Growing up with an ideal image of a strong independent woman, I always thought I’ll be doing everything my way. To be fair, when it came to my higher education, my career choices and who I wish to date, I was the only one to call the shots. And, believe me, I never compromised on anything. I dated a few guys for short duration, but things never seemed to work out. When I shared my failed romantic encounters with my friends, their instant response was you ended the relationship for very trivial reasons. “But, I don’t think I should compromise” is what my usual response was. Well, in retrospect, what toppings to get on the pizza, might not have been the biggest ‘compromise’. Well, here is my two cents of what I learnt about building a healthy relationship.
Acknowledge the importance
After a few breakups and adamant on not ‘compromising’, I went to a close friend. One thing she said resonates with my till date. She said, “Imagine you knight in shining armor is standing at the end of a bridge and you just have to cross it to meet him. Now just think carefully, wouldn’t it take less effort and time for both of you to walk halfway and meet, rather than for one to walk all the way over”? And this hit me hard. Obviously, there will be differences of opinion and a healthy relationship is all about getting over your differences. Meeting your partner halfway is not compromising on what you believe in. Rather, it is a gesture to strengthen your relationship.
Mark the middle for a healthy relationship
Once I understood the importance of meeting my partner halfway, I went a little too much on the other extreme. I started agreeing with everything my partner said, without refuting what my thought was. Again, I wasn’t the happiest. It then became clear that every relationship needs the definition of what the middle is. Everyone you meet will have their notion of what or where the middle is. It is very important to have a candid and honest conversation with your partner on what middle means for your relationship. At the same time, there will be some topics which are non-negotiable for you. There will be no middle for them, point that out. Middle doesn’t mean 50:50 for every task. Rather, it is about playing on each other’s strength and working towards 100% happiness. Honest and clear communication is what builds a healthy relationship.
One size doesn’t fit all
One of my final learning towards building a healthy relationship has been that meeting halfway takes a different meaning for every situation. Therefore, it is best to keep reinventing your dictionary as you reach different relationship milestones. You may start with simple dating and your choices on where to eat or what to do might differ. Meeting halfway towards a healthy relationship would either entail narrowing down on something that interests you both or alternating between your choices.
As the relationship matures and you decide to move in, differences of opinion on cleanliness, decor, sleeping patterns are bound to come up. Each of them will have a unique solution. In terms of cleaning, you might be the spic-span kind while you partner could be a clutz like me. Some ground rules on how your shared spaces should be decently cleaned and not nosing your way into their private space might be the foundation for your healthy relationship.
Building a healthy relationship: Start with a click
On the first look, it might seem to be a lot of effort in meeting your partner halfway. But, trust me, when it’s the right person, everything is a breeze. You might want to start your journey of building a healthy relationship with just a click. And if you are single, explore platforms like WeHitched and come across single professionals like you, waiting to meet you!