Kasha Thompson @kayslay_allday
Photo: Unplash.com Photographer: @jakobowens1
Most people long to be in a relationship. Finding someone who loves us and who we can love is an essential part of life. Being connected to others is important for our mental and social health. The goal isn’t to be in a relationship the goal is to learn how to foster a healthy relationship that satisfies your needs. How do you do that you ask? Well you know what they say a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. In life if you want something you need to speak up and romantic relationships are no different.
Being in a relationship means being vulnerable and willing to share your inner thoughts with someone else. Communication is key. George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” We have to be intentional with our conversations and the words that we speak. If you are longing for more physical contact - hugs, forehead kisses, back rubs … say it. Your relationship shouldn’t be a game of charades and your partner shouldn’t have to guess how to make you happy.
With communication comes listening. Far too often we listen so that we can respond and not listen so that we can understand. If your asking for the things you need you can expect that eventually your boo will do the same. You should be willing to receive what they say. You may not see everything eye to eye but by putting it all on the table you can determine what you are willing to accept and what you just don’t rock with.
Allow for a true conversation. A conversation is defined as a talk between two or more people in which ideas are exchanged. Did you catch the key word in that sentence? EXCHANGED. Conversations should have a healthy back and forth. A relationship isn’t a one-woman stage show it’s a two hander with you and your partner participating in a verbal tennis match.
If you want a relationship that encourages open communication your need to grow a thick skin. You can’t take every little compliant personally. If your partner suggest they would like you to be more social but you have fully embraced the social distancing lifestyle and have no plans on looking back, we may have a problem. Relationships are about compromise.
Compromise doesn’t have to be viewed as a dirty word. Maybe you’re not going to every function or getting on every Zoom party but you agree to do a few events per month which makes your partner happy while allowing you to still have time you need for self-care.
Your needs will change and evolve as your relationship grows. This isn’t a one and done process you will need to express your needs every time your priorities shift. We can't expect our partner to be mind readers. Are you dating Miss. Cleo? If you’re not your mate isn’t going to intuitively always know what you need. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and watch your relationship flourish.