Being honest with each other early on will give you and your partner the best chance at a successful relationship.
There are few things better in life than a honeymoon period with a new partner: the butterflies, the excitement, and the comfort you feel around the other person are all things that make new relationships feel so wonderful. But there is a major downside to our rose-tinted outlook on new relationships, and one we ought to be aware of if we want to build something that is stable and long-term.
According to new research conducted by Psychology Today, “when people fall in love it’s mainly because they’re focused on everything about each other they find attractive”. While this is both understandable and instinctive, it’s important to look beyond what you find desirable. Ultimately, if you want to really understand your compatibility with a new partner, you can’t ignore their flaws.
But it can be difficult to strike the right balance, so that you’re being realistic without actively looking for things you don’t like about the person. That can cause its own problems. So avoid nit-picking, and instead try to make sure you aren’t ignoring anything significant.
Maybe your partner has a way of talking to you that you find disrespectful or crude, or maybe they forget things you think are important. These are genuine concerns, and papering over them won’t make them go away. In fact, avoiding these sorts of issues allows them to fester and grow, and this can end up causing massive issues in a relationship, especially later on when making a serious commitment like choosing to live together or getting married.
It’s important to remember that acknowledging the things you don’t like as much about your partner isn’t a bad sign. It’s realistic. Everyone has flaws, and it’s very unlikely you’ll find a person who doesn’t get on your nerves from time to time.
It helps if you adopt this mindset early on, and speak openly with your partner about it. Make it clear that you care about them and accept them, but there are things that are making you upset or angry. This will help both of you manage the things you find irritating about one another and strike a compromise. Psychology Today recommends that you practise kindness and concern during these sorts of conversations, and be prepared to apologise yourself every now and again.
Understanding these things about one another and working together to overcome or accept them contributes to better communication, which in the long-term can help with everything from conflict resolution to intimacy. So talk with your partner and be proactive about making necessary changes. This approach will give your relationship the best possible chance of surviving and thriving.
Now all of this doesn’t mean you can’t have and enjoy the honeymoon period with a new partner. Staying realistic simply means you won’t be blindsided when the honeymoon phase is over.
You’re not going to be 100 per cent happy with your partner 100 per cent of the time. So, to ensure that your relationship stays sweet far beyond the honeymoon phase, you need to take off the rose-tinted specs and accept your partner’s whole self.
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