In the honeymoon phase, you’re probably tuned in beyond anything you ever imagined. All you want is to be with this other person. It’s happening and life is grand. Everyone should savor that feeling. Everyone must also recognize that relationships are much more than the initial attraction. As time passes, you and your partner begin to identify incompatibilities. This is normal and inevitable. But left unchecked and undiscussed, they can cause schisms.
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, just met someone, or are looking to meet someone, it’s essential to know what you want. To help you get started with this work, let’s explore some ways to make that happen.
Tune Into What You Want In A Relationship
The first step is to remove the last three words in the sentence above. Your goal is to “tune into what you want.” This work will position you to envision yourself as a healthy partner in a healthy relationship. Here are a few suggestions:
Identify Your Values, Needs, and Beliefs
Everyone has beliefs, goals, dreams, and interests. This can be something you desire as an individual and with a partner. Keeping a journal can be vital in this quest. Dig deep and discern your core values and how they impact your role as a romantic partner.
At the same time, accept that change and evolution are exciting parts of life. You can be rooted in certain values without staying stagnant. One of the joys of a relationship is witnessing how your bond changes both of you for the better.
Yes, evolution happens, but that doesn’t mean you can set boundaries in the here and now. What is so important in a partner that there’s no room for negotiation? Two big ones:
- Religion and faith
- Whether or not to have children
Listen to Your Instincts
If you sense something is “off,” honor that feeling. Explore it. This can be especially helpful in a new relationship. The more in tune you are, the most you can trust your gut.
Once you’ve taken steps like the three outlined above, you can move into a more nuanced journey in terms of tuning into the partner inside you.
More Ways to Tune Into What You Want In A Relationship
Learn From Your Past
Make an honest assessment of your past romantic life. What went well? What would you change? Every relationship is unique, of course, but there are many valuable lessons to be gleaned from what led you to where you are now.
Create an Independent Life
Whether you’re single or involved, you must find joy and peace in your own company. Being a great partner is so important. But it’s far from your sole identity. As a single person, you have the time to get comfortable with yourself before entering into a relationship. If you’re already with someone, make time to talk with them about the importance of not being codependent.
Learn to Be Vulnerable
To deepen your bond with your partner, you must be willing to engage in profound trust. This makes you vulnerable, of course, but the payoff can be vast. Practice telling your partner how you feel about them. Express your needs. Don’t leave them to try reading your mind.
Think About the Future
What are your short- and long-term goals? Make a list and examine how they dovetail (or not) with your current relationship or a possible new relationship. To follow up on the previous suggestion, be vulnerable and tell your partner what you’re thinking.