Communication: Often times, relationships experience tension because two people do not know how to communicate with each other. You have to be able to express what you need and want out of your relationship. If you do not advocate for your desires no one else will. Do not assume that your partner knows what you need. Being in love doesn’t transform people into telepaths. Get in the habit of talking about the things that are working, as well as the things that need improvement.
Emotional Independence: It is important to be in charge of your own emotions. Be able to feel without having to rely on your partner. Your partner should compliment you not complete you. Your partner should make you feel happy but you should be able to feel this way alone as well. If your emotions are tied into someone else, you are setting yourself up for unavoidable disappointment.
Emotional Transparency: Be upfront with your intentions and expectations. Leave no room for assumptions. It’s important to let a person know where you stand in your relationship. How are you feeling? Where do you see things going? The answers to these questions shouldn’t have to be guessed. So much time gets wasted in relationships trying to assume what the other person is thinking or feeling. Often times, the assumption is off which only leads to more problems. Eliminate this tension by being upfront.
Love is an important factor in a relationship but it is not enough to keep things afloat if there is nothing else. If you find yourself staying in a relationship solely because of love, it may be time to reevaluate a few things.
This Topic of the Week was written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT.