In real life, we don’t always agree on everything with our partner. But that doesn’t mean things can’t work – a little disagreement can actually be very healthy. Gerard and Jessie Pepper, hosts of Marriage Is Funny, say aspiring for a great love rather than a perfect love is essential for a thriving relationship. In line with this, here are four ways you can improve your relationship and adjust your mindset to “great”, not “perfect”.
Have reasonable expectations
Having expectations is normal – and important, for example, expecting your partner to treat with you respect is a valuable expectation to have. However, often we hold our partners to a very high standard that sometimes crosses into unreasonable territory. Try not to expect your partner to have the same opinion as you on every issue, whether it’s handling money or choosing a restaurant. This will only cause unnecessary arguments. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and consider how you want to be treated and what is fair for both parties.
Assumptions are the cause of many arguments and misunderstandings, so determining what assumptions exist in your relationship – and deconstructing them – will work wonders. Consider your expectations and ask yourself if there are any assumptions tied into those. Do you expect your partner to be reachable at all times because you assume he isn’t as busy as you? Do you expect them to remember an important date or event because you’ve put it in your diary? Think things over then reassess your situation.
Improve communication skills
Communication is vital in order for any relationship to survive. If you don’t talk to your partner, it’s extremely hard to bond and equally difficult to resolve issues. No one likes delving into unpleasant subjects, but if something has happened that needs addressing, it’s important to raise the problem, talk it through and move forward. Try to follow these golden rules for effective communication.
Develop shared goals
On that note, it’s important to communicate when it comes to your goals and values. A good way to look at things is to have personal goals and couple goals, both of which you should be able to discuss with your other half. Forming shared goals will bring you closer together, so sit down with your partner and come up with something you want to work towards – maybe you’d like to try new things more often, or save up for something special.