Finding Perfect Harmony in Your Relationship
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Totally In Sync1 of 11
By Natasha Burton and Brett Smiley
While no relationship is perfect, couples can get pretty close with these two necessary components of every healthy bond: communication and compromise. With this in mind, a guy and a girl each give tips from their perspectives.
Ban the Cell Phone2 of 11
She says: There are certain times when answering work e-mails is just not okay: like when you’ve just made your spouse a home-cooked romantic dinner or when you’re in bed about to get busy. Establish your boundaries when it comes to using your gadgets and stick to them. There’s nothing intimate about constantly checking your iPhone.
Get Involved3 of 11
He says: Maybe she thinks dedicating seven hours to football every Sunday is a waste of time. Maybe you think her addiction to yoga is dull and uncomfortable. Consider what makes your partner so interested in his/her favorite pastime, maybe even try it: You might learn something about your significant other and come to enjoy — if only in doses — the same thing. At the very least, the gesture will be appreciated.
Travel Equally4 of 11
She says: If you’re not yet married or living together, try to spend time at both of your places so one person isn’t doing all the travelling (and to avoid said person from resenting doing so). If you’re married, keep trying to keep things equal when you visit each other’s families. One side shouldn’t get preferential treatment.
Respect Guy Time5 of 11
He says: Men, if you didn't know, are from Mars. Sometimes we just need solitude or a weekend with the guys to balance our senses. Although some men communicate solely through grunts, that kind of talk is important. This isn’t to say that guys should get a pass on their responsibilities to you or the kids; just don’t take it personally when we need some guy time.
Don’t Nag6 of 11
She says: Nagging is a lose-lose endevour. No one wants to do it, and no one wants to be on the receivng end. To have a happy relationship, you should know the innate communication differences between men and women. Sure, we may want our guys to take the trash out the moment we ask them to, but berating them with the same request over and over never works.
Be Honest7 of 11
He says: Socks all over the floor, that clicking sound she makes with her toes. If you spend enough time with your "better" half, one of her quirks or odd habits is bound to drive you nuts. But have you actually spoken up about it? (Exaggerated sighs don't count.) Say something! If you explain why her annoying habit drives you nuts, she may just stop doing it, around you at least. Just don’t pile on your complaints.
Take Vacations8 of 11
She says: Breaking away from everyday life, and seeing new parts of your state, country or world, can bring you and your guy closer together. Even if you only have the resources to take day trips, make time for an occasional escape. Your relationship will thank you.
Take Turns9 of 11
He says: The old reliable eventually gets just plain old. That even goes for your chili recipe and the routine Friday night dinner and a movie. Take turns with your partner preparing meals or planning dates. It will add some variety to your lives, plus you can see what it’s like in the other person’s shoes, even if that means having peanut butter and jelly for dinner once in a while.
Claim Your Domain10 of 11
She says: Tackle cleaning, chores and decor decisions easily by giving one partner dominion of the inside of the house and the other reign over the outside. My parents have done this for over ten years, and it makes things easier when my mom wants to redo the guest bedroom — it’s her domain, so she makes the decorating choices. Likewise, my stepdad can trim the trees however short he likes.
Get a Life11 of 11
He says: Remember that friend of yours who fell for that guy or girl then fell off the face of the Earth? Don’t let that happen to you too. Not just for its own sake, but because you and your partner are who you are because of your relationships with friends, family and your lives outside the nest. To put it in terms all men understand: Don’t be that guy.