you don’t have anything to look forward to, it’s easy to feel like you’re drifting along, which is neither good for you individually, or as a couple.
Create new traditions together.
Many of us are used to traditions we grew up with, being family or otherwise. Often times we bring our significant other into these traditions, as they do with us to theirs. They become part of the things we hold dear, which is a great way to bond a couple together and strengthen a connection.
To take it one step further though, creating new traditions that the two of you celebrate will help you pave your own road as a couple rather than just being a passenger riding along on somebody else’s.
Traditions symbolize security and stability in a relationship, it’s a staple part of both of your lives that you share together.
Be each others’ gym buddies.
It’s difficult to maintain a workout routine, whether it be running, spin class, weightlifting, or whatever your preference is. While discipline and motivation comes from within, it is always easier when we have a partner in crime, so to speak.
Working out together will keep you both motivated, hold you accountable to each other, and also give you someone you’re close with you can share and celebrate your progress with. Not to mention, exercise helps to relieve stress, so you’re less likely to find yourselves taking things out on each other.
It also keeps you both improving together, as sometimes if one partner is active and the other is sedentary, it can create discomfort for one or both.
Not cool with working out together? At the very least, committing to healthy eating and lifestyle habits together will provide similar benefits.
Go your separate ways (every once in awhile).
Everything here has focused on things couples can do together in order to strengthen their relationship, but sometimes what we need in order to give ourselves to someone else, is to know exactly what (and who) we are giving.
Living your own life, having your own interests and identity will prevent you from becoming too attached, too clingy, or too dependent. These things can easily lead to your partner feeling smothered and you feeling lost.
Continue learning about each other.
When it comes to learning new things about a new person (or when they are learning about us), there is such a thing as too much, or too little. Those who are desperate for validation or interest can tend to flood us with everything at once…even things we don’t necessarily want to know just yet.
Others who are more averse to opening up may hold back too much, causing their partner to remain unsure of their feelings, and they could ultimately leave because they don’t think the affection or interest is mutual.
The key is for both partners to do their best to walk the steps of this journey at a steady rate. Be open and honest to your teammate, but just share what is right and appropriate as your relationship grows. Don’t pinch the emotional hose, but don’t set it on “flood” either.
The foundation of a great relationship is not stumbled upon by two people who life brings together. It is built, as a team, by people who find each other and choose to be, stay, and grow together.
A relationship without these bricks is like a house built on sand – it may look sturdy from the outside, but there is no real foundation to hold it together if the weather of life gets rough.
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