We are all unique and different from each other. Even if you find your soulmate or your match in heaven, it is an undeniable reality that there will be something in your partner that you will find hard to completely understand or ride with. Being unable to acclimate to your partner’s unfamiliar tendencies or idiosyncrasies might lead to strains in the relationship. If you find yourself in this camp, then consider these 8 effective ways to understand your partner better in a relationship:
1. Learn about your partner’s interests and hobbies.
A good start to understand your partner more is to learn about the things she/he is interested in or likes doing. Is your partner interested in collecting pebbles or perhaps, the paranormal? Is her/his hobby playing video games or adopting cats of different colors? You have to learn about these likes and hobbies and to an extent, develop a bit of interest, or at the very least some tolerance, towards them yourself. Doing this helps you be more familiar with and understand your partner’s preferences; it will also allow you to bond with your partner on things that she/he loves.
2. Constantly communicate with your partner.
If you’re someone who always likes to play the guessing game with your partner, then it will be especially difficult for you to understand certain things about her/him. You have to communicate with each other, and you must do so constantly. By having your partner express his/her thoughts and feelings to you, you’ll have a clearer grasp of his/her point of view.
You’ll finally understand why your partner does not eat the corners of the bread, or why she/he just suddenly dislikes Tom and Jerry, a show which you both loved since you were children. When it comes to understanding each other in a relationship, nothing still beats old-fashioned communication.
3. Pay attention to subtle gestures.
While explicit communication will allow you to understand your partner without any ambiguity, there are times when we have only subtle cues to rely on. After all, things can’t always be easy, right? Challenges are essential in a relationship, and learning to spot your partner’s subtle gestures are amongst the challenges that you must constantly conquer.
You have to learn to decipher what your partner’s gentle head nod implies or symbolizes, or what is really meant when she/he says “I’m okay”. Sometimes, things can be so subtle that decoding their meaning can drive us insane, but it is something that we must do regardless. After all, the prize of mastering the skill is us getting to understand our partner on a whole new level, not to mention the satisfaction of feeling like you’re Sherlock Holmes.
4. Ask about your partner’s past.
There are times where just looking at the surface won’t be enough for us to completely understand where our partners are coming from. Sometimes, we have to dig deeper into their past for us to see why they act and think the way they do. Perhaps, the reason why your partner always shouts a lot is that she grew up in a loud household, or maybe your partner has an inferiority complex because she/he grew up being compared to her/his “more accomplished” siblings. By simply asking our partners about their past, we will know vital aspects of their lives and be able to develop a clearer understanding of what formed their present selves.
5. Be more open-minded.
If you’re someone who has a fixed or rigid mindset, then no matter how hard you try to get to know or communicate with your partner, it would still be difficult for you to understand them. You’ll have to develop a more open mind about a wide range of things before you can completely comprehend and accept certain things about your partner.
Like, you have to accept that not everyone has the same religious or political point of view as yours, or that everyone has one or two quirks that might seem weird to you, but nonetheless makes them who they are. You don’t necessarily have to agree with these things, but you have to at least acknowledge and respect them. Open-mindedness is one of those skills you have to unlock to become a more understanding person not just to your partner, but other people in general.
6. Be a bit more empathetic.
There’s a reason why the saying “put yourself into other people’s shoes” remains relevant and popular. Empathy is a quality that allows us to understand and care for people even if we haven’t gone through what they’re going through. It’s equally as effective in relationships. By being empathetic, you’ll understand how your partner feels when she/he experiences panic attacks when she/he’s in public, despite you thriving in social events.
Or you’ll be able to glimpse at life from the same pessimistic viewpoint as your partner, despite you being an optimistic person. Empathy will allow you to see through your partner’s eyes or feel through their skins. It will help you understand them on a deeper level.
Also read: 16 Good Ways to be Kind in a Relationship
7. Spend more time with each other.
If you don’t spend time with your partner, then you’ll never get to know or understand her/him enough. That’s why time is amongst those that we should not deprive our partners of. Take your partner to dinner, go on your first out-of-town trip together, kick each other’s asses in Mobile Legends, or simply have a late-night chat before going to bed.
It doesn’t have to be a grand activity; what matters is that you do it together and you get to bond. After all, it is often in trivial moments where we get to know important details about our partners; it is there where we discover and understand who they are not just as our partners but as people.
8. Determine your partner’s love language.
Knowing our partner’s love language is essential; it will allow us to understand the weight behind some of their actions more as well as appreciate just how much they love and care for us. How exactly does your partner show that she/he loves you? Is it through buying you food, lots of food? Is it by always accompanying you to the comfort room in the darkness of night? Or is it through bombarding you with hundreds of hugs and kisses all day?
There are a lot of ways by which your partner can express his/her love, and determining her/his particular love language/s is important as it will help you see the meaning of certain things she/he does for you. It will help avoid confusion and let you not take for granted acts that you would otherwise not see as special.
Despite us and our partners being perfect matches as couples, we always have to acknowledge the fact that individually, we are still different from each other. Hence, we must not only become aware but also learn to understand certain aspects about our partner that we do not share with them. Doing so will not only strengthen the foundation of our relationship, but will also help foster a deeper level of familiarity and love we have towards our partners as individual people. If this proves to be a challenge for you, then consider the given tips, and start understanding your partner like never before.