You fall in love and feel amazing. Everything is ‘just perfect’ in your world. Then, what happens?
Well, usually, the initial euphoria begins to wear off and gradually those cute little habits s/he has now becomes very irritating! Suddenly there’s a feeling of being taken for granted by one or both parties.
So what happened and how can you avoid slipping into that trap? There are many aspects of an early relationship, which, if thought through, would prevent much heartache and frustration. Briefly here are some of them:
INFATUATION – this is really the biggest problem. When you ‘fall’ in love, usually you are completely off balance, only seeing what you want to and putting so much pressure on the relationship too early. It’s necessary to take a step back and regain your equilibrium. You need to think of the not so good side of that person as well as the great stuff. Balance!
EXPECTATIONS – often they are way too high and unrealistic in the beginning. You fell in love with a human being with all their ‘faults’ and good points, not a superbeing.
YOUR NEEDS – you realise that they don’t actually meet your every need. So you feel disappointed and try to change them. Get real, no one person is ever going to meet your every need, it’s not realistic. You may have to look elsewhere for your needs, e.g. friends who have a great sense of humour or share your love for doing your favourite hobby, etc.
APPRECIATION – your so busy demanding either inside your mind or out loud to your partner about what’s not right or what they aren’t doing, that they feel unappreciated. They’ll be thinking why can’t you just love me for who I am (and so will you) if the shoe is on the other foot!
SPACE – you don’t allow them to have their own space and they begin to resent you. Again, so would you if they didn’t allow you to have your own space.
PROJECTIONS – oh yes, this is a big one. People often project their family history on to their partners e.g. they lacked approval or recognition as a child from their parents and now they are always striving to get that from their partner or friends. Stop it! Take responsibility for your life, you can change, you don’t have to drag your old history around with you and keep re-living it.
COMMUNICATION – you must speak your truth in an appropriate manner. Many people will either just sit and seethe about something for days or weeks or have an immediate argument if things aren’t going ‘right’. A really excellent book I believe everyone should read, but especially couples, is Non Violent Communication This is about owning your own feelings but commenting on the behaviour of another that upsets you, e.g. “It makes me mad when you leave your dirty clothes on the floor and I pick them up, do you think you could do x in the future please.” What you are actually doing is saying how their behaviour makes you feel and owning it (your feelings) and then asking for a solution to the behaviour, therefore not slagging them, just commenting on their behaviour.
MEN ARE FROM MARS… – let’s face it men and women are ‘wired’ differently and that’s all there is to it! Men (generally) can’t multi task. Blame it on their corpus collosum, it’s very small! So don’t ask him to put petrol in the car tomorrow morning when he’s washing the dishes, because chances are, he probably won’t hear it, even if he answers you it most probably wouldn’t have gone in!
VALUES – probably one of the most important aspect of relationships. If your top 3 Values and core beliefs do not coincide with your partner’s to some extent, you are not off to a great start. All Core Values and Beliefs drive our behaviour.
MINIMISE – if you minimise yourself to fit in with them, then you will never live your authentic life and will feel unfulfilled inside and frustrated. You must have a very strong sense of self and live by your Values. Equally, you don’t want a partner who becomes like a little pet poodle, just pandering to you and not vocalising his/her needs and desires.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan