We tried hobby swapping and found a whole new world of things to do together. Who knew? Turns out I actually liked some of his hobbies! Now we have a whole list of shared interests, and our bond is stronger than ever!
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.
I unknowingly started expecting my partner to be a reflection of myself, often asking "why can't you also" when pointing out things I do. But I realized that he brings his own strengths to the relationship, and expecting him to mirror me is not fair or healthy.
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.
Giving time to yourself and your partner to adjust with each other's habits, patterns and personality is important for a relationship to grow. No magic happens in one month or few weeks; a relationship takes its own time to cultivate.
Pause, breathe, and connect. Your emotions matter so when you are upset about something, take the time to calm down before a discussion with your partner. This helps to identify the core concern, allows for clearer communication and nurtures a loving, respectful dialogue.