Emotions are a natural and necessary part of any romantic relationship, but they can also be tricky. Whether you’re feeling pleased or frustrated, it’s essential to know how to handle your emotions in a healthy and constructive way for both you and your partner. Here are 10 emotional dos and don’ts for couples.
DON’T keep your feelings to yourself.
Expressing your feelings is a critical part of any relationship because it helps you and your partner understand each other better. Never be afraid to talk to your significant other about how you feel, even if it’s something they may not want to hear.
For example, maybe you’re worried that your significant other is cheating on you. Instead of accusing them, speak to them about your concerns and talk about a schedule that would work for both of you to spend more time together. Communication is key to any successful relationship.
It’s easy to let conflicts fester inside when you don’t want to worry your partner or make them feel bad. However, not expressing your feelings can only worsen things in the long run. Talk through your problems with each other instead of bottling up your emotions.
DO feel comfortable enough with your partner to speak up.
Relationships are all about communication, and that doesn’t just mean talking. It’s important to communicate in a variety of ways including through touch, eye contact, and of course, words. If you can’t communicate with your partner without getting upset or angry, try to pinpoint the issue and discuss it with them.
In some cases, you may feel that your significant other doesn’t listen to you or understand what you’re trying to say. This is often an indication that you’re not on the same page about certain issues or that your partner is brushing off important things. Again, this should be discussed so you can both better understand each other’s points of view.
By not sharing how you feel, or worse, by lashing out and hurting your partner’s feelings, you could damage your relationship irreparably. Be open, direct, and honest with your significant other about what’s bothering you.
For instance, maybe you’re angry that your partner didn’t eat dinner with you on Saturday night, but instead of telling them how much it hurts your feelings, talk about how you can spend more time together. By sharing your feelings without hurting each other, both of you will feel respected and understood.
DO plan time for quality conversation.
You can’t go through life without engaging others in conversation, and the same is true for your romantic relationship. Having conversations with your partner shouldn’t be a one-sided affair where you do all the talking while they nod along politely.
Here’s an example: maybe you just had a fantastic weekend together and want to tell your partner about it, but don’t stop there. Ask your partner about their weekend and get them talking, too. Or if something big happens in the news or on television, express your opinions and see how they feel about it.
By sharing the limelight instead of keeping all of the conversations to yourself, you can learn more about your partner, their thoughts and feelings, and what you have in common.
DON’T act out on impulse.
When you’re angry, it’s easy to lash out at your partner rather than deal with the situation in a productive way. But by doing so, you’re not taking responsibility for your happiness. Instead of acting out, try to take responsibility for your feelings.
For example, if your partner makes a snarky comment that hurts you, the best thing you can do is address it calmly and maturely. Let them know how their words made you feel without attacking them for it. If they apologize, let them know that you’ve forgiven them and are willing to move on.
However, if your partner doesn’t apologize or express remorse, don’t allow yourself to be walked over. You are entitled to stick up for yourself when someone has hurt you, but hurting them in return is not the way forward.
For example, maybe you were angry when your significant other came home late from work, but instead of giving them a piece of your mind when they got back, try to plan a time to talk about it later after you’ve both had some time to cool off.
Alternatively, if your relationship is going through a rough patch, don’t give up hope. Instead of throwing in the towel and breaking up with your partner right away, take some time to yourself and ask why you’re feeling the way you are. Going alone can help you figure out if those negative emotions are coming from a place of hurt and frustration or if something else is going on.
DO show affection.
Showing your love to your significant other will make them feel appreciated, respected, and loved for who they are as a person. This doesn’t mean you always have to say “I love you”, but it does mean that small gestures go a long way towards making someone feel special.
For example: maybe you don’t typically give backrubs, but on a day where your partner is extra stressed out, why not join them in the shower and give them a soapy rubdown?
Showing affection towards your loved ones won’t just make them feel good about themselves – it will also increase their feelings of adoration towards you, no matter if you’re in a new relationship or have been married for 50 years.
DO work on your own issues.
Make sure that you aren’t making your significant other a scapegoat for the problems going on in your own life. Don’t take it out on your partner if you’re going through a rough patch at work, or dealing with family drama.
Instead, try to work on these issues yourself not to affect your relationship. If you get into the habit of blaming all of your problems on someone else, then you risk taking down your entire relationship when things go wrong.
Try to deal with any insecurities you might have at the root cause instead of taking them out on your partner. For example, if you’re constantly worried about how attractive your partner finds other people, then try to find out what makes you feel insecure and work to improve your self-esteem.
DON’T expect your partner to read your mind.
When you have a problem, it’s essential to share your feelings so that your partner can understand. However, sometimes the other person can’t pick up on your nonverbal cues.
You can go through life expecting other people to know what you think, feel, or want. But if you don’t tell them, there’s no way of knowing what they’re thinking or feeling, which can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
For example, maybe you’re feeling sad and go to bed early without telling your partner, who then thinks that you’re mad at them and start to worry. Instead of confusing your significant other, open up about how you feel so they can understand what’s going on with you.
If you don’t share how you feel with your significant other, they can’t do anything about it, and they may even doubt that there’s a problem in the first place.
DO work on your communication skills.
If you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to forget how to communicate correctly or express how you feel. This can cause a lot of tension and arguments in a relationship.
Try to communicate as often as possible, even if there isn’t anything major going on. It will help you feel connected and stay attuned to your loved one’s feelings too.
For example: maybe you’re busy at work most days of the week – don’t let that stop you from calling, texting, or FaceTiming your significant other while you’re working. Even a quick conversation can brighten both of your days and make it easier for you to cope with the rest of your responsibilities.
DON’T let your jealousy get the best of you.
Everyone gets jealous at some point – it’s only natural – but letting that feeling control you will make things difficult for both you and your partner.
While it’s important to communicate your feelings, you don’t want to go overboard and accuse your partner of flirting with someone else or give them the silent treatment because they’re talking to an attractive person.
If you let jealousy take over, you’ll risk hurting your partner’s feelings, damaging your relationship, and possibly provoking an argument. By learning how to control your jealousy, you can stop any destructive behavior before it starts.
For example: maybe you feel like calling your partner every five minutes when they’re out with their friends. Instead of acting on that feeling, take some time for yourself and do something else so that you won’t act impulsively.
DO learn each other’s love languages.
We all have different ways to show affection and different things that make us feel loved. Therefore couples need to learn each other’s love languages to show how much they care about their partner’s comfort level.
For example, one person might like receiving flowers as a sign of affection while another person would rather be taken out to dinner. By learning how to speak your partner’s love language, you will be able to send them the message that they are loved and appreciated without feeling like you’re forcing anything.
In a relationship, it’s crucial to maintain balance and avoid extremes. Maintain your self-esteem while also learning how to communicate with your partner. Don’t try to read their mind or assume that they will know what you’re feeling without you having to say anything.
Give yourself some time to cool off if you feel like you’re starting to lose control of your emotions. And finally, learn how to express yourself in a way that will make your partner feel understood and appreciated.
Taking the time to understand each other can strengthen your relationship and make you both happier in the long run!
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