As I pondered over what to write about next, I remembered Valentine's day comes up soon. I asked my followers on Instagram about the relationship issues they struggle with. As such we can all go gaga over everything about love, but I will cover a few important and practical problems we face with most relationships, specially romantic ones. Here they are!
When your expectations are not in sync with your partner's, it is bound to create some misunderstandings and as a result, some bitterness. For example, if you want your partner to call you once everyday, but he/she doesn't, then it may make you angry. But he/she maybe of the opinion that if the day is busy or tiring, it is okay to not call. Or you may think why you should be the one to call everyday, why can't they call? Or there could be differences with regard to the other's family expectations.
There is no right or wrong in a relationship. And there should be no ego battles. Whatever suits you both best is the right thing. For expectations, communication is the key. Talk about your expectations with each other clearly. What you can do, what you cannot, what you can adjust and what you cannot compromise on, and come to a common ground. Whatever you can let go, let it go, and just move ahead and be happy. Remember it is impossible to meet all the expectations of any person all the time. So just try to maintain a balance and keep fewer expectations and be clear about your priorities.
This is a common cause of concern once a relationship becomes serious. I would say, if you constantly need to be on your toes keeping an eye on your partner, it is not worth being in the relationship at all. At the same time, if you are cynical and in doubt all the time for no real reason to worry, then it is the biggest threat to your relationship. Any relation and every person needs some space of their own. If you're constantly doubtful about the loyalty of your beau, then something is amiss. If you truly love each other, there is no need to keep an eye on the other.
At the same time, I would say do not be blind to things you actually see or come across. But respect privacy of your significant other, and unless there is a strong reason to do so, do not go about checking their phone and messages or mails. Sometimes things are not as they appear to be, and it will only cause misunderstandings and fights that are uncalled for. Being trusting is the natural thing to do in any relationship, and just do it with all your love. Just don't be blinded by it.
When both the partners are working or have other commitments, it is difficult to actually make time for each other. This can cause a rift between them. Again, communicate and prioritize. If your relationship is important to you, you have to make some time for each other. How much is less or more or reasonable or unreasonable, you both need to decide.
Life is not a straight line that goes on without any interruptions, so be flexible. Prioritize all your commitments and see if there is something less important that you can let go of. If there is some emergency, include your partner in your emotional struggle and build an understanding of why you're unable to make time. It goes the other way round too, when they're unable to make time, instead of complaining straightaway, try and understand what has been keeping them occupied and why it is important to them.
Ultimately, every relationship requires time and communication to thrive, so do not underestimate the importance of spending quality time with your significant other. In present times when people are in a long distance relationships, and in different time zones, it is all the more important to manage and make some amount of time for sharing emotional statuses, communicating, and having candid talks about different spheres of one's life in relationships.
4. Understanding and mutual respect
Though these are two different things, I've put them together, because one cannot exist without the other. To develop a good understanding, you need to have mutual respect, and vice versa. It is very important to respect your partner as they are and accept them with all their flaws. It does not mean that you remain stagnant as individuals, because being in a relationship is also about growing and getting better together, but in a positive way. You cannot force people to change unless they're ready for it, and you cannot always impose your opinions of right or wrong over them. You have to respect your differences. In a lot of relationships, whatever felt "cute" and made you go "awww" initially, starts feeling irritating after a while (Tell me your stories in comments if you agree with this!).
Whenever respect goes for a toss, the understanding will gradually go downhill. There has to be a balance. (All the wife-nagging-husband jokes didn't come out of nothing :P It is also because once married, the husbands didn't try to live up to their pre-wedding image :D)
Stop taking each other for granted, no matter how long you have been together. Give the same level of importance to your partner's calls today as you did when you first got into a relationship.
I hope these insights help you. After all, you want to grow old in a mature and yet childlike manner, where both of you can be yourselves and feel free when you're together, without any inhibitions. Decades later, feel the same way as you do now, with butterflies fluttering in the stomach when you look at each other, and keep your love and longing, forever alive.