No matter what ideal partner you may have in your life, no one comes without some baggage and obstacles to work through in life. Because there isn’t a relationship without a little bit of drama here and there, “rough spots” to work through and sacrifices to make, take comfort in creating your own “happily ever after.” Here are 10 ways to make that happen!
Make a List of All the Pros in Your Relationship
- No relationship will be perfect in every way. Stay positive with the “good” of it, and you’ll be more prone to see the good.
- Focus on everything beneficial your relationship contains.
- Make a list of the wonderful qualities in your partner and how he or she enhances your life.
- Place that list somewhere private that you can refer to every day for a reminder, and give gratitude for your relationship daily.
Focus on the Lessons You’re Meant to Learn
- Everything in life is a lesson ¾ particularly the hard stuff!
- During rough patches with your spouse or partner, focus on the possible lesson you’re meant to learn.
- For example, if you feel like you’re not connecting with your partner because he or she is watching TV every evening instead of focusing on you, ask yourself, “What’s my part in this? Can I speak to my partner in a different way to communicate my frustrations? How can I learn from this arrangement?”
Have a Life Outside of the Relationship
- Your partner is a big piece of your life, but not everything.
- Keep a perspective about your relationship just as you do about your career.
- Don’t treat your relationship as your identity because it’s not!
- Focus on establishing a strong sense of self by keeping up with your social life, expanding your hobbies, exercising and continuing to learn about yourself.
Maintain a Strong Social Network
- Focus on your friends. Don’t disappear from your social life just because you’re in a satisfying relationship.
- Remember, if the relationship ends, you want to make sure your friendships DO NOT!
- Merge your social life into your relationship. Plan at least one activity a month where your partner can be part of your social circle. It will enhance your satisfaction inside and outside of the relationship.
Maintain a Strong Identity
- Focus on your true self ¾ what matters to you. What are you passionate about?
- Don’t sacrifice in your relationship the things that mean the most to you in your life.
- For example, don’t stop kayaking because your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to watch movies every weekend. Giving up your activities will backfire and cause you to resent your partner down the road.
Focus on Evolving
- Remember, you’re always changing and always evolving. Accept this, and embrace it.
- Repeat this affirmation: “Everything that has happened, or is happening, or will happen, is totally within my control, and I love every minute of it.”
Compromise on the Things That Don’t Matter So Much
- Just as you shouldn’t compromise on things that mean the world to you, pick and choose your battles.
- What feels OK to give up? What would make your partner happy? What can you let go of in order to enhance you and your partner’s satisfaction?
Express Gratitude for Your Partner, and Have Your Partner Do the Same
- Saying, “I love you” to your partner and hearing it back often isn’t enough.
- Commit to giving thanks to your partner for one thing every single day and ask the same of him or her.
- Studies show that gratitude has both immediate and lasting effects on a successful romantic relationship.
- You need to feel valued, and gratitude is the quickest way to accomplish that.
Make Self-Care a Priority
- Take care of yourself first and then your partner.
- Start each morning with some sort of exercise, wholesome breakfast, a few moment of mediation or reflection and doing something you enjoy (reading the paper, watching the news on TV, etc.).
Don’t Swap Your Hobbies for Your Partner’s Interests
- Don’t sacrifice the things you enjoy most.
- Don’t become a “partner molder,” a partner who molds to his or her partner’s interests and loses a sense of self.
Spend a decade losing your sense of self in a relationship is common. What’s not always so common is finding the courage to get it back. Save yourself the trouble by following this article’s tips for creating your own happy ending, no matter how “perfect” your relationship may be.