Relationships are hard. Successful relationships are even more arduous. The two of us had been in relationships that didn’t work for one reason or another. Now we’ve moved on and learned our lessons. As an interracial couple, the struggle is real. We are forced to learn new things, not only about our partner but also about ourselves. To reach that stage of understanding, we have to practice effective communications. Therefore, we believe that the key to successful relationships is communications.
When we fight, Jess tends to exercise silent treatment. It’s killing me. I’d prefer her saying what’s on her mind straight up—even if it’s hurtful.
I usually need some time to collect my thoughts before I say anything. I don’t want to have a non-constructive argument when I’m mad. That’s not going to do us any good.
Whenever that happens, I will urge her to speak. Subsequently, we get better and better at fighting.
Measuring compatibility in our relationship
Compatibility com·pat·i·ble (kəm-păt′ə-bəl) adj. 1. Capable of existing or performing in harmonious, agreeable, or congenial combination with another or others: compatible family relationships. 2. Capable of orderly, efficient integration and operation with other elements in a system with no modification or conversion required.
We are aware that we need to improve ourselves to improve our relationship. More often than not, being a better partner requires us to understand ourselves better.
Recently, we read about The Five Love Languages. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the writer,
“…relationships grow better when we understand each other. Everyone gives and receives love differently, but with a little insight into these differences, we can be confidently equipped to communicate love well.”
In the book, he outlined five different general ways that romantic partners express and experience love:
- words of affirmation; using words to build up the other person.
- quality time; giving your spouse your undivided attention.
- giving gifts; appreciating your partner by giving them something tangible.
- acts of service; doing something for your spouse that you know they would like.
- physical touch; performing physical activities such as holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sexual intercourse as expressions of love
We then took the test to understand which category we belong to.
My love language is acts of service. I don’t need my partner to buy me things or compliment me to make me feel special. I will feel special if Paul goes out of his way to help me do something to ease my burden. For example, things as simple as doing his chores diligently already make me feel happy 😀
For me, it’s physical touch. It’s always uplifting to get a big hug or kiss from Jess. Otherwise, I will feel unwanted whenever she forgets to give me physical attention. It’s a good thing that we learned about this because now we know what to do to make each other feel loved.
We also learned that giving gifts was not important to us. It’s relieving to know that we don’t have to worry about finding the best gift on special occasions.