Your ideal relationship partner supports the person that you are now, and who you are becoming. When you feel supported, you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself and pursue your dreams.
When your relationship gives you anxiety, you need to express those feelings to your partner for your well-being. Often we fear strong emotions and how to express them to our partners so that they will continue to love and support us. You shouldn’t have to avoid your feelings or pretend to be someone else to keep your relationship afloat.
HERE ARE 5 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID TO DO IN A RELATIONSHIP
1. BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF.
People are wonderfully diverse, unique, and they have their own quirks that make them special. Whether you go to comic book conventions or entertain people by singing show tunes from your balcony, you are a unique person, and what is different about you is wonderful.
You should never be afraid to be true to yourself in a relationship. If, for example, you are a person who is obsessive compulsive about the cleanliness of your home, then your partner should support you in that whether it’s something you embrace about yourself or something that you want to change.
If, however, your quirk is something that you’ve kept hidden from your mate over the course of your relationship, you can expect them to be surprised when you tell them about it, and even initially unsupportive. Explain that it is just something that makes you you and that you want them to be supportive.
2. VOICE YOUR FEELINGS.
Naming our emotions out loud can be difficult, but you shouldn’t be afraid to do this in a loving relationship. When you’re angry, say that you’re angry. You shouldn’t have to dance around the subject by saying that nothing’s wrong when your facial expressions and body language say otherwise.
Fear is one of the most common emotions that can mask itself as anger. If you can’t figure out what you’re feeling, but you’re sure that something’s bothering you, it’s probably a fear. Start by saying “I’m afraid that-” and the rest will be easier to identify.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for what you need from your partner, either. If you need a hug, just say so. If you need some time to yourself to cool off before you talk to your partner, say that also.
3. HAVE A CONFRONTATION.
Some people are afraid of confrontation due to fears of not getting what they need or being belittled during an argument. Arguing can involve things that are scary such as raised voices, swearing or threats. If your partner doesn’t fight fairly, you can read more about that topic here. However, you shouldn’t let fear of conflict keep you from confronting your partner’s inappropriate behavior.
Effective conflict resolution can actually help couples to be stronger. Researchers studying young adult romantic couples found that the ability to resolve disagreements may contribute to an intensification of the relationship and a longer relationship duration.
Fighting with your spouse to get what you want or need can also help you to feel more self-reliant. When you argue for, and get what you need, you reinforce your capabilities to take care of yourself.
4. HAVE SOME ALONE TIME.
Some people think that happy couples spend every moment together, but that’s just not the case. Being away from your partner can help you to focus and feel rejuvenated. It can allow you the peace that you need to collect your thoughts or just to get something done without interruption.
You may have other interests that your partner doesn’t share, and that’s okay. If you want to do something that you partner doesn’t, give it a try on your own.
A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people who were afraid of doing something on their own, like dining at a restaurant, but were pushed out of their comfort zones to do it anyway, enjoyed themselves as much as if they had had a companion with them. Once you reunite with your partner after your time apart, you have a separate experience to share with them.
All people are capable of change, if they want to. Often, an old behavior pattern is not healthy and you want to improve yourself by changing. For example, you might want to change your eating habits or a pattern of negative thinking.
If your partner is threatened by the change that you’re making, explain your reasons, and ask them to support you. Remind them that you are still the person that they first fell in love with and that you need their support through this process.
When one partner changes dramatically and in ways that no longer mesh with their partner, it can be a source of conflict. If the change is something that is a breaking point, the relationship may need to change as well.
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