The Art of Relationships
Relationships can be tricky. Growing up I never understood why friendships failed or why couples that professed to love each other broke up. As time went on, I soon experienced my own relationships and friendships, and I had my fair share of setbacks and break ups. Being a natural observer, I’ve discovered a lot about people. What I’ve learned is that there is an art to relationships. Below are two important life lessons that will help your relationships thrive if applied.
Many times we jump in relationships without fully healing from our previous mate. Jumping from relationship to relationship is a surefire way to temporarily mask issues. Before you give your heart to another person, take a step back. Ask yourself if you are truly content while single before you try to find contentment in another person.
A good way to do this is by being honest with yourself. Get out a pen, a piece of paper and making an honest list of your faults. Do you make relationships your god? Are you clingy? Are you selfish? What was your part to play in why previous relationships didn’t work out? What can you improve to make yourself the best spouse you can be?
Included on this piece of paper should be a list of what you didn’t particularly like in your ex. Were they controlling? Jealous? Not spiritually grounded? Singleness is a great time to go over your likes and dislikes. What would be the point in dating a person, breaking up and then dating another person with the same qualities/characteristics as your ex?
Being whole involves realizing that the world does not revolve around you being in a relationship. Believe it or not, there is so much more to life than dating. Stop focusing on a relationship and focus on other things that make you happy. Whether it be your family, a fulfilling job, a hobby; find something that will bring you joy outside of another human.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you are whole, ask yourself this question: Are you more excited about being in a relationship than you are about the Gospel of Jesus? If so, reevaluate your priorities.
Seek to Understand Before Trying to be Understood
Most arguments in relationships stem from the something as simple as miscommunication. It seems trivial, but miscommunication can be a slippery slope into a complete separation if met under the wrong conditions. Pride, jealousy, resentment can all form walls in a person’s heart as a result of misunderstanding another person’s true intentions. While you’re in the heat of an argument or even when you feel the tinge of hurt from something your significant other may have said that hurt your feelings, take a step back out of your feelings and try to understand what the person was truly trying to say, instead of what you perceived. Many times you’ll realize you may have been totally wrong and lashed out before getting the full story.
I personally find great pleasure in seeking to understand people. Empathy and understanding can get you a long way in the world, and it is those two traits are the basis of kindness. Increasing your knowledge of how to understand others is vital. One way you can do this is by reading books. Some highly recommended books to read are:
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger
- His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley.
These books will give you a better understanding of not only how to relate to your significant other but truly anyone you come in contact with.
Relationships require work. There’s no doubt about that. They require daily dying to your emotions, feelings, your pride. You have to determine in your heart that you will make it work no matter what. No giving up. What you’ll have to do is talk through your issues. Work through your problems. Pray like never before. Be patient and understanding, and watch your relationship will thrive.
Miranda Elise is a Christian who also happens to be a senior Biology major at the University of Florida. She has numerous hobbies and interests that include running a photography business as well as selling handmade crocheted beanies in her Etsy shop. She also enjoys helping others avoid making the mistakes she has made by offering advice and knowledge through her blog, MirandaElise.com and Youtube channel. In her spare time, Miranda enjoys reading, spending time with her family and baking black bean brownies.