Being in a relationship and getting married to the love of your life sounds like an absolute fairy-tale. Having someone who loves you for who you are and encourages you to be your best self is a beautiful feeling – but every rose has its thorns. Even the most blissful relationship goes through its fair share of struggles but that doesn’t mean you give up! If dealt carefully and with the help of a pro, such as a relationship therapist, a struggling relationship can be turned around. To find out more about today’s marital and relationship woes, as well as explore their solutions, we invited marriage counsellor and relationship therapist, Nadia Umar, to Mashion HQ. Here’s all the insight she shared with our readers.
1. Formula For A Happy Relationship
Love may be the foundation of a relationship, but it’s not enough to take a relationship forward. It requires time, effort and commitment from both partners. And, as much as we wish otherwise, there’s no magic formula that will guarantee a relationship full of roses. But there are some factors that play a key role in having a good relationship and, according to Nadia, honesty is one of them.
“A healthy bond requires openness and honesty, which creates room for healthy communication,” she says.
2. Trick To Keeping The Spark Alive
Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is the tough part. A lifelong relationship goes through many stages; the butterflies you experience in the initial stages eventually start to fade away. But that doesn’t mean the love between two people has disappeared. With a little effort, that spark can be revived! According to our expert, high-energy fun can help keep the relationship alive and joyful. She suggests couples indulge in fun activities together such as water fights, pillow fights, baking or dancing with each other.
3. Tips For Newly Married Couples
After the big day has come and gone, a newlywed couple is bombarded with some real responsibilities. Being married is nothing like being in a relationship. It’s much more than flowers, good morning texts and movie dates. Once you start living together, you share the responsibilities of running a household, managing expenses and looking after each other – this is the real deal! To start your new life on a smooth note, Nadia gives the following tips:
- Be curious about each other
- Let go of any expectations
- Build your trust
- Don’t forget to have fun!
4. Three Essentials For A Happy Relationship
No matter how observant a person is, understanding someone’s emotions, especially in a relationship, is not easy. And having an understanding between two people is the most important part of any relationship. Whether it’s because of a communication gap, the wrong attitude or lack of attention, misunderstandings are one of the biggest reasons relationships fail. To create an understanding and build a healthy bond, our expert encourages couples to incorporate these three things in their lives:
- Active listening – just listen to the other person without any analysis
- Validating each other — agree to disagree on opinions, “what you’re saying makes sense to me.”
- Empathising —imagine how the other person is feeling
5. The Case Of Long Distance Relationships
Long distance relationships have always existed, but it’s only recently that people have started discussing it’s pros and cons. While most people believe they can never work, some think that a willingness to make it work is the key. A long distance relationship may not be ideal, but with compassion, commitment and effort from both partners, they can work beautifully.
“Virtual relationships require tenfold an effort. Using video conferencing to share meals together, watch a movie and share any fun activities during the week are some ways to keep your long distance relationship strong,” our expert suggests.
6. Love > Disagreements
Different opinions and disagreements exist in all relationships. Sometimes they can lead to minor arguments, but if not dealt maturely, they can also put a huge strain on a relationship. Perfect compatibility may not be possible, but working through it sensibly is a viable option. According to Nadia, “Love is a verb so we have to make the effort and put the intention into action.” Here’re what one should do:
- Negotiate your mutual boundaries
- Commit to regular date nights
- Incorporate each of your wishes into the relationship
- Breath, smile and look at each other daily
7. Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
No matter attractive a person is or how attached to them you are, if the relationship is toxic, it will never give you the peace, happiness and satisfaction you desires from a loving bond. It’s terrible for your emotional and mental health and can destroy a person’s self-confidence, leaving them shattered. According to Nadia, the signs of a toxic relationship can be recognised.
“When you’re feeling physically and mentally exhausted, unhappy and making excuses for another person’s behaviour, know that your relationship is toxic… But if both people are willing to put in the effort and make it work, a toxic relationship can be salvaged,” she explains.
8. The Ideal Age For Marriage
The right age for marriage is a topic that has always been heavily debated, especially when it comes to girls. While some say one should get married at an early age, others believe that marriage should only be considered when a person is completely settled. But, according to our expert, there’s no ideal age to get married.
“Whether it’s early or late depends on an individual and their life journey. If you find a partner along the way that’s great, but if you don’t, that’s fine too!” she says.