What is it that you do in your relationship that makes you a good partner? How to be a good partner is a lifelong lesson and takes practice and commitment. This does make it sound hard, but you’ll gain a stronger relationship out of it, so it’s worth it.
Many of us think about what we ourselves are getting out of the relationship. However, being a good partner is all about how our partner’s actions, thoughts and feelings impact us too.
What if we reversed that focus and put our partner’s wants and needs first? If you were focused on giving more than getting, you may see a shift in mindset and start thinking that you’re a good partner; rather than if they are.
What does make a good partner?
As we all have different beliefs, life goals, strengths and weaknesses, we all bring different things to relationships and have different perceptions of what makes a good partner.
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However, there are several attributes we can develop to become a better person and therefore, improve our relationships.
Want to know what those traits are? Let’s take a look.
It’s almost impossible to be in a happy mood all the time. But, bringing positive thinking into your relationship is what is important here. Instead of denying yourself negative emotions and suppressing them, you’ll learn to work through them and still see the good in your partner.
The key to any deep and meaningful relationship is understanding your part. In learning how to be a better partner, you need to look inward and become self-aware. This is when you gain the ability to understand and control your behaviors and emotions.
Your fears, limitations and perhaps negative patterns can get in the way of your connections and engagement with your partner. You could potentially be developing a negative pattern in your relationship without even realizing it. Working on yourself and becoming your best, also means you can be your best within your partnership.
If you’re wanting to boost the joy in your relationship, then perhaps shift your mindset from one focussing on yourself, to one serving your partner’s needs. If you think about that for a moment, there is nothing that shows more insecurities and fears, than a romantic relationship. So, rather than aggravate your partner’s worries, take the opportunity to talk through them and build that connection.
The top two reasons that couples argue are jealousy and control. However, if you read into that, they are deeper issues of insecurity and lack of trust. In any relationship, having trust is absolutely essential; and it starts with honest and open communication. Showing your vulnerability and having courage may be difficult at first, but sharing your feelings and hopes will ultimately bring you closer together.
Three types of relationships
It’s important to understand what dimension relationship you are currently in and what you bring to your partner. Are you in a one-, two-, or three-dimensional relationship? Not only that, but you need to ask yourself what you’re willing to do to show up for your partner to build and achieve the relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
A one-dimensional relationship is when it is all about you, not you and your partner. All of your focus is on your needs being met and what you’re getting out of it, rather than your partner. This ultimately means that you’re only in the relationship if you’re getting what you want.
Sadly, those on the other end of this relationship often feel isolated, alone and not supported by their partner. To have peace in the relationship they may even sacrifice needs and dreams. Due to this, they eventually become distant and seek connection and fulfillment in other places, disconnecting the relationship.
Now, a two-dimensional relationship is based upon equality; you focus on your own needs, as well as your partner’s. You believe that a good partner will look after themselves, and your partner will do the same. But, should your partner struggle to meet their needs alone, you don’t see it as a problem of yours. So, to some extent, you are still operating on a self-centered level.
To some of us, this may sound completely fair, and as a platonic partnership may well work. However, this can be awful in a romantic relationship as there is no passion. The reality then is that you create an unfulfilled and then likely an unsuccessful relationship.
So, the three-dimensional relationship. This is the kind where you step up and take complete responsibility for your partner’s feelings. You take their needs as your needs and will not give up until these needs are met. Within this dynamic, you’re operating on a spirit-centric level.
It would be depolarizing to tell your partner that you’re doing all you can, but they have to do their part. As much as this may sound fine on the surface, it isn’t. This type of relationship means that instead of splitting everything evenly, you let your partner feel however they want to feel and do what they want to do because you love them. You strive to make your partner happy and because of this, all passion, joy and energy come naturally. This is the kind of relationship we should all want.
How can you be better?
Depending on what dimension you think yourself and your partner have been operating at, do you think you could both agree on working to become better? If you’re wanting some ideas on how to do this, then let’s dive in.
The drive in every decision you make is based upon your beliefs. So, if you have discouraging beliefs, you’ll likely lean toward a life that holds up to those beliefs. The start to being a better partner here would be to replace those beliefs with more wholesome, empowering ones.
Learning your sense of self is the basis for becoming a better partner. Once you’ve discovered what your limiting beliefs are, you can then work on your self-esteem. Always remember to also celebrate your strengths, weaknesses and all things you bring to your relationship. By allowing yourself to feel positive, you’re able to show up better in your relationship. After all, you are only able to treat people as well as you treat yourself.
Understand that all relationships are different
A good way of viewing relationships is to see them a bit like a garden; they are only able to flourish when under the right conditions. Some plants will need more attention than others and they also have to deal with the change in season. Much like seasons, changes within relationships are inevitable; however, you can learn to be flexible and adapt to whatever comes your way.
You can learn to adapt to your partner’s needs whilst staying true to yours too, flexibility isn’t the same as settling. It’s about hearing your partner’s needs and fulfilling them in a way that brings you closer together. Life’s circumstances will shift around, but a relationship that has adapted to the changing weather will always come out stronger.
Focus on your partner
If you’re wanting to make a lasting change in your relationship, then maybe it’s time to stop focussing on what your partner is or isn’t doing, but instead, think about what you’re giving and how you can be better. By asking yourself this, you’re shifting to a more world-centric level and putting your partner first.
This is not to say that you’re neglecting your own needs, you’re simply letting your partner know that you’re there for them and allow them to feel safe in their vulnerability. This in turn will strengthen your connection and take you from being a good partner to a great one.
Now, communication isn’t just about the little chit chats. Non-verbal forms of communication such as eye contact and body language are vital in making your partner feel completely understood, not just heard.
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When they’re talking, really listen to what they’re saying, be open and accepting. Also, rather than criticizing your partner, listen to their perspective without judgment. This will build trust in your relationship and allow you to relate to your partner.
As we mentioned previously, communicating isn’t just the small talk of ‘’How was your day?’’ etc. It’s things like this that let us fall into a routine of merely existing together, rather than a satisfying romantic relationship.
If you spend every evening on the couch watching TV, how are you going to truly connect with one another? Take the time to talk fully and openly about feelings, worries and dreams, all it can do is bring you closer together.
Share the responsibility
If there is one of you that takes on all of the responsibilities, you can’t possibly have an equal relationship. Instead, be more productive and share the responsibilities of finances and household tasks like chores and grocery shopping.
One study discovered that those who split tasks evenly between them engaged in intimacy more than those with more unbalanced arrangements.
We as humans are social creatures, to become a better partner, you’ll need a support system. When you spend time with a larger network of people such as your partner’s friends and family, you’re building bonds that will strengthen your relationship. You want to be a part of their entire life, love what they love and who they love too.
So, are you ready to be a better partner?
There you have it, we’ve given you loads of tips and advice on how you can better yourself, become a better partner and have a stronger relationship. All of the changes you make can only have a positive effect, building your self-esteem and the strength of the connection with your partner.