It is what the partner on the other end feels that counts.
Remember that when you share your dislike list with your partner, you take care to not interrupt defend, invalidate, or counter their thoughts or feelings.
You will offer the same when it is your partner’s turn to share their list with you. These exercises will help you to understand each other better and to re balance your relationship towards more positive interactions.
Though neither of you can legislate the changes you want, you can make it clear to one another how important they are to you.
It is up to each of you to care enough for the other to do whatever you can to eliminate what is causing distress.
Please be patient with each other. Many couples, even when they embrace these exercises willingly and with the best of intentions, often take a little while to put new behavioral changes in place.
It’s just human nature to have difficulty letting go of established patterns, but they will respond to practice.
Also note that your current “likes” and “dislikes” may change over the course of your relationship.
Great relationship partners keep each other informed when new data comes in and renew their efforts to do whatever they can to ensure their love will remain intact.
Written by Randi Gunther Ph.D.
Originally appeared in Psychology Today
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