Myth: My relationship with my partner should be effortless.
Fact: With any two unique individuals coming together, there are going to be differences. Every person and relationship is fundamentally imperfect. One has to work on their relationship every day to make it meaningful and lasting.
By Sakshi Saini (Counseling Psychologist)
As a couple, staying friends has always been important for us, so we have a lot of simple rituals that help us stay that way. E.g together we write inspiring, funny, and uplifting messages on sticky notes and leave them in unexpected places around our community.
Over time i realised that i was showing love in a way that i understood and wanted to receive. I thought "doing things" for her was the way, but she wanted "quality time" together. A small change there had a huge impact on our relationship
Building open, clear and safe channels of communication in your relationship not only removes the stress and distance of guesswork, they also bring in fulfilment, empathy and a real chance of growth. Remember, no matter how well you know your partner, you can't read their mind.
Before speaking with my partner about what's bothering me, I usually let him know what I hope to get from the conversation. e.g "I just want to be heard", or, "I want your inputs on something and love for us to problem solve together", etc.
Understanding where my hurt or fear or neediness came from was the first step in helping me strengthen our relationship. Getting to know myself better really helped me feel happier in our relationship, including the hopefully passionate, exciting, challenging, and rewarding life-long relationship with myself and my partner.