Once the passionate preseason of a relationship has fallen from cloud nine, sometimes we forget to continue loving our partners. A flu of resentment and annoyance creeps in — replacing any chance of communication and understanding within a long-term relationship. SO, in true Nina fashion, I’ve decided to lay out five ways that could get you back on track for some healthy lovin’. Read on!
“Let Her Under Your Skin”
“Remember, to let her under your skin / then you begin to make it better”. McCartney was ahead of the game in his love advice. In the beginning of a relationship, we tend to mask our faults for fear our partner won’t accept us, then once we’re comfortable to unleash, it’s a Jumanji monsoon. Allow your partner to get under your skin. Engulf yourself with who he is, including the flaws. Regardless if some traits drive you nuts, it’s better to experience the whole package of a person than only your projection (which is NEVER who he really is). Love is much more tangible this way. Trust.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard couples believe they were communicating by NOT expressing their concerns or needs. Love isn’t a prolonged game of “mum”; start talking. Admit what’s bothering you versus keeping tallies of your partner’s wrongdoings. Do you want that gross resentment to attach itself to your heart, only to get moldy and deteriorate your feelings for your one and only? (Answer: No. You do not.) On the flip side, don’t make it a goal to pick out every moment where you’ve wanted to live on an island sans your partner. Be tactful. Talk about what significantly affects you. I guarantee you may think you’re communicating by rolling your eyes and shutting down, but it only creates more distance. Love deserves a close proximity with or without a bedroom.
Get to the “WHY?”
Accusations are meant for pets, not for humans who are equipped with an orphus that makes it able to communicate (let’s hope). There is nothing more aggravating than assuming your partner is someone she isn’t. You’re jealous. You’re a bitch. You’re controlling. Instead of this demented way of labeling a lover, get to the “why” of the problem. Why did you act that way? What drove you to do this? How can we come to an understanding? When you stop accusing your partner and start listening to her reasons, you gain insight into how she thinks and who she is. Only then are you allowed to decide what’s compatible and what’s bothersome.
Two People = Two Sides
I may not be the best at math (despite my mother who teaches it), but I know if there are two people in a relationship, there are always two sides. Sometimes these sides aren’t congruent, but right and wrong is moot here. What’s more important is the acknowledgment of each side. Instead of spending your energy proving your vision of the world is best (which won’t work, FYI), see the world from your partner’s perspective à la John Malkovich. Not only will it enhance communication between you two, but you may actually understand where he’s coming from (gasp!). Not to mention I’m sure any partner would feel amazing knowing her other half is willing to ease his pride…at least for a minute.
Forgive and Forget
There’s no typo there. I want you to forgive AND forget, as long as the amount of love you have for each other exceeds any relationship blunders. I’ve written a whole article dedicated to this notion of real forgiveness, but it’s not a trip to Yogurtland. It requires a large amount of trust, honesty, and my favorite, acceptance. If you’ve made a pact to move on from an issue, you must actually move on. No good is going to come from holding the past over your lover’s head. If you don’t forget, what progress have you made? Are you going to continue your life together with moment X in your brain keeping you up at night? That’s no way to prosper in a relationship where mistakes and disappointments are inevitable. It’s what Bob Marley has preached all along, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
I wish you all the best, my coupled darlings.