Some Healthy Habits that Doesn’t Fit Our Narrative of an “Ideal Relationship”

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Salaam and Welcome to Spouslr, one of the best online dating platform for single Muslims that not just kick starts your journey towards finding your better half but also helps in building and nurturing of a healthy relationship through these little hacks and anecdotes. However, I didn’t want to write yet another “learn to communicate and watch sunsets together” type post. Honestly, those posts are a bit boring. If you love your partner, you shouldn’t have to be told these things instead it should come automatically. Isn’t that right?

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So yes, I wanted to write something different. I wanted to write about issues that are important in relationships but are harder to face–things like the role of fighting, hurting each other’s feelings, dealing with dissatisfaction, or feeling the occasional attraction for other people. In this blog, I will talk about all the healthy relationship habits which most people think are toxic.

Unresolved Conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth.

In a research of thousands of happily married couples, some of whom have been married for forty-plus years, it was found that most successful couples have persistent unresolved issues, issues that they’ve sometimes been fighting for almost a decade. Meanwhile, many of the unsuccessful couples insisted on resolving and thus, fucking everything up because they believed that there should never be a disagreement between them.

Successful couples accept and understand that some conflicts are inevitable, that there will always be certain things they don’t like about their partner or things they don’t agree with and it is fine. You shouldn’t feel the need to change somebody in order to love them and more importantly you shouldn’t let some disagreements get in the way of a happy and healthy relationship.

Hurting Each Other’s Feelings

When our highest priority in a relationship is to always make ourselves feel good or to always make our partner feel good, then more often than not nobody ends up feeling good. And our relationship falls apart without us even knowing it. If you feel smothered and want some time alone, you should be capable of saying that without blaming your partner and they need to be capable of hearing it without blaming you, despite the unpleasant feelings it may cause.

Hurting Each Other's Feelings

It’s important to set out your priorities straight in a relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The cuddles and sunsets– happen when you get the important stuff figured out: values, needs and trust.

Willingness To End It

Romantic sacrifice has been idealized in our culture. Almost every romantic movie is bound to feature a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like shit for the sake of being in love with someone. The truth to be told our standards of a “successful relationship” are pretty screwed up. It’s this irrational idealization that leads people to stay with partners who treat them like shit, to give up on their own needs and identities, to suppress their own pain and suffering in the name of maintaining a relationship.

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the necessary time before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

Attracted To Someone Other Than Your Partner

The truth is, not only are we capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time, it’s a biological inevitability but what isn’t inevitable is our decision to act on the attraction or not. Most of us, most of the time, choose to not act on those feelings. And like waves, they pass through us and leave us with our partner very much the same way they found us.

Looking at attractive people is pleasurable. Speaking to attractive people is pleasurable. Thinking about attractive people is pleasurable. While it is okay to appreciate the attention or even flirtation, the experience will only strengthen your commitment because attractiveness is everywhere; real intimacy is not. When we commit to a person, we are not committing our thoughts, feelings or perceptions to them. We can’t control our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions most of the time, so how could we ever make that commitment?

However, What we can control are our actions. And what we commit to that special person are those actions.

Taking Your Space and Time

When we fall in love with someone we develop irrational beliefs and desires. One of these desires is to allow our lives to be consumed by the person with whom we’re infatuated. This feels great but the problem with allowing your identity to be consumed by a romantic relationship is that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you cease to be the person they fell in love with in the first place.

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It’s important to occasionally get some distance from your partner, assert your independence, maintain some hobbies or interests that are yours alone. Have some separate friends; take an occasional trip somewhere by yourself; remember what made you you and what drew you to your partner in the first place.

Embracing Each Other’s Flaws

The most accurate metric for your love of somebody is how you feel about their flaws. If you accept them and even adore some of their shortcomings — her obsessive cleanliness, his awkward social ticks — and they can accept and even adore some of your shortcomings, well, that’s a sign of true intimacy.

It may be our perfections that attract one another in the first place. But it’s our imperfections that decide whether or not we stay together.

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