Everyone has their idea of what a soul mate looks like, but for me, they’re someone who will always support me no matter what, who believes in me, loves me unconditionally, and makes my heart feel safe in every way possible.
When I was younger, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted from life – to find my dream man/woman, settle down somewhere sunny by the beach, and live happily ever after.
But that was before I met my now-husband. Before I fell in love.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this: relationships are hard work. And while I don’t want anyone to think I’m not grateful for the person I’ve found myself married to, I sometimes wish I could have known how much work was involved in creating something lasting. Now I know…and I can tell you, it’s worth it!
So when people ask me what I look for in a partner, I usually give the same answer I gave everyone else when they asked me that question back then: communication. Communication is the most significant part of any relationship, including romance, laughter, sex, or anything else.
Because without good communication, nothing else works.
And if you think about it, it makes sense. If two people can talk openly about everything, they’ll understand each other better and feel closer. Better communication means more happiness (aside from all the sex and fun we might get out of it too).
That’s why I’m a big believer in soulmates. I think soulmates are another way of saying “people who share the same core values as you do.” It just happens that these soulmates are often drawn together by the things that make us happiest, like our mutual love of music, animals, or whatever else we believe in. But whether you call it soulmates, friends, partners, or lovers, I think it’s evident that communication is critical to building something solid and lasting between two people.
Communicating honestly and openly with whoever you’re dealing with is important. That doesn’t mean you need to go into detail about how much you hate their breath or that you’d prefer a different style of bedtime stories, but it does mean that you should communicate what’s going well and what isn’t. You shouldn’t assume everyone is having the best time of their lives, and you shouldn’t think everything’s perfect. You can only be sure that you and your partner care enough to communicate!
Don’t be afraid of your feelings
There’s nothing wrong with being honest with yourself or others. Sometimes we hold back from telling someone how we feel because we think they won’t take it seriously or that they’ll laugh at us. Or maybe you’re worried they’ll say something hurtful back to you (like, “Oh, you’re just looking for attention!” etc.).
Whatever the reason, I think it’s important to remember that people don’t need to know everything about you – including your deepest, darkest secrets, too! Just because you don’t want to tell them something doesn’t mean they won’t guess it anyway. It’s okay to be yourself around your partner, and it’s okay to be honest about how you feel (even if it hurts).
Keep it real
One of the reasons I’ve been able to keep my marriage strong for almost ten years now is that I always try to be honest with my husband. No matter how often he calls me an idiot or tells me I’m making him late for work and I’m ruining his life, I still reply, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, honey, but that’s how I feel. Maybe we should talk about it later?” I never stop trying to understand where he’s coming from, and I never stop apologizing for the things I’m doing wrong.
I think it’s important to be respectful and kind to yourself, even if you think you’re right. But most importantly, I think it’s essential to keep communicating with your soulmate – especially about the things you find hard to discuss with them. As long as you respect each other, you’ll come out ahead.
Get outside help if needed
I’m a firm believer in therapy. Not for everyone, but for me, it helps. When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or angry, it’s easy to forget that there’s a natural solution to that problem. Therapy allows you to examine your thoughts and feelings and learn new ways to cope. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do.
I’ve used that approach before, and it’s given me the strength to move forward with my life again. So when you feel things are getting out of control with your soulmate, I recommend talking to a professional.
Listen to yourself first
This probably goes alongside point four, but it deserves its bullet point.
Humans tend to think we know what we’re thinking and feeling, even if we don’t. We think we’re angry at someone, but when we realize that we’re just frustrated with ourselves for not managing our anger correctly, we start to feel guilty.
We think we’re sad, but when we realize that we’re upset that we haven’t done more to improve our social skills, we start to feel embarrassed. We think we’re happy, but when we realize we want to spend more time with our family and less alone in our apartment, we feel guilty. We’re human beings, and we think we’re not, despite the evidence to the contrary.
So next time you’re feeling confused or unsure of yourself, remember that it’s okay to admit that you don’t know what you’re supposed to be feeling. Because chances are, you’re not alone. Just keep listening to yourself, and you’ll figure it all out eventually.
We all have dreams, hopes, and desires, but the reality is that we can’t expect to fulfill those dreams overnight. Building a successful relationship takes time and patience, starting with communication. Communication is the key to success in every aspect of life, including relationships.