How To Be a Better Partner
How To Be a Better Partner in a Relationship
How to be a better partner.
How often does this thought cross your mind?
I know my mind wanders toward this train of thought quite often.
Do you know what I really love about today?
I love that today, we as a society, talk about so many more topics so much more openly than years before. We don’t shy away from hard conversations.
We aren’t as encouraged to put a smile on our faces and push through. (for the most part)
This is amazing. And I am so thankful for the abundance of helpful information out in the world that can assist us in our journeys to build truly happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationships.
Being a better partner is a huge component of that.
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Here Are 7 Practical Ideas on How To Be a Better Partner
1) Focus on Yourself
You are a pretty big part of your relationship. So, of course, becoming a better partner will entail shining the spotlight on yourself.
It is rather easy to see things in our partners that we think they should work on. Things we would love for them to change in a way.
It is not so easy to always see those things in ourselves.
One example in my marriage is trust. I came into my relationship with my husband with major struggles involving trust.
So while my husband and I do not have issues with trust, I do. This is something that I have to work on more on my own.
This doesn’t mean we never talk about it. We, of course, talk about it. But more in a way of me trying to help him better understand my behavior and struggles.
I like to look at this as becoming aware and acknowledging the role we play in building the type of relationship we want and need to have.
This also has a lot to do with having your own life. Your relationship should not be all-consuming. It is beyond important and absolutely necessary to find joy and happiness and fulfillment outside of your relationship.
It’s a great step to be aware of or acknowledge any issue or challenge. But we have to dive deeper than that.
If something seems to be a recurring area of concern then lean into that.
So often we can notice something is off but we maybe just accept that things will be how they are. And a lot of the time the show must go on vibe will seem to work.
Until it doesn’t.
If something is a sore spot for you then it deserves time and attention. You don’t have to and shouldn’t have to bear the weight of these things.
Want to know something really cool?
Think of a specific topic you feel your relationship would benefit from learning more about. There’s a book for that. Or a podcast. Or heck, even a dang Google search.
Here are some of my favorite marriage books.
I also recently read this one and really enjoyed it and learned from it. Here is another one I got my hands on recently and was so glad I did.
If you feel like you might need help on a deeper level, Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel is a great resource to utilize.
3) Talk More
Say what you want. Say what you need.
If you can not read your partner’s mind then chances are they can not read yours.
We enter into relationships because we found a kind of match in someone else. And maybe we assume that they will meet all of our needs and everything will continuously click. (because it clicked right off the bat so why would that change)
But we have to open our mouths. Assumptions can build over time until they become this wall between us and our partners. And by this point, it will take quite a bit of chiseling to break that wall down.
Communication is not a want in a relationship. It is for sure a need.
Misunderstandings will always happen. But the more we practice talking to our partners, the better our relationships will be.
(Also, leave space for talking less and really listening. Everybody wants to be seen and feel heard.)
4) Ask More Questions
This piggybacks right on the idea of talking more.
Communication plays an extremely pivotal role in relationships.
If you do not understand what your partner is trying to convey, then ask some questions.
You and your partner are two completely separate beings. This means there is no way that you will both interpret situations or comments in the same way.
Don’t avoid seeking clarification. More often than not a few questions can keep something from snowballing into something it never had to become.
Here are some more must-read communication tips.
No matter what you do in your relationship, disagreements are still going to happen.
The real power of being a better partner and building a better relationship comes with the repair.
Do you even view repair as giving in? Being the one to fold and wave the white flag?
I know I feel like that sometimes. But man, that is a stressful way to navigate a relationship.
You and your partner are on the same team. You don’t need to keep score against each other.
That will not help your relationship grow and thrive.
6) Show Appreciation
Over time in relationships, we can start to feel as if we aren’t really being seen.
I know in my marriage, we often both have full plates and it doesn’t cross our minds to acknowledge all the things the other is doing.
We just keep chugging along like a well-oiled machine. But this obviously wears on each of us over time.
There is a lot going on for most of us. And it’s easy as heck to get sucked into this whirlwind of life and everything it throws at us.
It’s so natural for us to harp on the bad and overlook the good. And let me make it very clear that I am all about acknowledging the hard stuff.
The key here is to make sure the hard stuff doesn’t constantly overshadow the good stuff. Keep a lookout for the small things your partner is doing…and let them know you notice those things every now and then.
7) Prioritize Time Together
I know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done. And to be honest, I’m thinking the same thing.
It is so much easier said than done. But it should still be done. It will just take a little more effort.
Not every season of life will involve regular date nights. This is the season my marriage is in. We just recently moved to a new state where we know absolutely no one.
While it has felt very easy for me lately to have a few too many pity parties, I also know that those pity parties are not serving me well anymore.
This is about doing what you can with what you have right now. It’s not an all-or-nothing scenario.
Here are some at-home date nights my husband and I have been making time for. These TableTopics are another really cool and fun way to add some excitement to a night at home.
Here is something crucial to remind yourself of often. Quality over quantity is the name of the game.
Becoming a better partner is not a one-and-done activity. You don’t get to read a few articles or take a 2-hour class and then you are done.
It’s showing up over and over again. It’s tackling the not-so-pretty aspects of relationships.
The best relationships consist of two people always willing to learn and grow.
Choosing someone to be your partner and build a relationship with is a big choice. So let’s treat it that way.
Have any advice on how to be a better partner? Let us know!
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