Men are often criticized for not being able to show their emotions to their partners when it matters most. A lot of times, women are right about that. But how often do we take a look at ourselves to discover if we’re holding up our ends at being emotionally available for our partners in return? A healthy relationship is a team effort, so here are some ways to ensure that both of you and your partner’s needs are being met.
It’s OK to be vulnerable
Especially if you’re in a new relationship, it may feel like pulling teeth trying to get your partner to open up. He may have been hurt in the past, but don’t let that hinder the lengths at which your new relationship could blossom. If you want love in your life, you both have to be willing to take some nerve-wracking risks in order to let the universe know that you’re ready.
Come clean about what bothers you
What do you love about your relationship? What could use some improvements? Address these things with each other in a loving way. Make it a point that you want to “improve” the relationship on both ends rather than “fix” it. Talk about what’s unsettling for you and ask what you can also do to make things better for him. It’s difficult to stay level-headed during these conversations (wait ‘til you’re ready for some blunt truths), but setting a standard for open-communication will encourage him to do the same.
Don’t prioritize your needs and feelings over theirs
You’ll hear a lot of partners in relationships ask, ‘But what about what I want?’ And they’re not wrong about that. Although we should look out for our own best interests, keep in mind, that a great partner will also be looking out for yours as well. If you’re willing to put forth the effort into a relationship, make his needs or feelings equal to yours. Validate his desires by repeating back what he says to you to let him know you understand where he’s coming from. Work together, not against each other.
Ask about and listen to their day
A genuine “how was your day?” goes a long way. It shows your partner that you care about their well-being and life outside of your time spent together. Show interest in their work victories or downfalls. Ask about how that dreaded meeting with their boss went. Active listening equals active interest.
Learn from your relationship’s mistakes
No relationship is ever perfect. What’s important is how you both are able to get through those tough days together. Find a takeaway from each argument and use it as a lesson for the next time you come across a similar conflict. It could be something as simple as making sure to call your partner in advance the next time you’re held up at work and your phone dies so he doesn’t have to worry. The more lessons you learn from your arguments, the more you learn about each other and grow as a couple.