Getting Ready For Relationship Stress
- Dr. Les Parrott for the eHarmony Research Library
- 2003 14 Sep
Stress is inevitable during any relationship, whether romantic or strictly friendship. Still, it's a safe bet that the stress experienced during a romantic relationship can seem uniquely stressful. After all, when you have romantic feelings, disagreements, arguments, or stressful outbursts can feel less rational or understandable and more like a personal attack. There are things one can do to try to keep the possibility of stress to a minimum.
Matching services like eharmony.com, which look for maximum compatibility, can reduce the negative effects of stress, but it's important to keep the inevitability of stress in mind so that you and your partner aren't overwhelmed when it emerges in your life. Try having a specific plan for coping with stressful situations. Here are some suggestions for relieving stress and for enjoying a romantic relationship completely.
1) No one is perfect - not you or your partner, and it always helps to keep that in mind. When you're under stress, it's easy for a couple to become irritated with each other. Being willing to accept the things that irritate you keeps things in perspective-besides, you shouldn't forget that you have quite a few idiosyncrasies of your own, loveable as they may be.
2) Develop teamwork. Make a list of your individual strengths, and compare your lists. Think about how your strengths and those of your partner complement each other. If you are weak in an area your partner is strong in, see this as an opportunity for support and strength in tough times. After all, being in a relationship will give you numerous opportunities to work together, surmount obstacles, and deal with stress. Knowing your shared and complementary strengths will help you to pull together instead of push apart.
3) Look for humor and try not to take yourself too seriously. At times you'll either laugh or cry. Choose to laugh as often as you can. Years removed from the situation, most disagreements, if remembered at all, will seem unimportant. Even major disagreements can seem funny when examined later on, and you'll thank yourself for having kept that in mind once you've gotten through the stress.
4) Have regular dates with your partner. Knowing that you will have time alone together can help you to cope with the daily stresses we sometimes endure. Besides, frequent dates help to remind you of the fact that, in spite of the stress or the routine of being together, you're still a couple. To rephrase, keep the romance in your relationship by not letting it disappear in the first place.
5) Cultivate a positive attitude toward your partner's friends and family, and encourage your partner to do the same with your friends and family. You'll minimize misunderstandings about yourself and your relationship, and you'll find you have a wonderful new perspective about your partner. If your relationship is successful, you'll be glad to have these people as your friends.
A successful relationship is a chance for both people to change, to adjust, and to grow together. Creating a framework for strong teamwork can help you to survive the stress and, hopefully, to be better for having endured it. The important thing is to remember that the stress is temporary, but a successful relationship can endure for a lifetime.
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