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RELATIONSHIPS

Head Over Heels In Love?

Don't lose yourself in the relationship

BY AMAHLE MELOKUHLE

Mar 16, 2021, 12:23 PM

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So, you've finally left the single and jaded camp  because you met that one man who makes everything right in your world. You are so into him that you are giving to this relationship so much more than you have in the past.

You are are so in tune with him that you no longer remember what your passions were. You find yourself agreeing with him even when you have a contrary opinion. You have lost yourself in the relationship.

Couples and family therapist Dr. Kalanit Ben-Ari, a couples’ therapist with over 15 years of experience, revealed that couples both new and old can start to feel trapped and plagued by feelings of anxiety if they don't maintain their own space. As such, these emotions result in both parties feeling resentful and defensive which is a recipe for relationship disaster.

So what can you do? Keep a sense of yourself, after all, it's you and all that you are that attracted BAE to you in the first place.

1. Communicate

A healthy relationship has one component at its core – healthy and open communication.

We’re all battling with the unknown, and this can arouse feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and pain. With that said, it’s important for couples to be able to express their fears.
 
So, when venting to your partner, be respectful that it doesn't turn into an intense argument. Feel free to share your feelings with one another, without being judgmental or critical, and do your best to stop using words like "you" and avoid statements like “you’re exaggerating,” or “you’re acting crazy”.

“One of the biggest communication mistakes couples make is to talk about their partner in a harsh and direct manner, saying ‘you do/you don’t/you are’, rather than speaking about themselves and what they really want (for example: 'I feel anxious about something right now/I need assurance that this will be ok'),” explains Dr. Ben-Ari. “This requires a level of honesty, vulnerability, and tact, but it will help to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.”

2. Get Some Me-Time

Just because you’re stuck under the same roof, doesn’t mean that you need to spend every second together. Self-care is just as important and you need to set aside some time so that you can relax and rebalance, letting go of any irritation that may be building up.

Self-care can take the form of a home workout, a long warm bath, sitting quietly in a corner, putting on headphones, meditating, or  even finishing that Call of Duty game. Do whatever you want but just make sure you’re doing it alone.

3. Keep It Light

Just because something is trending doesn’t mean that you should be talking about world events constantly, yes it's important to be informed, but there is a limit. 
 
Instead of getting all worked up over the unknown, why don’t you keep it light by catching up on your favorite Showmax show or by redecorating the house? Can you even have a dance party in the lounge or try to master his mum’s favorite recipe? Additionally, for couples that are both working from home, you can get yourselves an imaginary co-worker to blame things on.

4. Get Intimate

Sex isn't the be-all and end-all of relationships, as stress can affect libido, it’s important not to nag or shame your partner into sex if they’re not feeling up to it as this will only result in feelings of rejection and blame. Just do your best to understand.

5. Acts Of Kindness

Yes, your partner is driving you insane, but it’s important not to take them for granted. Try random acts of kindness such as making them tea in bed, cooking their favorite meal, or even leaving them messages around the house.

This will help your partner feel appreciated and ease any lingering tension in the house. Remember, it’s the little things.

6. Set A Schedule

A lot of us rely on our schedules to provide a sense of stability. Now, with all of that disrupted, we may find ourselves lost and more irritable. That said, creating a structured plan for the day with your partner can help to restore a sense of normalcy.
 
Assigning roles and responsibilities for each day can make your time at home pass more quickly and it can also minimize conflicts.

7. Stay In Touch With The Outside World

Your partner doesn’t have to be your only source of connection. With apps such as HouseParty, FaceTime and Whatsapp, you can still stay in touch with your family members and friends. It’s important to still maintain outside relationships outside your partner.

If You Feel Unsafe

If unfortunately, you are stuck in the house with an abusive spouse, it’s important to know that no relationship or shame is more important than your health. Police and other emergency response services are operating as normal, and if you are worried about your safety, you should not hesitate to call the authorities immediately.

Read: When Mr. Right Has a Wife