- Psychologist Dr Nicole LePera shares 7 things you can do to improve your relationship.
- The romanticised version of love sets us up for disappointment. We won't always feel good about our partners.
- Communicating your insecurities makes your partner feel connected and helps create emotional intimacy.
For a relationship to work, it takes intention and commitment from both partners. Communicating your needs and feelings is essential, but some people shy away from doing this, thinking issues will sort themselves out without being addressed. Even though the intention to have a healthy relationship may be there, it might be challenging for couples to navigate through issues.
Sometimes, people don't know how to go about what may be overwhelming issues that arise in relationships.
Psychologist Dr Nicole LePera shares 7 things you can do today to drastically improve your relationship.
1. Directly ask for you what you want
This might feel awkward but directly asking for what you want allows your partner to meet your needs. For instance, "I would love for you to show me more physical affection. Can you do that?"
2. Be vulnerable
Share your fears and insecurities. We think we have to hide our insecurities, so we put up defensive walls. The truth is sharing them allows our partner to feel connected to us and creates emotional intimacy.
3. Release the idea that your partner will meet all of your needs or always make you happy
The romanticised version of love sets us up for disappointment. We won't always feel good about our partners. And that's okay. No person can meet every one of our needs
4. Keep the conversation going
How do you want to be loved right now? It's a question you want to try once a week. They might say they need support around the house one week and want some space for themselves the next. Another time, they may say they want to go on a date. This will change, so keep the conversation going.
5. Learn each other's triggers
Let's say your partner grew up with an authoritarian father who was harshly critical and gets defensive when they feel criticised. Or, they grew up with an alcoholic parent and are hypervigilant to every shift in mood. Partners who learn each other's triggers have deeper empathy and emotional connection.
6. Show appreciation
Tell your partner what you appreciate about them that makes them unique. Rather than the role they play in your life. Appreciation goes a long way. For instance, saying: "I appreciate how excited you get when you're learning something new."
7. Find humour
Living and building a life with another person is tough. We don't talk enough about how challenging, disappointing, and overwhelming it can be. Laugh about how messy it can be. Find humour together.