Relationships are hard work : A Beginner’s Guide to Love

by Pooja Mukherjee
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We have all been through there and done everything, but apparently, it isn’t a success every time. Relationships are hard work, and honestly, it is like solving a jigsaw where new pieces get added after every round. Like, come on! I just solved it! But here we are, with no form of initial training to be in a relationship (yes, I think there should be one) and still trying to use the trial and error method to maybe, just maybe, meet our prince charming or princess Fiona (let me know what’s your favorite Shrek movie).

But like every classic recipe which gets reinvented in some form or the other in every country (yes, pasta and noodles ARE BASICALLY THE SAME), I think our geographical locations play an essential part in determining our approach in any relationship. But the primary things to strive for in a relationship are ALWAYS THE SAME. 

Today, we are going to dive into the top 5 things that make a good relationship and what you can do to achieve them. 

1. Is time important in a relationship?

This is like one of the top reasons for breaking-up, isn’t it? We all expect some form of appreciation, maybe by spending quality time or just enjoying common activities with our partner. The hectic schedule of our work-life often hinders our plans and last-minute make up sex is of no use, trust me. Because we eventually pile up our frustrations and react on petty things which don’t even make sense. It is not about how a man should make a woman feel; it is about how much effort is being put in from both ends.

Time is of the essence, and honestly, we have none. It is not necessarily important to try to give more time and attention to your partner, but what is crucial is maintaining the consistency of spending time. It can be a 2-hour video chat at the end of the day in long-distance relationships, or a peck on the head before leaving for office, but every small detail matters. How we prioritize our actions is vital to reflect our dedication towards any relationship we are in. 

2. Importance of Value in a Relationship

Self-doubt can drive us crazy. And it is also one of the reasons why we dive head-first into new relationships even before healing from the previous one. It is so important for us to get the attention from a different perspective than our own, and being dependent on someone else who won’t judge you because we never tend to reveal our true selves, that we often forget the value of self-love and appreciation. 

Valuing your partner is important, and so is showing that you care, with both actions and words. Every relationship eventually turns codependent after they reach a level of comfort and understanding, and that is OKAY. But giving your all and getting nothing in return is not what makes a relationship healthy. It should be a barter situation, and waiting for your partner to wake up from their slumber so that they equally value you in their life, is a waste of time. 

3. The Trust Factor

Now, this is not something that hundreds of relationship blogs can teach you. The solutions differ in every individual case, and the doubts creep in for various factors, and honestly, sometimes, it is our fault. 

New relationships will definitely have trust issues. It is a new person, and you are still trying to figure out his list of exes. Doubting and getting doubted back is normal, especially if you both belong to a large group of friends and peers. But getting obsessive over a third person is not a healthy trait. Remember, it is crucial to clarify and communicate to solve trust issues, but it should never depend on the actions of the third person (or fourth, I don’t know). 

We need to hold our partners accountable for their actions and not any external sources.

“A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.” – Charles Kingsley

A survey by researchers at Northwestern University concluded that with time, people in trusting relationships eventually forget and forgive their partners for issues that challenged their trust. This brings us to the realization that understanding plays a significant role in changing our perception of our partner. If we judge situations from their perspective and stop proving ourselves right in every situation, we might be able to create a relationship based on trust and commitment. Of course, there’s a fine line that should never be crossed, and as I said before, each relationship is different, and no one would be a better judge of the situation than yourself. So choose wisely. 

4. Your partner should be your best friend

Now if you are planning to actually spend your whole life with your partner, wouldn’t you like to spend it laughing on jokes, eating good food, dancing under the rains, arguing over sink dishes, and waking up every morning to your best friend? Pretty rom-com, but true for real relationships. 

It is imperative to find someone who will accept us with all our flaws and would still want to tolerate us for a lifetime. Every long-lasting happy relationship starts with the seed of true friendship. A real partner would always support us and guide us through obstacles, but also be the strict mentor in case we make mistakes. According to an article by beaninspirer.com, a friend who will stand with us when millions go against us, is the ultimate aspect of what is important in a partner. A relationship rooted in friendship provides a strong foundation that is needed for understanding and effective communication in the later stages of life. 

This can eventually create a situation where you would trust your partner more than yourself because they know more about you than what you can ever imagine, and they accept you, no matter what. This is especially beneficial for relationships that are bound to be fruitful in marriage. 

5. Understanding and communicating to solve problems

It is tough to try and understand a different individual with a whole new perspective when we actually DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND OURSELVES! We are fighting with our own thoughts, replying gibberish just for the sake of winning an argument, so many deep-rooted doubts lingering inside us, and still trying to make the relationship work. This may wear you out eventually, and it gets us nowhere; it only leaves us with a deep sense of resentment and anger towards everything. 

By the third year of my relationship, I actually tried to evaluate situations from my partner’s perspectives. I slowly understood where his justifications were coming from and how I was at fault, and most importantly, what could be the solution. Communication helps a lot to understand where the problem started, but it should be done at the right time. A massive argument followed by “Okay, let’s sit and talk” is a complete no-no. Any mature individual would require time to collect their thoughts and come to terms with the situation. Utilize this free time and space to UNDERSTAND what happened and why. Question yourself, “Could this have been avoided?” “What can I do to mitigate this?.”

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Accepting the situation and going forward with communicating your thoughts could do wonders. It is important to realize what you have to offer in a relationship; it should be guidance, support, and empathy towards your partner when both of you feel so lost in the chaos of misunderstandings and judgments. 

Relationships can be a tough nut to crack. There’s no one solution for all, not one approach for every situation, and why should it be? Like, every individual is different with their own thought process and understanding of the world, and it WILL NOT WORK OUT if you end up with the wrong person. But losing it with the RIGHT person would be painful. Nothing is more highlighted than an effort towards your partner, and your relationship should eventually make you a better person in life. Till next time.

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