One of the things that makes Chris and me a good match is that we're both constantly reflecting and checking in. We're a continuous stream of how are you, how do you feel about us, how can we be more aligned, how can we do this better next time? While other less sensitive people might be highly annoyed by this checking in, it works for us.
During the last two years, it has revealed to me that there are certain things every relationship needs to stay balanced and synergized. While we're still only getting started in the grand scheme of our relationship, here are four things I've learned that might be frustrating you:
1. You're trying to make the other person someone they're not.
My roommate, Melissa, and I talk about the 8-month shakedown in relationships. By eight months, the jig is up. The other person knows who you are for the most part - they're probably getting the good, the bad and the beautiful. Long gone are the days of first date manners; this thing is real.
This is the point where you have to decide: are you going to let him be who he is? Or are you going to try to make him a cookie cutter? There are, without a doubt, going to be things about one another that frustrate you. You're two humans trying to cooperate in one relationship.
There are things I will never be for Chris and things he will never be for me. But, if you allow people to be who they are, hopefully you'll find it's better than who they are not.
2. You expect perfection.
People mess up. You will hurt each other's feelings and be irrational and selfish. Sometimes these things happen. Unless he is intentionally hurting you, give him grace. Love him with his flaws, so he can love you with yours.
3. You don't speak truth to each other.
When you choose to let someone into your inner-most person, it's scary because they can see all of you. They see the most bitter and sweetest parts of who you are. I've learned that with the privilege of knowing someone so deeply, there comes great responsibility to speak truth to one another. It's important that we're honest about how we're feeling, what we believe and what we need from one another.
4. You aren't taking personal space.
Most of the time, the minute I leave Chris, I'm ready to be near him again. But then, every now and then, a little voice in my head tells me: some alone time could be nice. And I think it's important that we learn to listen to that little voice. It's tempting to spend every waking minute together because it's.so.fun!, but we humans need to take time in the silence and the still to regroup. Don't be afraid to ask for a little space when you need it.