Relationships take hard work—that’s the first lesson you should be learning growing up. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), for most people, they’d only realize this when they already have a body count that they’d rather not talk about.
Hard work in a relationship is one of those things you ignore. Until experience teaches you otherwise. There are mistakes that you should make on your own, though. Those mistakes are part of you. Besides, it can be fun to remember some of the mistakes you did. Just don’t add them as friends on Facebook. Your current partner might not see the humor.
Below are factors that can affect your relationship. Knowing these factors could make you and your partner work on them. Instead of just ‘winging it,’ both of you could have a real shot at a ‘happily ever after’—if you put in actual effort.
Compatibility can be about the same interests, personal views on any subject, or even about who should have the power in a relationship. But having different views isn’t necessarily a relationship-killer, just not on some fundamental issues, like having kids or not. There are differences you can work out, like one partner not liking mayonnaise, while the other slather it on almost everything. Or whether you think a comma after ‘But” at the beginning of a sentence is warranted, and the other maintains it isn’t always necessary.
If a couple can talk about their differences and not devolve into shouting matches and slammed doors or objects flying, it means you two know how to resolve your differences, and that’s a good sign.
Which brings us to the next factor.
Whether it’s a personal or professional relationship, communication always plays a crucial role. Feelings should be conveyed and reciprocated. No matter how well you think you know each other, you still need to talk. Don’t ever assume that you can read your partner’s mind—or that your partner can read yours.
Communication may not always be perfect. It takes a lot of practice and patience. Practice and patience mean spending time together. Speaking of which…
- Have Time For Each Other
The amount of time couples spend together has a great impact on a relationship. Couples who often do things together means they truly enjoy each other’s company. How much time you spend with each other matters, but it can also be about how the time is spent. Having the same likes makes it easy to find time to spend with each other.
Having dissimilar interests might make it tricky to do things together, but you can always try to compromise. You can take turns participating in each other’s hobbies or interests. Perhaps you could also try activities that you haven’t done before. You may discover new things that you like to do together. You may also discover new things about each other.
- Your Parents’ Relationship
Subconsciously or not, and whether you like it or not, how your parents acted towards each other could have an impact on the way you regard a romantic relationship. Your parents’ relationship is the template from which you would base yours. It doesn’t mean, however, that you’re doomed (or blessed) to have the same experience your parents had. But recognizing a few similarities can be very helpful.
You could emulate the positive or recognize red flags early in your relationship. You’d have an idea of how it’s affecting your relationship.
The start of a relationship is always the best. Butterflies, giggling, looking at each other’s eyes, and all that. Later on, you’d be too used to each other and you’d take each other for granted. Intimacy, however, isn’t just sex. It can also be about being close to each other. Looks, pecks, touching each other’s hands, hugs, going for walks—all these can also convey intimacy.
Not saying that these activities can substitute for sex, because you should have to make time for that, too. When there’s no intimacy, your relationship can get strained, and may get to a point where you feel you’re with a stranger.
Relationships take hard work. The factors cited above are just a few of what affects a relationship. Knowing these, you’d know what to work on. Keep in mind, however, that both partners should want it to work.