Sometimes, it’s just impossible to feel like you’re in a happy relationship. To understand the origin of the problem, it is important to find an answer to the question: “What is a happy relationship, anyway?” For many women, it means to be listened to, respected, and cared for. It sounds simple enough, so why are so many women finding it impossible to achieve these goals? While some turn to professional help, most of these problems can be helped if you tackle them at their source. This isn’t just a “you” problem, it’s a “we” problem. If you want your current relationship to last (or simply want the next one to be better), these tips are the way to accomplish that. Being happy in a relationship is possible! And the common mistakes in relationships are the following:
1. You don’t speak your mind.
It’s one of the oldest complaints about women in the books: they don’t speak their minds, but instead, they prefer to respond with an emphatic but untruthful “fine.” While that certainly isn’t true in the majority of cases, women tend to keep the real problems in a relationship bottled up, while putting up with behavior that they’d be better off discussing assertively with their partner. The best way to combat this is to be aware that it happens sometimes, and when you notice that you have to take actions in order to avoid it. Open and honest communication channels are requirements in a good, long-lasting, and healthy relationship. Otherwise, resentment grows.
2. Your listening skills may need improvement.
Society expects women to listen more than men. They’ve been built up as “good listeners” to the point that many people assume that they’re simply therapists that you don’t have to pay. Still, many women have never really developed good listening skills. Practice does not always make perfect, and the thoughts of the opposite sex (or any sex at all, really) can be hard to take in if you do not share the same mindset. Both partners in a relationship should strive to truly listen actively, not just hear.
3. You don’t fight for yourself fairly.
Every relationship is going to have moments when the partners don’t agree with each other. No two people see eye-to-eye all of the time. What’s important is how the couple handles it. Few people are good at fighting, and the fighting can be even more bitter if you don’t feel like they’ve listened to you or you haven’t properly expressed yourself. You can fight for yourself fairly, but you just have to change how you see it. Instead of assuming that it’s a battle of wills or butting of heads, assume that you and your partner are working towards the same goals.
4. You don’t build common goals.
We don’t mean every single goal, of course. There are some things you should strive for all by yourself, and that’s okay. But you should discuss goals that you and your partner want to achieve together. This can be as simple as wanting to go out on a date night every week, or as complex and life-changing as having children or buying a house. Get analytical about these things; plan your goals together. Having something to strive for together will reinforce your common goals.
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5. You don’t reciprocate emotional support.
Emotional support is very important, but most people know that this is true for women and expect women to require more of it. But it’s equally true for men. Not having that starves a relationship of non-physical intimacy, which is one of the main things that brings couples together. Even if one person is getting a great deal of emotional support, not giving it in return can make them feel unwanted and unloved. Both partners should strive to stay connected on an emotional level, even if it isn’t as easy in the real world as it is in romance novels. A good place to start would be leaving little love notes where your significant other can find them. Branch out beyond paper: in the mirror fog after a shower, on the orange, they pack for lunch… anything!
6. You don’t nurture your friendship with your partner.
If you want to have a solid romantic relationship, it needs to be rooted in friendship. You should actively enjoy being around the other person, regardless of the romance between you. While it might seem a bit cliché, your partner should be your best friend. Many people feel unhappy because they never take the time to really focus on their friendship. The solution? Do friend things! Have fun together in a way that you both enjoy that isn’t necessarily romantic. It’s a surefire way to bring you closer.
There are many reasons why women don’t feel happy in a relationship. From not expressing themselves to not feeling like they’re appreciated outside of the physical aspect of a relationship. Thankfully, with a little attention and effort, you can have a happy, loving partnership.