Whoever said that relationships were easy most likely read way too many fairytales when they were a kid! Sure, a strong attraction and a serendipitous series of romantic events can quickly propel a courting situation into something serious, but when the honeymoon period ends, and that “love high” wears off, the real work begins.
While we love to spread sage advice about what to do to make relationships last, we thought it was about time that we flipped the whole idea on its head! Here are 5 things that you should either never do, or quit doing, if you are hoping to keep that special connection with your partner strong into the future.
Whether it be something as trivial as blaming your lover for taking that last popsicle from the freezer, psychologist Dr. Tom Jordan says that making false accusations like this is can transform into emotional abuse.
To combat this dangerous behavior, the doctor suggests altering your language to better communicate your feelings. For instance, instead of starting your sentences with an accusatory “you,” begin them with “I feel____ when you____.”
It’s a small change that can really help organize your thoughts and keep both you and your partner civil during any disagreements that may arise.
It’s safe to say that most of us have a hard time setting boundaries when it comes to our devices. As a matter of fact, a 2014 Pew Research poll found that 1 in 4 cell phone owners felt that their partners spent too much time on their phones.
So, guys and gals, put down those cell phones and power down those tablets. If your technological devices are more interesting to you than the person who’s lying next to you in bed, then perhaps it’s time to make some changes.
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Preston Ni with Psychology Today asserts that this elusive and uber-frustrating behavior can show itself in a variety of ways, including: negative gossip, sarcasm, the dreaded “silent treatment“, excusing making, unreasonable blaming, procrastinating, stubbornness, sabotage, self-harm, and victimhood.
Unless you’ve yet to be in a serious relationship, then we doubt you have steered clear of each and every one of these behaviors. After all, with commitment comes fear, and even the most rational can, at times, lose their sense of equality.
Ni suggests that “passive aggressives” participate in some objective introspection so that they can better focus in on what makes them become reactive instead of proactive.
If you’re aiming to spend the rest of your life with that special guy or gal, then you better get ready to handle some changes together. After all, the lines “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,” are in the wedding vows for a reason!
Clinical psychologist Terri Orbuch, PhD. says that many people fear the word “change”, but a simple shift in mindset can completely transform the way that you think about uncharted territory. “When you add something new, which is what a change really is, you can add romance and passion to a relationship,” says Orbuch. It’s all about keeping a positive attitude and looking at everything as an opportunity.
Now, there are times when certain lines are crossed, whether they be financial, emotional, or differences in lifestyle, and that is when you, as a partner, need to effectively convey why you are feeling so uneasy about a shift. Which brings us to our next point…
Even the most easygoing people have certain limits, especially when it comes to their partners. Because relationships should be a safe place for both, it’s key that you establish your changing boundaries as you move forward.
According to clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, PhD., the best way to do this is to stay away from using words like “never” and “always”—ultimatums only add pressure to a blossoming relationship. Not only are they often paired with unrealistic expectations, they can also end up being rather vague.
The most effective way to state your boundaries, as well as honor those of your partner, is to “ask permission, take one another’s feelings into account, show gratitude and respect about differences in opinion, perspective and feelings,” says Howes.
Pretty good advice, huh? Though these rules can be trying, we think that the right person is most definitely worth the challenge!
What do you think of this list? Would you add any rules of your own? How do you keep things peaceful in your long-term relationship?