Love and Relationships
When we think of February, most of us think of love. Closely tied to love is the topic of relationships. Relationships can be tricky to navigate at times. At Parkridge, we have licensed professional counselors on staff, who often have the privilege of speaking with clients about love and relationships. We asked them if they would share some of their best advice with all of us!
- Choose a partner wisely and well.
- Know your partner's beliefs about relationships. Different people have different and often conflicting beliefs about relationships.
- Don't confuse sex with love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love.
- Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game.
- Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship.
- View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths.
- Communication: If you don't understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don't assume.
- Solve problems as they arise. Don't let resentments simmer.
- Listen, truly listen, to your partner's concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner's perspective as well as your own.
- Work hard at maintaining closeness. Closeness doesn't happen by itself. In its absence, people drift apart and are susceptible to affairs. A good relationship isn't an end goal; it's a lifelong process maintained through regular attention.
- Take a long-range view. A marriage is an agreement to spend a future together. Check out your dreams with each other regularly to make sure you're both on the same path. Update your dreams regularly.
- Apologize. Anyone can make a mistake. Repair attempts are crucial—highly predictive of marital happiness. They can be clumsy or funny, even sarcastic—but willingness to make up after an argument is central to every happy marriage.
- Some dependency is good, but complete dependency on a partner for all one's needs is an invitation to unhappiness for both partners.
- Maintain self-respect and self-esteem. It's easier for someone to like you and to be around you when you like yourself. Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have. Meaningful work—paid or volunteer—has long been one of the most important ways to exercise and fortify a sense of self.
- Enrich your relationship by bringing in new interests from outside the relationship. The more passions in life that you have and share, the richer your relationship will be. It is unrealistic to expect one person to meet all of your needs in life.
- Cooperate, cooperate, cooperate. Share responsibilities. Relationships work ONLY when they are two-way streets, with much give and take.
- Stay open to spontaneity.
- Maintain your energy. Stay healthy.
- Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs and do not ride at a continuous high all the time. Working together through the hard times will make the relationship stronger.
Not sure if your current relationship is a healthy one? Click here to read more!
And one last quick reminder - a healthy relationship is only possible if both people are emotionally healthy. Click here to read more about emotional wellness.
At Parkridge we often serve clients who need pregnancy testing, STD testing or treatment, or options education, but we also provide limited counselling. Counseling can include a variety of things, but clients often request assistance with relationships. If you think you may need one of these services, please schedule an appointment today by clicking here or calling: 806.794.8555.
Relationship Rules. Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200410/relationship-rules. Accessed on: February 9, 2021.