Do you love your partner for who he or she is or for who you want your partner to be? If you are trying to fix your partner’s attitude, habits or your relationship as a whole, it could be that you want more than what they are able to give you. Here are some things to consider when it comes to changing a relationship for the better.
Focus on Being Positive
- What ways can you improve on the positive feelings, words and actions you use in your relationship? Begin making a list of everything you can realistically control in your relationship (your attitude, communication style, goals for the future, etc.); then make a list of everything you can’t control (your partner’s actions, past, goals, attitude, etc.).
- Look at your list; which column is longer?
- Spend some time being reflective about what you want in a partner. Are there things that you want (non-negotiable) that your partner is unable to meet?
- Discuss with your partner about everything you need in a relationship ¾ not want, but absolutely need. Is it children in the future, traveling internationally, becoming a lawyer and needing support to do that, or moving across the country for a job opportunity?
Don’t Nag or Complain
- Can you train your partner to become more of who you want him or her to be? It depends on what you’re trying to change.
- If you’re nagging your partner to help with household chores more or complaining that he or she like sports, recognize that it’s possible to change some things but not others. Persuade your partner to help with the chores is possible; getting your partner to feel passionate about sports is not always possible.
- Learn to pick your battles. Nagging your partner about what you don’t like won’t improve your relationship; sharing with your partner how you would love to share a new hobby or activity is a positive way to enhance the relationship, together.
Focus on Being Realistic
- Who is your partner? Come to the realization about who your partner really is; separate reality from what you would like your partner to be.
- Spend an evening playing a game by asking each other, “What do you care about? What do you want?”
- Be positive about clarifying verbally everything you love about your partner; tell your partner what excites you about him or her and what you value in him or her.
- Ask your partner to be clear about what he or she wants in a relationship and your future together.
- Is it compatible? If not, have a serious discussion about your commonality and what each person is willing to do to sacrifice and change it.
The Art of Compromise
- Compromise is healthy when it’s an even give and take, one person isn’t doing all of the sacrificing, and one person doesn’t feel like it’s solely his or her responsibility to give the other what he or she wants.
- Focus on staying positive about whom your partner is, and reiterate your love for whom he or she is.
- Work to make a relationship better by loving your partner’s essential self, not the person you want (but the person who is already committed to you).
No relationship is perfect, but when you love the person you are with, anything can be worked out. Learn how to determine what you are willing to change, and open up an honest dialogue for your partner to communicate what he or she is willing to sacrifice as well.