A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with my best friend, who had recently broken up with his fiancée. While trying to help him figure things out, I asked him why he thought this happened and why he felt the relationship wasn’t worthy of a wedding. He told me that there were a couple of “key moments” that, once he thought about them, made him realize things were not working out, and with deep sadness, he chose to confront what was making him deeply unhappy. I became very curious about this, not because I wanted to mess with his relationship, but because I wanted to know how I could handle these moments in my own experience, and thanks to this, now I finally understand how to weigh the good and bad in my relationship.
From what I learned, these turning points can help you clarify what’s going on in your relationship and help you understand if it could have a future or if it has an expiration date:
How you both deal with conflict
The way we address our differences and issues is one of the most important things that differ a lasting relationship from one that isn’t. When it comes to deciding whether to move in together or not, get married, plan a trip, or decide where to spend the holidays, it’s important to be honest and assertive. To solve important topics, it’s crucial to avoid toxic behaviors like negative criticism, name-calling, constant mockery, defensiveness, detachment, and pointing out what the other is doing wrong all the time.
I know, sometimes we get frustrated, and we feel like they don’t get us, but we have to be patient and find the best way to speak our mind. It’s also important to keep in mind the frequency of discussions. If they’re constant at the beginning of the relationship, and decrease later on, then you’re going in the right path. Dr. Herb Goldberg, Psychologist and author, suggests that “rough and ragged” beginnings with civilized resolutions are more prone to evolve into a long and lasting love story. So, the better we resolve differences, the healthier and promising the relationship will be.
How you show you’re not taking them for granted
Long-term relationships tend to be seen as dull and anti-romantic. But actually, those corny moments that are part of it are crucial for success. Asking your partner about their day is an easy and honest way to manifest interest in them. These little details can make the other feel how you care for them and that, most importantly, you’re not taking them for granted. I’m not saying you should be with them all the time, but greeting each other in cute ways can make the difference. Never lose your sense of excitement and don’t let the illusion disappear. Even though the romantic side tends to fade through time, bringing up the romance every once in a while will make the relationship more satisfying for both. Never take for granted their love for you.
How you communicate
Proper communication can be the turning point between “happily ever after” and “we were on a break!” To have healthy and thriving communication skills, you must set aside time for this every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour or a couple of minutes, never assume or leave out important information. A lot of irrelevant fights come from misinformation. You don’t have to be on each other’s back all the time. Every person has the right to do their own things in their own time. Just don’t forget to come back to them eventually.
Little rituals that enhance the communication in a relationship are essential. They keep both parties interested and updated in each other’s life. Some of them can be arranging monthly dinners or having a couple of minutes for each other during breakfast. Everyone has a different way of communicating. The important thing is to find out how. This way, none of you will be surprised later with arguments like “you don’t listen to me” or “since when have you felt this?” Be honest, straightforward, and open.
Knowing what both want from the relationship
Being clear and honest about what you’re looking for is something that couples take for granted very often, but when “the talk” arrives, both freak out, and end up breaking up. So, first of all, ask yourself what you really want. Keep in mind that it’s valid to want different things. What’s important is to be true to your ideas and opinions. Do you want to live with your partner? Are you okay with their lifestyle? Do you see yourself married to them at some point? What about kids? Are you afraid of commitment? Are you missing your ex? Good and bad, everything must be stated, so we don’t waste each other’s time. Maybe both want a break, or maybe you want to move in together, but you’re too afraid to ask. Learn to read your partner’s ways of saying what they want and what they don’t. This will help you avoid surprises in the future.
Some of these key moments can make you realize that the time has come to have a talk with your partner. Remember that what’s important is that you’re both okay and happy with the relationship. Hopefully, this will keep on helping you develop thriving and successful relationships in the future.
You might also enjoy reading about 6 Small Toxic Behaviors You Must Stop Romanticizing In Your Relationship or 5 Signs That Prove You’re Building Emotional Walls On Your Relationship
Photos by Summer Rae