Opening your heart and allowing someone else into your life can be scary. There is no guarantee that you will not experience bumps in the road once you and your partner have made the leap and are committed to a united journey. In anticipation of the ups and downs, it is essential to have strategies to navigate the path with as little stress as possible.
Talk and Share With Honesty
A healthy, functioning relationship is complex if one of you feels unsafe being open and honest. That said, no matter how dedicated you are, there is a chance that you will have moments of self-doubt. Those doubts may center around career questions, family-based issues, or personal faith. Suppose you are afraid to discuss private insecurities for fear of being judged or creating a shift in your dynamic. In that case, you can always consider LDS counseling to find an impartial outsider who can guide you through a productive session. The key to staying strong could be exploring the truths behind what is troubling you.
Spend Time Laughing
Whether you are laughing at yourself or finding humor in your combined situation, you can lighten most tension by not taking life too seriously. Of course, some matters require focus and in-depth reflection, but the ability to giggle because one of you can’t remember to pick their shoes up off the floor can be empowering. Tiny imperfections are often the qualities that make people fall in love, and when you lose sight of that fact, you can enter into dangerous territory. So, step back and chuckle rather than get angry and let frustration build up. Make a joke out of the habitual stumbling block and then design a month-long contest to see who can avoid their naughty behavior the longest.
Eat Meals Together
School, jobs, family and friends keep everyone busy. While it might not be possible to sit at the table for every meal, you could try to make eating meals together a rule in your household rather than an exception. Even if there are only two people in your immediate family, that couple time can provide opportunities to talk about what went on in each of your days, work through upcoming dates or stay in touch with your emotional needs. It can also be helpful to divide the meal prep responsibilities so that no one feels like they are doing all the work. Another consideration is going out to eat one night or ordering takeout for an evening, so you both have a chance to relax. Some might argue that sitting in front of the television for dinner is a distraction, but it can be fun if you enjoy a show you bond over.
Similar to alternating who gets to be the chef on a given evening, maintaining a successful relationship requires equity in each of your day-to-day roles. Regardless of if you are renting a small apartment or living in a stately chateau, there are undoubtedly rooms to be cleaned, groceries to be purchased and bills to be paid. It is possible to create a feeling of resentment if one of you is not contributing on par with the other. A solution is to list what needs to be done daily, weekly or monthly and then clearly indicate who will be in charge of each task.
Respect Each Other’s Space
Opting to cohabitate is a big step, but it does not mean you have to spend every waking hour side-by-side. Individuality is vital to balance. If you feel overwhelmed or smothered, you may allow minor annoyances to fester and become more significant issues that are detrimental in the long run. Instead, set aside blocks of time reserved for solitary reflection. Permit yourselves to be apart, and trust that those moments will benefit your connection.
A relationship worth having is one worth working for. Do not be discouraged if some days are harder than others, as that is to be expected. Keep the lines of communication open and work through obstacles together.