Oh my God, y'all. Although we are together for 4 years, and we are about to get married, since we moved back to Romania, I feel like I'm living a constant déjà vu. And not because of arguing, but because I regularly need to remind myself that Paul's my person and that he's on my side. I also need to make sure it's just the two of us in this relationship, that it doesn't include friends or family.
Before we start I need to mention that no relationship or human being can be perfect - including our relationship, even when the blog is full of wedding updates and everything seems ideal. Also, this article is about our experience and what we learned during these four crazy years. Every relationship is different and I strongly advise you to seek counselling if you need to.
Because we passed through an adjustment period where we need to prioritise our relationship, I thought it would be a good subject to talk about. This can happen not only at the beginning of a relationship but also when the dynamic of a relationship changes - whether it's about moving, having a baby, living with parents etc. And don't worry, EVERYONE argues in a relationship, it's normal. What is not normal is insulting or blaming each other, constantly fighting, giving ultimatums or shouting.
(This makes me think of Ariana's song.)
I know that four years of relationship is nothing for some of you, but it feels so much more than that because we've been through so much. First of all, Paul moved from Romania to the UK for me after only one month of being together. This threw us into the very deep from the start. So, the first thing we learned: GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE.
(guess what, Ariana again.)
When you start a new relationship or when you need to adjust to something new, it's normal to feel this wild need for your space and time. But, if you don't care for yourself, how are you going to do it for someone else? You need to recharge your batteries and do what you like before prioritising someone else. In time, you won't feel this as strongly or hardly at all, because you will become one and you will be able to recharge your batteries together. But alone time has its powers.
AGREE TO DISAGREE - In a healthy relationship, there is no 'my way or the highway'. Of course, you might have different perspectives and that's normal - as long as you know how to honestly and calmly communicate about it. Think about it as a debate: how can you explain yourself in a better, more precise way so the other person can understand where you come from? Always put yourself in each other's shoes: would you like to be spoken to in the same way you are speaking with others?
If you feel that you couldn't have a healthy conversation when something is bothering you, it's always okay to say that and take your time. I am kinda guilty of shutting myself off and not talking at all, and I need to learn how to say that I will talk about it later, rather than just giving the silent treatment.
Another thing that has proven crucial in our relationship is to FORGIVE and most importantly, TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. Let's be honest, we all know when we've been a little crappy towards someone, or when we thought we saw something that wasn't there.
After speaking about it or after taking your time to process it, always say that you're sorry or give the other person the ability to say they're sorry. Have that closure and don't assume that the other person got over it in the same way you did. Being able to say sorry means that you are vulnerable and trust the other person with this. If there's no trust and your walls are always up - that's a doomed relationship.
When your life is changing, your routine is changing and your hormones get messed up. It's normal to have bad days and not to feel that everything is sunshine and rainbows. But, it's essential to express your feelings to your partner, even if all you say is: TODAY I'M MOODY. Just by analyzing your feelings and communicating them, you make such a big difference to your relationship. It took me so long to learn how to say that!
To say you don't feel well and you don't know why and that it's no one's fault can be very challenging. Don't put your bad day on your partner by trying to find something that he/she did so you can argue just for the sake of it. Again, take care of yourself and say what you would like to do today or what you think it will make you feel better.
These are just a few, but for us the most important, steps that we constantly have to take to have a great relationship. These are crucial actions to take when you deal with arguing at the beginning of a relationship or when your life changes and it feels like the beginning. I hope this was helpful and remember that a relationship never stops growing if you take good care of it.