Whether it's your first relationship or your 50th, you will have probably realized by now that thing can get a little complicated! No relationship is plain sailing all of the time, and it's unreasonable to expect it to be. But on the other hand, if you always feel like you are fighting fires with your significant other (SO), then it's not much fun either. But don't stress because help is at hand. Just read on to find out whether your issues are similar to the ones that most people go through at some point in a relationship, and what you can do to deal with them.
You don't know whether you are actually in a relationship or not
So you have been dating each other for a while, but you still haven't had ‘that talk’ yet. So you are not the sure to whether this person is actually your official SO or not. This is a common problem at the beginning of a lot of relationships. Partly because no one wants to seem too keen, and ask for exclusivity right at the beginning.
But it can also be a problem if one party is behaving like the relationship is exclusive, but the other person is not. Even if you haven't had the talk, it likely that the person that is not seeing anyone else will feel a little hurt, so it best to avoid this, if at all possible.
That means either only dating one person at a time, or setting a date three weeks or so into a relationship where you have ‘the talk’ so everything is clear and out in the open.
Yours SO isn't list listening to you
Communication is such a major thing in a relationship, so when it breaks down, it can have devastating results. But what can you do if you feel like you partner just isn’t listening to what you have to say?
Well, first of all, you need to delineate between them not listening to what you have to say and them, not hearing and understanding you. If they are flat out just refusing to listen to what you are talking about, then there may be some reasons behind this.
Firstly, it could be that they find the topic hard to talk about. Or that they feel you are talking unnecessarily and without a purpose. If it’s the latter, then consider being a little more mindful about how much you talk to them. As it's important to remember that not everyone thinks that constant and interaction is acceptable.
But if it's more about them not understanding what you are saying, it may be that you need to look at the way in which you are communicating your point. For example, some folks need to be told things in a very clear way. That means just hinting at the problem, or assuming they know why you are upset doesn't always work. Yes, it can be hard to look someone in the eye and tell they why you are upset. But with practice, you can learn to do this in a calm and collected manner.
Yours SO is feeling insecure
A huge problem in many relationships, whether they are just starting out, or long term is that one person feels very insecure.
Feeling insecure is no fun at all. But it can also be very difficult to cope with a partner that is feeling insecure in a relationship. It can be tough to realize that you other half doesn't think that they are worthy of being with you. Even though you see them as the best thing since sliced bread!
Or if there has been a breach of trust in the relationship and your other half is worried that it will happen again, it can be very difficult for you to reassure them. Especially without it bringing up old wounds and making you feel bad.
So what can you do? Well if the insecurity is their own issue, then there is not much you can do except to reassure them and encourage them to work on their own self-esteem. However, if the insecurity is as a result of something that you did. Then it might be a good idea to get some relationship counselling to help you both move past this stage.
Your SO doesn't want to move the relationship forward
Another sticky relationship issue can be when you are dying to move on to the next step of your relationship, but you SO is dragging their feet. This can happen at any stage, such as moving in together or getting married.
For the person not dragging their feet, it can feel like a bit of rejection, and it can certainly create problems in the relationship. But what can be done to deal with this issue?
Well, first of all, you need to identify why the other person is holding back. Although this can be a tough thing to do. It may be that they are just not sure about making a commitment to you, and that can be hard to hear.
Or there may be other issues standing in the way of taking the next step. Such as general commitment issues, or financial security concerns. If it’s the latter then getting a pre-nup drafted can help relieve some of the pressure on the person that is unsure. As their financial security is much better protected, despite moving the relationship forward.
Your SO and you have lost that spark
After you have been in a relationship a while, it can be pretty easy to lose that spark of passion that you once had for each other. This can be a massive problem for some couples and can cause them to end the relationship.
But is this really the most constructive way of dealing with things? Probably not. Instead, it might be a better option to try reconnecting on an emotion and physical level.
To do this, you can try doing couples activities like taking a dance class together. Revisiting some of the places that you use to go when you first go together as a couple. Or finding a new interested that can be shared.
Of course, it’s also important to point out that being realistic with your expectations is also crucial here. As relationships do change and you can't be in that honeymoon period forever!
Your SO wants it all their own way
Ah, how nice it would be to have your cake and eat it as well. Or at least this is what you're SO is thinking. But the world isn't like that, and they shouldn't expect you to put up with it either.
This can be a particular issue for a couple where one is more confident or outspoken that the other. But it is important to remember that all successful relationships are based on a solid foundation of compromise.
That means that sometimes you get things your way, and sometimes they get things their way. It's about give and take. But it is important to bear in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to compromise.
For instance, if for your next date, you're SO would rather stay in for date night that's fine. But the one after that should then be your choice. So if you want to go out together and paint the town red, then that is what should happen. With no arguments!
It's also important to compromise in a constructive way. That is being able to say what you want some of the time, but also letting things go some of the time as well. This is because if you are trying to get a compromise out of every situation, all you are going to end up doing is living your life by committee. Which is no fun and will probably put you off trying to make any decision in the future as a couple, because it’s such hard work.
☮ & ♥