Regardless of what Hollywood tends to make us believe about relationships and “fairytale endings,” relationships exist between two separate, individual, freethinking people. Given the fact that no relationship between two human beings is categorically perfect, it seems unrealistic for us to believe that our relationship with our significant other should be perfect at all times.
In fact, this desire to achieve the perfect relationship with the ideal level of romance, intimacy, and like-mindedness is impossible to achieve between two imperfect individuals.
If we must work hard in most facets of our lives in order to achieve greatness, why do we not also believe that we must work hard at our relationships in order to keep them going strong?
Most romantic comedies, Disney movies, and romance novels end with the majestic dream known as the fairytale ending. What we fail to remember is that these two seemingly perfect creatures must learn to cohabitate and survive sickness, financial woes, doubts and concerns, a struggle for autonomy, dissatisfaction, responsibilities, monogamy, and the list goes on and on.
Some of the most common issues in relationships include:
1. Lack of communication
2. No common interests
3. Concerns about intimacy
4. Decision-making as a “team”
5. How to deal with arguing
6. Doubts about the relationship
7. Varying degrees of commitment
8. Keeping the romance alive
9. Struggling to maintain your self-identity
10. How to apportion responsibility
In dealing with these issues, it seems prudent to address the concerns, formalize a plan of execution, discuss with your partner, compromise your own plan just enough so that you are working constructively with someone who may not see things your way, and realize that you cannot always put yourself first. If you always put yourself first, then you will constantly be working against others, not with them.
The key to dealing with family, friends, your children, co-workers, significant others and even your pets is to consider their needs, as well as your own, and figure out how you can work in accordance with varying viewpoints and desires. If we always put the blame on others, we can expect that others will likely reciprocate by putting the blame on us. This will get you nowhere. The goal is to be a team and work together towards a goal that doesn’t force either side to give up too much of who they are.
You should never have to give up the parts of yourself that make you uniquely you, but it is equally important to ensure that you-being-you isn’t preventing others from expressing who they are as well.