By contributor Laura Dickey
We’ve just passed Valentine’s Day in the USA; are you thankful it’s over?
Many people dread Valentine’s Day because it creates an unbelievable amount of pressure in their lives and on their relationships. After all, who really wants to come up with some fantastically creative romantic idea every February 14th? Or find a date every February? There are some lessons we can learn from Valentine’s Day that we can apply to our lives and relationships to help them be more balanced, and keep the romance going all year long.
Before we talk about how to balance our relationships we need to get three things straight.
- The first thing we need to recognize is that Valentine’s Day, like New Years Day, is just one of 365 days. It’s a way to put a special emphasis on something that might otherwise be overlooked or pushed aside. It also means that you have 364 other days that you could be romantic- it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for you to be romantic.
- Second, Valentine’s Day is a great reminder that we need to take care of the relationships in our lives. We shouldn’t take them for granted or abuse the privilege of being in a relationship. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a relationship, focus on what you can do to build up your partner and support your relationship, not how much they managed to aggravate you.
- Finally, if it’s not a good or healthy relationship, no matter how hard you try, it won’t ever become balanced. If you’re in an abusive, unhealthy or future-less relationship, don’t anticipate finding or creating balance in your life or relationship unless you leave (or some major changes happen).
So what does a balanced relationship consist of?
- A balanced relationship starts by learning how to work together. A relationship, by it’s very definition, is two people trying to work together on something that’s important to both of them. You have certain needs and your partner has needs too. Both of your needs may be similar, but more likely than not, you’ve both got different needs and wants. Personally, I prefer to think about relationships as “partnerships” because it’s more expected that you’re “working together” when you’re in a partnership than a relationship.
- As strange as it sounds, one of the keys to a balanced relationship is for each of you to have time alone, time with separate groups of friends and the ability to support yourself without your partner’s assistance.
If you are totally depending on your partner for your financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being you’re going to have a rude awakening one day. There’s no guarantee in tomorrow and each day has it’s own challenges. I’m not saying that you each have to have separate bank accounts, jobs, friends and rooms, but you do need to have the ability to carry more than your weight in the relationship should something happen to your partner.
- A relationship truly becomes balanced when you learn how to make your relationship work both as individuals and together, and truly value each other.
As I said before, a relationship is really a partnership, and a partnership will only succeed if you both bring something to the table. The beauty about a relationship as a partnership is that you can admit when you need a little extra love or support if you’re dealing with a challenge. It’s an opportunity for you to grow personally and encourage your partner when they’re dealing with a challenge or change. Also, good partners know when to make changes, call it quits or come up with a new plan.
So what can you do to balance your relationship?
- Each month plan that one night you’ll each be alone, either just relaxing in your bedroom or go to your favorite coffee house, while your partner takes care of the kids, and be alone for a while.
- Also plan one night during the month that you can go out on a date together. Maybe you have to be creative and make it a day-date depending on your schedules, but set aside 4+ hours for you two to be alone.
- Third, plan one night each month to either hang with your friend(s) or get together with a bunch of mutual friends.
- Finally, look for ways each day (or at least 3 days a week) you can show your partner that you love them. These can be little things like getting up with them in the morning, making them lunch, sending them a little love email, calling them just to say you love them, actually asking their opinion of something or going to bed early together just to have some quality time (without technology).
Whether we like it or not, life is built on relationships. This means we’ve got a choice: be miserable and have terrible relationships or work to have good ones. Personally I’d rather put a little effort in to have relationships I’m proud of. It won’t be easy but with a little effort, lots of communication, some time alone, tons of patience and a decent helping of forgiveness, we can all learn to balance our relationships.
What will you do to help create a successful partnership in your relationships?
Laura Dickey is passionate about sharing hope and empowering individuals, families and businesses to live balanced and successful lives. When she’s not writing or supporting others in their life journeys, she loves to organize, read, be creative and take walks. Read more about Laura here.
Photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani
Note from Anastasiya: Are you wondering about the first step towards balanced living? Download 110 Elements of a Bold and Happy Life (it’s a free pdf created for you by my friend Barrie Davenport of Live Bold and Bloom) and decide where you need to start. Feel free to contact me with your questions and I’ll be happy to give you the most important tips on how to balance your life.Tweet