Last week, we spoke about one type of relationship: friendships. This week, we will look at romantic relationships and the beauty of having a romantic partner.
Importance of Romantic Relationships
Romantic relationships can fulfill our needs for intimacy, social connections and sexual desires. They are influenced by three things: self-identity, similarity, and proximity. It is said that those who spend a lot of time together are more likely to be romantically interested in each other than those who do not spend a lot of time together. Additionally, romantic relationships provide comradery, courtship, and—like any other relationship—love. The ability to form healthy, loving relationships is a learned process, which is to say that we all have the power to create a beautiful relationship with an individual.
Common Issues in Romantic Relationships
Just like any relationship, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Romantic relationships come with their own set of problems. Many different types of issues can arise, and it is important to look out for signs. Common issues are infidelity, communication difficulties, financial pressures, divorce/separation/breaking up, trying to balance individual and couple expectations, and boundary violations.
In a monogamous relationship, infidelity is when another individual is brought into the picture by one of the two people in the monogamous relationship and has an improper relationship. This might mean an emotional or sexual affair, but regardless, it is an improper relationship.
Communication difficulties occur in all types of relationships, whether they are romantic, platonic, familial or just strangers. We often might struggle to be open and honest, or clearly explain how we are feeling and what we are experiencing. Sometimes we do this by opting out what we want to say, assuming the other party already has a sense of what you are experiencing, but sometimes it is because we do not want to worry the other person. It is important to practice being open and vulnerable with your partner. It creates a good opportunity to grow even closer to them.
Individuals that are already married and/or living together might have to deal with financial pressures. It is hard finding a balance that works for each couple. Who pays what bills? Who covers for the rent? Will the bills be split evenly or in a different ratio? Will we alternate who pays monthly? That is something that must be discussed between the couple privately and with the situation laid clearly on the table. If things are difficult, it could be best to seek a financial advisor.
When to Walk Away from a Relationship
We all know when to stay in a relationship, and we all realize that relationships come with their own unique problems, but when is it time to walk away or break-up/separate? We might believe that it is best to stay and make it work. That line of thinking is admirable and strong, however, sometimes we are in relationships that have a negative impact on our personal well-being and health.
It is best to way walk or end your relationship if your partner does not respect your boundaries. If you have already mentioned to your partner the boundaries that you have set up for yourself and within your relationship, but they do not uphold those boundaries it is a very concerning sign. It implies that your partner does not have respect for you and your wishes. Being in a relationship with someone who does not respect you can have a very negative impact on your well-being.
Another sign is if you feel absolutely drained in your relationship even with communication between you and your partner. If it is exhausting and unfulfilling, it might be a sign that you are both in different places in your lives. That doesn’t mean you do not love your partner. It just might mean it is time to end your relationship because you have different goals and aspirations.
If you cannot trust your partner, it is a sign you need might need to end your relationship. Trust is foundational in any relationship. If you cannot trust your partner, your relationship is more likely to fall apart in the future. Not only that, but it could impact your health and well-being negatively.
Most importantly, if they make you feel less than a person, then you should walk away. It is important to know your own worth and stand up for it.
Ways to Strengthen a Relationship
The best way to strengthen a relationship besides the obvious of spending time together to learn about each other and communicating is to learn your attachment styles and love languages. These can help you better understand your partner and how they like to show love and receive love.
It’s also important to celebrate each other. Express your love as best as you can. Don’t forget to let your partner know that you appreciate them. Celebrate your accomplishments together and remind each other of your feelings daily. It might be difficult to do at first but getting the habit can strengthen your sense of self along with your partner’s.
Love is a beautiful thing so let us all do our best to cherish the time we have with our loved ones.