My boyfriend, an avid golfer, is playing in a golf tournament this weekend and thus came to me in our new home the other day letting me know that if he’s practicing a lot it’s A) because he loves to golf and B) because he really wants to play well this weekend. However, he also had kept in mind that A) we’re in the process of moving in and B) didn’t want me to feel like my needs from him weren’t being met. I simply told him that I want him to do whatever he feels like he needs to do and that I, when needed, would communicate when I need something from him.
This is the glory of putting all your cards out on the table in relationship communication. You see, the simple fact is that even though you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you stop living your own lives. In fact, one of the marks of a successful relationship is that you both champion each other in your own endeavors and when needed, express what you need/desire for yourself from your partner in a timely manner.
However, sometimes it’s not necessarily easy to do this- sometimes a partner’s request comes at a time when you’re feeling like you need little more support or sometimes partners’ have conflicting schedules, which makes it imperative that time be scheduled to spend with one another. And other times, partners don’t communicate well, which leaves one or both partners feeling resentful. So in order to smooth the way for present and/or future conversations about potentially conflicting time constraints, here are some tips.
1) Communicate as much as possible beforehand. For example, I was with my boyfriend when he signed up for the tournament and was one of the main people to encourage him to play in it. Therefore, because communication was so open beforehand, I wasn’t surprised or resentful when he told me about his new practice schedule.
2) Bring up the discussion at a time when you both have time- meaning don’t have a conversation like this when one or both of you is rushing out the door or are distracted with other things.
3) Lay all your cards out on the table. Sometimes it’s hard for the partner making the request to communicate what they need because they realize it might take a toll on the relationship. However, it’s easier to just make the request with the acknowledgment that it might be hard on their partner without relinquishing the activity’s importance.
3) Take it day by day. You can’t really live more than a day at a time anyway, so simply be aware of what you need on a daily basis so you can communicate thusly.
5) Finally, don’t forget about YOU! For the most part, you also know what you need to make yourself happy. In whatever way, balance your own happiness by continuing to do those activities that make you you. However, don’t be afraid to kindly communicate with your partner about having a date night or cooking dinner… They want you to be happy, too and communicating on a daily basis will help you both feel like your needs are being met.
Anastasia Strgar, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon with a B.A in journalism, has been writing about love and relationships for several years. She has written short stories and romance novels, penned the love and sex column in the school newspaper and wrote several blogs. As the eldest of founder Wendy Strgar’s four children, she has been inspired by watching her parents’ marriage and strives to put those lessons to use in her own relationship. She believes that teaching her peers early on about how to maintain healthy relationships is essential to creating a future generation of loving partnerships. She currently works as the Director of Public Relations and Magazine Editor at Good Clean Love.