Relationships are complicated. You need to focus your time and energy into them so they flourish. But what should be the priority in your relationship?
When you are at work, it is easy to focus on a priority. There are things that you need to get done that can wait and things that are priorities. Same goes for your home life. You can hold off on vacuuming or dusting, but paying rent and buying food are priorities. What should be the priority in your relationship?
Is it you? Is it your partner? Is it honesty? Is it humor? Each relationship is different and requires different things to succeed. What should be the priority in your relationship?
What is the priority in your relationship?
Before getting into what should be the priority in your relationship, figure out what it is right now. What are you focused on and what is your partner focused on? Are you putting too much emphasis on things that don’t need it? Are you avoiding the most important priorities?
In order to figure out what the priority in your relationship is right now, go back over the last month of your relationship. What do you do together? Do you go out once a week for date night? Do you make sure to have dinner together? Or do you go to bed angry?
Do you tell each other about your days or buy each other gifts? Do you help each other? Think about any fights you may have had or any fights you feel come up over and over again. Think about what you focus on when you’re together.
That could be sex. It could be time together. Or it could be spoiling each other. It could be listening or communicating. If you feel like your relationship is going well, you may have the right priority in your relationship. But, if you feel like you’re in a rut or something is missing, reassess and find what your priority should be.
What should be the priority in your relationship?
Depending on the current state of your relationship and how you and your partner work best together, the priority in your relationship will vary drastically. It can also change over time.
Maybe when you first got together you loved the routine and comfort of the relationship, but now you need to focus on spontaneity. Perhaps you thrived off of romance, but now you need something more stable and grounded. Here are some issues you may be having and things that should be the priority in your relationship to get back on track. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for a perfect love life]
#1 You fight a lot. This is one of the most common relationship problems around, if not the most common. Fighting is a part of any relationship, but there is a healthy way to argue and a dysfunctional way to argue.
If constant fighting is your relationship’s vice then the priority in your relationship should be open and honest communication. Fighting can get heated. You can say what you’re feeling in the heat of the moment and that can lead to disrespect and cruelty. Instead, focus on the problem at hand instead of the feelings of anger or frustration behind them.
To solve the problem causing a fight, communicate it clearly. Without that the fight will only linger, causing more issues. [Read: Immature things couples fight about all the time]
#2 You’re in a rut. Most long-term relationships hit a rut at some point or another. Whether this means you go on the same date night every Friday or become accustomed to Netflix and takeout, spicing things up doesn’t have to be hard.
If you know you love your partner, but you both feel bored or just blah, the priority in your relationship should be romance and spontaneity. It can be easy to fall into a zone of comfort, but take baby steps to branch out. Try a new restaurant. Surprise your partner with a weekend trip.
Even relive the moments that were more exciting and adventurous from the earlier days of your relationship. [Read: How to spark romance and fall in love again]
#3 Lack of intimacy. There are a lot of causes for a lack of intimacy in a relationship. Those underlying issues should definitely be dealt with and communicated, but the only way to break this sexual fast is to break it.
Intimacy is a vital part of any healthy relationship and missing that can lead to a roommate vibe rather than a romantic one. In order to get past a dry period, getting to the root of the problem is necessary. But, along with that, you need to take steps to get comfortable again.
Everything from a kiss before work or a cuddle on the sofa adds to the intimacy in your relationship. If getting right back into the saddle sounds like too much, start with holding hands, cuddling, and ease into it. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches that’ll make both of you feel connected and loved]
#4 There is tension. Tension is the silent killer in a relationship. It may not cause fighting or outright obvious issues, but you can both feel it. Your close friends and family may even notice. Tension is often caused by resentment. There is something bothering you that has not been discussed.
Once again, communication is key, but there is something else to focus on.
When you and your partner are feeling tense, jumping right into a conversation can feel too heavy. In this case, the priority in your relationship should be humor. In order to face heavier subjects, you need to be able to look on the bright side and find the humor in situations.
Tension is best broken by joy, happiness, and laughter. Whether you need to watch a comedy, go see a stand-up comedian, or just make a simple joke, that can be all it takes.
#5 You’re busy. With the rise of equality, many relationships are being struck by a lack of focus and time. When both partners are working on their careers, it can be difficult to make the time needed for a relationship to work.
If your issue is that you and your partner are not spending enough time together — plan. It may not be the most romantic, but if you truly want to make it work, carving out time is what needs to happen.
Plan weekends together ahead of time. Carve out vacations, set your time off, and stick to it. [Read: How to have a long term relationship that lasts a lifetime]
#6 Dependence. Relationships can take over our lives in ways we probably never even imagined. We can even lose ourselves in them. There is often a loss of independence when you are in a long-term relationship. If you feel that you need to branch out on your own, there are some things you can do to keep your relationship thriving during your growth.
Being in a relationship comes with so much love, but you can also feel like you are defined by your partnership and are no longer just you. This often happens without even being aware of it. When you do come to this conclusion, the priority in your relationship should be support.
Instead of fleeing or drifting away from your relationship, talk to your partner about your needs and desire to be more independent. Support each other in what you do together and apart.
#7 You want more. Whether you need more attention or want a commitment for the future, relationships can be held up by mismatching dreams.
When you and your partner can’t agree on what you want, time for compromise. You both need to give a little to get a lot. Maybe you want to live in the country, but your partner loves the city. Compromise on the suburbs that have space and nature but are a short drive to the city. [Read: How to compromise in your relationship]
#8 Jealousy. Jealousy is truly a monster in relationships. It can be brought on rationally, but can also be triggered by baggage irrelevant in your relationship.
When jealousy rears its ugly head the priority in your relationship should be trust. Take baby steps if need be. Even do trust exercises. Focus on how your partner has earned your trust rather than the feeling that is eating away at you. Let them know you are struggling and they should be patient and meet you halfway.
Knowing what the priority in your relationship should be can be difficult as it is always changing and is different for every couple. But recognizing and focusing on the right one can make a world of a difference in no time.