A week ago, a friend suggested that I write a relationship manual for newbies who have never been in a committed scenario before, and I laughed the idea off. A week and a few friendly conversations later, I was convinced this was necessary.
So, here it is – 11 simple lines to say in tough situations that will strengthen and improve your relationship:
1. Replace ‘I really want to see you’ with ‘I’m seeing you today.’
Be thoughtful and make time for your significant other – even if they’re busy, they want to see you too. Making time lets them know they’re a priority.
2. ‘Not today, love. It’s boys/girls night.’
Keep those friendships close and active. It’s common for people in relationships to turn exclusively to one another with everyday details and problems. Healthy friendships will keep the emotional pressure off your partner and keep your expectations low.
3. ‘Good morning, love’
Remind them why they’re with you in the first place – often. Flirt, be playful and don’t take your problems too seriously [Every couple fights].
4. ‘I know where I went wrong.’
Don’t play the blame game, and take responsibility for your actions. Accept where you went wrong and they’ll calm down during the fight too. It’s difficult to be angry when faced with loving reason.
5. ‘Do your thing.’
Give them space to grow. If they’re passionate about something, don’t get in their way to pursue it.
6. ‘Thank you.’
Try not to let their gestures of affection go unacknowledged. It doesn’t have to be grand, it just has to be an expression. Remember, it could have been someone else, but it’s you.
7. ‘Put yourself in my shoes for a minute, honey’
If they’re being too demanding or needy, let them know gently why it’s unreasonable [sometimes, we all need a fresh perspective].
8. ‘How was yours?’
Talk about your day, but limit the weekly whining. Don’t forget to maintain equality and ask them about their day – it’s just as important as yours.
9. ‘Why don’t you take that course you always wanted to?’
Dream together – talk about the future and what you want to do for yourself and find out what they want. If you’re serious, let them know that they are firmly placed in your 10 year plan [It’s always a cheery reminder] and encourage them to go for it.
10. ‘I like the person I am when I’m with you. I like myself otherwise too.’
You are your own person – you always were before you met your partner. Don’t compromise your individual identity for the sake of the relationship. As strong as it may be, relationships can fall apart, but you don’t have to fall apart with them. Keep you alive.
11. ‘I can take care of myself.’
Not in a spiteful, angry tone, but in a reassuring manner. Don’t depend on your partner to fulfil all your needs. They can’t flirt, make grand gestures, provide you with security, independence and love at the same time all the time. They’re only human – like you.