Even the best relationships have sources of stress and frustration. And when those moments come up, you are better off addressing them head on. Put your foot down and make some reasonable demands. The alternative is to let your resentment fester for years until it manifests when you are financing a mid-life crisis Range Rover you can’t afford and not telling your partner about it. Yeah, the alternative sounds cool, but it isn’t. And keep in mind that while you might be reading along and nodding at things your partner does, you could be guilty of some of these, too.
1. You don’t see your family enough … or you see theirs too much. Set boundaries, but keep in mind that you and your partner likely grew up with different ideas on how many family visits are “too much.” And that is perfectly OK. It is important to settle into a happy medium where you both feel comfortable. So make sure you see both sets of parents on important holidays. Chop those weekly Sunday dinners at you partner’s mom’s house down to once a month. Whatever keeps you sane.
2. You are binge-watching shows as your couples activity. While it is fun to cram an episode of Game of Thrones in every day until the Season 8 premiere, it is not necessarily quality time. Holding hands and melding into your living room couch for an entire Saturday is fine … sometimes. But you are within your rights to ask for some quality time that involves direct eye contact and speaking to each other.
3. Your partner sees their friends more than they see you. Some couples are together constantly, while others do not need a lot of face time to feel like they have a strong foundation. It is a matter of preference, but if you do not feel like you are both on the same page, it absolutely warrants having a talk. Compromise, and find a way to balance your calendars in a way where you are both happy.
4. You are both on your phones constantly. Listen, we get it. Sometimes after a long day of work, it is easier to just throw on The Office for the 900th time while you both flick through your phones absentmindedly. You have had a stressful day, and you just want to turn your brain off. But it is also fine to demand some “no phone” quality time. Make time to catch up; maybe declare no phones at the dinner table every night. Which means sitting at the table and talking about your day like real adults. If you want to take it a step further, do all your cooking and meal prep together for some bonus one-on-one time.
5. They are not picking up after themselves. Everyone has different tolerance thresholds when it comes to clutter. That said, you should not be the one cleaning up everything all the time. If you live together, assign each other definitive chores and have an afternoon dedicated to cleaning.
6. You want a little more romance in your life. If your partner is not putting forth any effort anymore, it is OK to ask for a date night once (or twice) a month. Granted, not everyone has the same budget or romantic sensibilities, but if you can’t even remember the last time you went on a date, you are more than justified in bringing it up.
7. You feel like you are being taken for granted. Do not let your partner walk all over you, even if they may not mean to. If you feel like your role in the relationship is too passive, absolutely say something. It might be something small, like they always choose the takeout. It might be something bigger, like they only ever see you when it is convenient for them. If it bothers you, put your foot down.
8. You and your partner don’t share any hobbies. They say opposites attract, and if that is the case, it is possible you don’t have a lot in common. If you are finding yourselves sitting in different rooms of the house watching TV, it is time to find a few activities you can do together.
9. It is impossible to get ahold of them. Not everyone is on their phone constantly. But if they go days without checking in with you, then yeah, they need a reality check.
10. You need a little space. This is not about wanting to take a break, or not being into the relationship. But sometimes, some partners like a little distance and alone time. There is nothing wrong with needing some solitude for your own mental well-being. And it is perfectly fine to let your partner know that you need it.
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