Much has been written about life as a couple, and it is no wonder; living with the person we love is much more complex than it seems, among other things because of the intensity of the emotions involved in this process and the expectations that they generate.
In this article we’re going to go over several keys about living as a couple and making day-to-day life go smoothly without unnecessary discussions. We will also review the concept of partnership, explaining what it means to be a partner.
What is love in a relationship?
Getting involved in a relationship is mainly about knowing how to share intimacy, even if it sounds paradoxical. When we start a relationship with a person we will not only share our virtues with them, but we will also have to learn how to live with these people within our comfort zone without the company of the person we love having a negative effect on our activities. It is important to know how to be present while respecting the space of the other , both in marriage and in a dating relationship.
Another important aspect of knowing how to live as a couple is communication: we must be good communicators to achieve understanding and avoid misunderstandings or the creation of expectations that will not be satisfied.
When we start to go out formally with a person, it is important to keep in mind that he or she had a life before we met: a stage in which probably personal projects and goals to achieve emerged that are alien to our existence .
So, ideally, we can help our partner in the achievement of their plans, motivating them and understanding that there are other important aspects in a person’s life beyond the emotional bond that unites you. The same applies to us, we should not neglect our personal aspirations.
Tips for living with a partner
In the lines we will see some practical advice that is effective for living with our partner and maintaining a relationship of love and respect .
1. being able to live without a partner
The first point refers to the capacity to continue to be functional even when we do not have our partner physically close; otherwise we would be incurring in excessive emotional attachment behaviour which is counterproductive for healthy cohabitation as a couple.
2. Principles are not negotiated
From the first moment it is good to make clear that our moral principles are not to be negotiated, but respected , and that the same is true for the other person’s. Healthy coexistence is born from the acceptance of the other’s ideals, even when these are not shared by the husband, the wife, the boyfriend or the girlfriend.
3. Love in freedom
Healthy relationships are not possessive, on the contrary. The desire for the other person to be happy transcends the desire to possess him or her . If you are happy by his side, that’s fine, but if you don’t want to be there anymore, then there’s no point in forcing yourself: this is something that works both ways.
4. Grow your own garden
This metaphor invites us, instead of trying hard to please our partner, to try harder to be a nice person to ourselves. When we dedicate ourselves to cultivating and improving our most fundamental habits, the improvement in our relationships with our partner and the establishment of a healthier coexistence is only one of the consequences of our personal development .
5. Equality first and foremost
A healthy couple’s cohabitation should be, above all, of an equal nature . Where some have more benefits than others, things end up badly. Ideally, there should be a healthy balance between the demands of both partners.
6. Encourages mutual compensation
It is important that partners are able to compensate each other. That is, instead of blaming the defects of the other person, these limitations should be complemented by providing support when necessary (as long as these limitations do not involve aggression and physical or psychological violence).
This speaks of a good level of empathy in the couple, since it is evidence that, by living together, these people are able to put themselves in the shoes of the loved one.
7. Avoid drama advocacy
It often happens that couples think that the more complicated the relationship, the more meaningful it is. This is just a myth without any foundation.
The truth is that the more dramatic the couple is, the more likely it is that a dysfunctional dynamic will emerge in this love relationship.
8. Enhances assertive communication
A fundamental key to achieving good coexistence within the couple is learning to communicate assertively , expressing our desires and feelings with a language of mutual respect and ensuring that our words will not hurt our partner, but without leaving anything relevant in the inkwell.
9. Beware of “forever”
The romantic thought that your relationship will be for life is often counterproductive and the only thing you get out of it is anxiety within the relationship.
The best thing is to live the moments and enjoy your relationship within the framework of mutual respect, without idealizing the couple , nor exaggerating with future plans. Try to stay focused on the here and now.
- Fehr, B., Russell, J. (1991). The Concept of Love Viewed From a Prototype Perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- O’Donohue, W. and Ferguson, K.E. (2006). Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology and Behavior Analysis. The Behavior Analyst Today.