Falling in love is the fun and exciting part, but staying in love is where it gets tougher. Being in a relationship takes work and there are some common problems that couples experience along the way. These are the seven hardest parts of being in a relationship, according to dating experts.
- Mutual respect - You may not share the same world views, boundaries and interests as your partner, but respecting theirs is crucial for a happy relationship, according to psychologist Daria Kuss. “Hoping to change them is not a realisting strategy and is likely to fail in the long run,” she says. “Acknowledge you may not always agree on everything and be grateful for who they are and their role in your life.”
- Defining the relationship - Dating coach Hayley Quinn says one of the biggest problems in modern relationships is knowing when “seeing someone” has turned into a committed relationship. When you have the “define the relationship” talk, she advises listening to your partner and taking them at their word if they say they’re not looking for anything serious and not trying to convince yourself you want less just because they do.
- Lack of communication - It’s one of the most common causes of flights and we all know how frustrating it can be when you feel like someone isn’t listening to you. Kuss recommends dedicating time for talking and paraphrasing what your S.O. says to avoid miscommunication.
- Carving out one-on-one time - It’s easy to get busy and not devote attention to your long-term partner, but if the only time you spend with your partner is in front of the TV, you’ll be missing out on intimacy
- Physical intimacy - Dry spells are another common issue for couples who’ve been together for a while and that can cause other problems in the relationship. So being intimate is important and Kuss explains that “sex and physical touch produce oxytocin, the “love hormone,” which builds trust and brings a couple closer together.”
- Compromise - It’s all about the give and take in a relationship and having realistic expectations will help you find the right degree of compromise, Quinn says.
- Disagreements - All couples have them, but the way you do it makes all the difference. Focusing on the issue at hand and not bringing up past fights is key. Remembering you’re on the same team will help, too.