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EAP offers tips on how to not take relationships for granted

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • Robins Employee Assistance Program
People sometimes put an extra burden on their relationships by expecting them to live up to romantic love stories seen on television and film. While the reality of relationships can look different, these bonds can still be strong and fulfilling. The Employee Assistance Program can work with you to maintain healthy relationships.

Five misconceptions about relationships:
*My partner and I should have everything in common.
People sometimes put an extra burden on their relationships by expecting them to live up to romantic love stories seen on television and film. While the reality of relationships can look different, these bonds can still be strong and fulfilling. The Employee Assistance Program can work with you to maintain healthy relationships.

Five misconceptions about relationships:
*My partner and I should have everything in common.
Some couples have a lot in common, but it is not a necessary requirement of a healthy relationship. Allowing the other person to be who he or she is - and to grow and change - is much more valuable.

*My partner is responsible for my happiness.
Many of us believe that the other person in a relationship will bring us happiness, but the most lasting way to find happiness is to work on the changes you need to feel more fulfilled. Expecting your partner or anyone else to make you happy puts a heavy and unrealistic responsibility on that person. However, there is nothing wrong with making someone else more content - as you pursue your own happiness.

*I'm responsible for my partner's happiness.
Just as expecting someone else to bring you happiness can be a no-win situation, trying to make another person happy can also be a losing battle. Doing nice things for your partner - and other people in your life - is a good idea; try not to think of their happiness as the ultimate goal. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

*My partner will always be thinking of me.
If you think about it, it is just not practical for your partner to have you at the forefront of his or her thoughts all day. More likely, you will go in and out of your partner's thoughts. The important thing is to be present in the moments when you are together. 

*We will always be "in love." 
What people call being "in love" is sometimes confused with infatuation. This is an important stage that helps two people make their initial bond. As the relationship progresses, however, other things - such as the shared experiences and responsibilities of maintaining a family and a home - can help reinforce those bonds. Being head-over-heels "in love" often becomes less important as the relationship matures. Being attentive and aware of your partner's needs can help strengthen a relationship. And, being present - in the moment - when you are with your partner can help you create a deeper connection.

Four ways to be a more mindful partner:

*Slow down.
Life can be hectic. We have trained ourselves to be quick and efficient, but that does not always work for interpersonal relationships. Sometimes it takes a bit of time - and patience - to make worthwhile emotional connections. The first step is to slow down your breathing and begin to make time for connecting with the other person and actively listening to what he or she needs. 

*Clear away distractions.
Distractions like television, phones and other electronics can get in the way of deeper communication that is so important to a relationship. Make a habit of turning these devices off or leaving them in another room as you mindfully connect with your partner every day. 

*Live in the moment.
Part of being a good partner is living in the moment. Focus on what you are doing right now and enjoy the present moment. You will need to be agile and flexible to where the moment may take you both - without concern for what is coming next. 

*Make space for quality time.
Take time to spend with your partner. You may even have to schedule a block of time each day to connect. Try a mini-honeymoon by having a weekend morning or afternoon that is just devoted to enjoying each other's company.

Signs of a Healthy Relationship
*Safe - both physically and emotionally fulfilled
*Heard
*Appreciated for who you are
*Comfortable with personal change and growth
*Respected