Every relationship is unique. Any time you put two people together, there will always be some friction and confusion. But your relationship with your partner doesn’t have to be frustrating. And if you want things to improve, it all starts with understanding who your partner is.
5 Ways to Understand Your Partner
According to Psychology Today, there are 10 reasons relationships fail: trust issues, different expectations, moving through life at different speeds, compatibility issues, communication issues, narcissism, relational abuse, life habit abuse, boredom/staleness, and money issues.
With a few exceptions, each of these factors is directly or indirectly caused by a lack of understanding. When couples understand one another, there’s a much lower chance of turmoil – at least not the kind that puts an end to a relationship.
So if you’re going to do anything to improve your relationship over the coming months, you should start with understanding your partner better. Here are a few specific ways you can do this:
1. Be Fully Present
There’s a difference between being physically present and being fully present. You’re physically present any time you and your partner are in the same room together (or talking on the phone). But just because you’re physically there, doesn’t mean you’re actually fully there.
When you’re fully present, you’re engaged. You’re sharing the moment with your partner. There’s a conversation, mental connection, and a back and forth cadence of thoughts and ideas. (Contrast this with a scenario in which your partner is talking and you’re simultaneously browsing social media on your smartphone.)
The only way to know your partner is to be fully present. Rather than just listening to the words that come out of their mouth, you’re taking the time to study their thoughts, body language, and the meaning behind their words. It doesn’t have to be some profound experience – you just need to engage!
2. Ask Questions (and Listen)
Part of being fully present is asking questions. Here are some good questions to help you better understand your partner:
Can you tell me more about that?
- How did that make you feel?
- Why did you do that?
- What were you thinking about when you said that?
- How does it make you feel when I do XYZ?
- What was that experience like for you?
- Why is that important to you?
The second key to asking good questions is to listen. Stop thinking about your next question and truly listen to what your partner is saying. This is where the understanding comes from. And if you listen carefully, additional questions will come naturally.
3. Research Their Zodiac Sign
Figure out what your partner’s zodiac sign is and do some research on it. Astrology actually plays a big role in an individual’s personality, beliefs, tendencies, and thought processes. As you learn more about these underlying forces, you’ll find that you understand your partner better.
Take Taurus men, for example. One of the secrets to Taurus men is that they hate drama. If you know this, you can optimize your interactions and take a more low-key approach to situations. The more you can extract little nuggets like this, the better your chances are of having a successful relationship.
4. Take Chances
You’re never going to understand your romantic partner if you play everything safe. If you avoid asking tough questions, taking risks, or doing anything that could “rock the boat,” you’ll always live in a state of kind of knowing your partner.
By taking chances, you force a response out of your partner. You learn things about their personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Their “default settings,” if you will.
5. Be Patient
Finally, make sure you are patient. You can’t sit down and get to know your romantic partner in a single evening. It takes months and years of hard work to fully understand what’s going on inside their mind and heart. Put in the work and be patient. It’ll feel challenging at first, but you’ll eventually reap the fruits of your labor.
Adding it All Up
When you understand your partner and your partner understands you, everything changes for the better. You won’t always agree on everything or get along, but you’ll at least know where the other person stands, why they’re saying certain things, and which decisions you can make to move the relationship forward.