The Quality of Your Relationship Depends Largely on How You Choose to Think of Your Partner.

It is a decision on where and how we allow our thoughts to go.

We choose in what ways to think of a person.

Sure, we may decide we don’t like someone based on legit things we’ve observed about them. Noticing Leslie is always talking crap behind her colleague's backs. Observing James being sneaky and manipulative- ever trying to stir the pot with his loved ones. Listening to the way Kerrie talks and realizing it is overwhelmingly negative most of the time, or that Kyle seems unwilling to tell the truth. You get the idea. There are valid reasons we may decide not to like someone.

That isn’t what I am talking about here though because, by means of you being in a romantic relationship with someone, it seems safe to assume that you actually like them. (And if not, it probably isn’t a relationship you should be in anymore).

Thus, the quality of that romantic relationship, then, depends largely on how we choose to perceive and think of our partners.

Far too often, we allow our thoughts to wander to the negative with regards to our lover (and especially over the long-term). With time, we let annoyances and pet peeves chip away at our otherwise good feelings towards them. We allow the negative dominate our minds, instead of the good. We decide to nitpick and get irritated, rather than focus on all that we love about this person. Eventually, we come to see them in a different light, rather than the one we saw them through when first falling in love and dating. We become more…disillusioned. Less wowed. We take them for granted. We see them every day, so instead of feeling excited, we tend to feel…meh more frequently.

How about the reasons you fell in love with them though? Aren’t those still present parts of this person?

What about all the qualities this person possesses that you’ve been inspired, impressed, awed, or attracted by? Are those still in there?

How about the aspects of them that you adore? Isn’t that still part of them?

It is, very much so, about what we choose to hone in and focus on that makes our relationships happy or unhappy.

Research shows that people who idealize their partners, those who decide to focus on the positive and the wonderful about their love, the ones who see their romantic relationship through rose-tinted glasses, they are the ones who are happiest in their relationships, over the short and long-term.

This, of course, does not mean dismissing things that need to be worked on. It doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand when problems arise. It does not mean looking the other way if something challenging or even quite problematic about your partner or the relationship comes to light. On the contrary, healthy relationships face and address these things.

However, the satisfaction and joy garnered from our relationships, romantic ones, and friendships too, depend on this choice. Choosing to focus on the great about this person and the relationship, as opposed to all the things that frustrate us about them. (And, if you realize that there is way more which frustrates than brings you joy, well, it might be time for a reassessment).

Side note: if you find yourself more unhappy than happy in a romance (or other relationship in your life), more stressed than joyed, more often angered than uplifted, more hurt than helped, it is likely time to reconsider and more closely examine this relationship and whether it’s a healthy or unhealthy addition to your life. Because emotionally mature, healthy adults let go of relationships that have reached their natural endpoint, which are major mismatches, or which are no longer working. They have the maturity and courage to let go and release themselves and their partner from one another, in order to move forward and find something healthier and better fitting.

That aside, assuming your relationship is, by and large, a healthy and happy one, you can improve your relationship by leaps and bounds in changing how you choose to look at and perceive your partner.

Decide to continually see the best in them. Look for the awe-worthy and inspiring aspects of who they are. Allow cheer and delight to fill you in spending time with and experiencing the great aspects of their personality and character. Notice and revel in all that is good about this person, and choose to focus on that. Remember, this moment with your love? This exact moment will never happen again. Similar moments will, for sure. Ones that look nearly the same on the surface. But this exact moment and way in which you are seeing and experiencing them right now? It will never happen in exactly this way, ever again. Every moment you have with this person is fleeting and an immense treasure. When feeling put off by your partner, do not forget that your time with them is limited.

Partners who make this choice, both, to see their love in a great light, routinely and regularly, as well as to remember that their time with this person is limited and will end, are going to have far happier and more satisfying relationships than those who do not do these two things.

Check out more about Brooke at brookeenglish.com

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com

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