Told you that relationship goals during coronavirus quarantine would be my next subject. To be fair though, I had started thinking about this some time before the whole covid19 situation. I guess every couple with a long history – and especially some challenging times behind – comes to this at some point. So here is the second episode of my lockdown saga: the survival of the couple.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you’d meet today the person you’ve married years ago? Would you still fall in love with him or her? Would you still notice that person in the crowd? Would you still be impressed by the way he or she walks and talks?
Life changes you in so many ways…
Think about that. The more we age, the more we change. The things we live, the people we meet along the way. The challenges that are thrown at us, and how we choose to overcome them (or not). This makes you a different person, that’s simply inevitable. And somehow, thank God it’s like that! I mean, obviously, if I could have kept my teenager body at least, with my 35 yo mind, that would have been a pretty badass combo.
I don’t particularly miss the time when I was young and wild and free. Been there, done that, moved on. Ok, maybe I do miss that when my kids wake me up at 6am on weekends for instance. But I am glad that my priorities have changed with time. I am pretty happy with the person I have become. Not every day, let’s be clear. Anyways, point is, as your perspective on life changes, so might change how you perceive your loved one and how his/her flaws affect you. And given that we all have flaws (yes, you heard me, I am not perfect and neither are you), what really matters in the long run is our ability to work around those flaws.
How do you deal with compromise?
Is he as beautiful as you used to see him? Is she as unique and precious as she used to look to you? Do you give the same importance to the same things? Do you still like the same things? The more we age, the less we are flexible and open to compromise. And given that 50% of marriage is about compromise, I wonder whether I’d still be keen on negotiating the same things if I were to meet my husband today?
When I think at my divorced friends, I can see how some of them are now struggling with finding out what they really look for in a new partner. Does that change with time? Probably it does, and I believe that part of the problem is indeed the fact that our needs change too.
Our experiences have an impact on how we chose to live. Therefore, times might come where we need more of something that our partner was never able to give us in the first place. And the problem is, because that particular thing we need now had never mattered before, we cannot expect from our partner to suddenly have it! Nor to automatically understand where the hell all of that is coming from.
Three words for you: trust, respect and empathy
A couple that is capable of nurturing trust and respect and empathy towards each individual is unbreakable. This is what makes the difference and what can save it all, in the long run. I have no doubt.
I find this video particularly interesting and super well done. It’s in French but you can turn on English sibtitles. The whole series is actually great. As explained in here, the key to a successful relationship is found in the ability to grow and change together. Individuals change and so does the balance that keeps a couple together. The moment you deny that life changes you, and that you change with time, the harder it becomes to keep your couple alive. The real challenge then becomes to embark your other half into the change with you. You have to change together and considering that even soulmates can change differently, here it comes compromise again. And negotiation. But as long as you have trust, respect and empathy for each other, you are safe.
Easy, right? Now please try and keep this in mind next time you want to strangle your other half because you have been confined at home together for the past 5 days.