Despite what we see in the movies, love does not conquer all. Relationships take a lot to work, and, while love plays a big role in them, there are many other factors that need to be considered.
When it comes to a healthy relationship, there is so much more involved that the heart-stopping joy of being with the one you love.
You can love someone as much as physically possible, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t trust them.
While it’s nice to think that love is enough, trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. If you can’t trust your partner, you end up trapping yourself in a horrible cycle of guilt, fear, and anger.
You may find it hard to trust someone who has hurt you in the past, or if you have a history of being hurt in relationships. Your issues around trust will end up ruining everything, even if you both love each other.
You run the risk of driving your partner away, or causing them to resent you for limiting their behaviors or actions. Remember that you are with your partner for a reason, and try to be honest about how you feel.
Compromise is the key to making most things in life work, and is especially important in romantic or intimate relationships.
We’re fuelled by the media’s image of meeting our ‘perfect’ partner, the ‘other half’ of ourselves, and assume that it will all be plain-sailing from then on. We love the idea of love so much that we forget what it actually means to love someone.
Accepting that someone may want different things to you while still being with you is so important. It would be strange to meet someone who has the exact same opinions and desires as you.
Sure, some basic values and beliefs should be similar, but you need to remember that differences are what make relationships so great.
Compromising shouldn’t feel like you’re giving in or sacrificing part of your personality, and is a way of meeting in the middle without causing either side to feel uncomfortable. Love is fantastic, but reality is much better.
Time And Patience
Relationships take time and you need to be willing to invest in them. Choosing to be with someone means taking the time to show them why you want to be with them, and letting them spend time doing the same with you.
New relationships take time and patience – unlike the Hollywood movies we all love so much, real relationships don’t always jump straight into the good bits! You’ll find that there will be bumps in the road, and you may find certain aspects of your relationship testing.
Be patient with your partner, and yourself, in the early days. You’re getting to know each other, as well as getting to know what you yourself are like in a relationship. As time goes by and you get more comfortable with each other, remember to retain this patience.
This is a key aspect of every relationship you’ll ever have, be it a friendship, intimate relationship, or work relationship. Having compassion for someone is so important, as it helps build trust, intimacy, and deeper connections.
By being empathetic, you allow your partner to be their true selves around you. Remember how it feels to be judged – you don’t feel comfortable expressing your true feelings for fear of backlash.
Be compassionate with your partner and remind them that you’re there for them. That’s what being in a relationship is – not huge gestures and declarations of love, but being there to hold their hand and listen.
In reality, you must be able to love yourself before others truly can. Without a level of self-love, you will never fully accept how someone else feels about you.
If you skip this stage, it’s likely that you’ll end up questioning how your partner could want to be with you – you’ll find yourself full of doubts and anxiety, which you’ll probably accidentally take out on your partner.
It’s so important to try to look after yourself and see yourself in a positive light. This way, when you are in a loving relationship, you’ll feel deserving and worthy of someone’s love, attention and devotion.
BY LUCY VINESTOCK
Besma (Bess) Benali, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, RSW, Counselling Ottawa Nepean. I am trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Brief Psychodynamic Therapy, ACT, and mindfulness. Clients come to me because they are struggling and feel like they are trapped in a darkness that no matter what they have tried (and many have tried therapy before) they can’t pull themselves out. I help my clients understand themselves in ways no one has ever taught them before allowing them to see positive changes.