The 5 Phrases That Could Rescue a Relationship
Supportive communication is key in any partnership.
Posted September 29, 2019 | Reviewed by Kaja Perina
There is no question about it: romantic relationships can be tricky. It's not because you don't love each other, care about each other or aren't trying hard enough. It's because every relationship has two different individuals, each with their own unique set of values, beliefs, perspectives, and dreams. One's aren't more right or wrong than the others, they are just different. That means that when you choose to live a life together with someone, it's natural for situations to arise where you don't agree.
The key here to remember is that it's exactly that: natural. It doesn't mean your relationship is doomed or that you're not compatible. It simply means you need to learn to communicate with each other in a positive and effective way, especially when you're not on the same page about something.
Here are five phrases that can help you to do exactly that.
1. "I hear you." Nothing beats the feeling that you're being heard. Even though you might be listening to what your partner is saying, they might still question whether you're hearing everything they're saying. That's why this one simple phrase can help in any interaction. If you're disagreeing about something and there is a bit of frustration in the air, saying this will already dissipate some of the negative energy that might be there. Your partner will appreciate the fact that you are voicing that you hear them and, subconsciously, you will also make more of an effort to understand the point they are trying to get across.
2. "I respect your perspective even when I don’t agree with it." Aretha Franklin was right to sing R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It's one of the key foundations to any relationship, romantic or not. Remember that you can respect each other's perspectives without agreeing with them. When you voice this out loud to your partner, you are, again, making them feel heard. You are also giving them the politeness, thoughtfulness and consideration that any human being deserves. They, on the other hand, will feel appreciative of the fact that what they are saying is being recognised.
3. "Let’s find a middle ground that works for both of us." Compromise. It's easier said than done, but sometimes it's necessary. Regularly discuss with your partner what matters most to each of you. That way, when disagreements around a decision or a course of action arise, you already know who can compromise on what. For example, if your partner loves travelling but you don't, agree to go on one or two trips a year together whilst encouraging them to go on more trips on their own or with their friends. If you're more social than your partner, ask your partner to join you for a select number of social events they're happy to join, and then do the rest of them on your own. You might make new friends and not feel the pressure that you have to leave because your partner has had enough. This is especially common with introvert-extrovert partnerships so pay attention to what each of you needs and give each other the space to meet those needs.
4. "I am thankful that you _________. " For example, I am thankful that you made dinner tonight when I was too tired. I am thankful that you listened to my concerns about work. I am thankful that you suggested solutions for them. I am thankful that you are in my life because you make me feel loved / safe / appreciated. Gratitude has magic in it and it can go a long way in bringing more positivity into your relationship. If you wanted to instil this into your relationship, you could have a gratitude chat every evening. During that chat, tell your partner one to three things about them that you were grateful for on that specific day. Get them to do the same for you. This will add positivity to any relationship. This means if and when disagreements arise, you'll be in a more positive place already from the start.
5. "I support you in your dreams." This phrase might sound small, silly and childish, but it matters. It hits home to that inner child that we all have within us. As a result, you feel much more supported by your partner. Remember, supporting your partner in their dreams doesn't mean that you have to understand them, or even help them reach them (some might not even want your help!). But supporting your partner mentally and emotionally in working towards them is key.
Have a go at using these phrases, and tell your partner about them and their importance, too. Don't expect perfection from you or your partner. Try not to get frustrated if things don't go smoothly from the start. It takes commitment and effort, and the more both of you practice supporting each other like this, the easier it will become. Eventually, it will turn into a habit and positive interactions will become the norm.