It’s said all of the time that relationships are built on teamwork and communication. Relationships are partnerships. Your significant other is your partner in life, but what does that mean? What does it mean to have and be a partner? When I think of teamwork, my mind immediately races to high school soccer. Team sports are the epitome of teamwork, communication, building trust over time, and working towards individual and team-oriented goals. And your relationship is no different, except for the part where you are in love with your partner and not trying to score goals on a soccer field.
For the longest time, I thought relationships should be 50/50, but I read an article that, for the life of me, I cannot find that said relationships should be 60/40. You should aim to put in 60% effort and only expect 40% back. If you and your partner have that expected mindset, you might find more fulfillment in your relationship. Some days it might be 70/30 or 20/80 because you and your partner are humans who have off days, so picking up the slack for them comes with the territory of being in a partnership. But if you both can consistently pour into each other more than what you expect to receive, then you will never feel unloved, unwanted, or unappreciated.
The key here is not to mistake your partner’s effort for 40% just because you are expecting only 40%. Their effort will go above that threshold and leave you satisfied and loved. Teamwork is when your combined effort makes things more efficient and cohesive. It’s as simple as doing one more chore around the house to make your partner’s day easier. If you both show up for each other like that, then imagine how you both might feel in the long run when all of those little things start to add up.
For teamwork to exist, you need communication. You need communication to make a relationship work in general. What does healthy communication look like for the two of you? Establish habits when it comes to communicating so that you never allow the chance for miscommunication or resentment to build up. Maybe you have a little meeting at the end of the week to check in with each other, where you talk about things that pissed you off and things that made you feel loved.
How do you fight and argue? Arguing with a significant other can turn toxic fast if you let it. Establish some ground rules for arguments. (No name calling, no changing the topic to something different, no yelling, no avoiding fights, and participating in active listening.) If you stay on topic and respect each other’s feelings, arguments don’t have to be super toxic and dramatic.
Trust in Partnership
If you are in a relationship with someone, you probably already trust them. (Or at least, I hope you do; otherwise, you have some problems you might want to address.) I won’t go on a huge rant about trust because we have written so much on the topic. (Why trust in your relationship is so important, What does it mean to trust your partner, and Signs you can trust them and signs you can’t, just to list a few.) The key takeaway is that you should trust your partner. Trust them to stay committed, to respect you, and to be there for you when you need them. Trust is built over time, so don’t rush anything.
Individual and Couple Goals
The thing with partnerships is that it takes two people. Two individuals make up a couple, but it can be so easy to get lost in the identity of your relationship that you lose sight of your individuality. Your partner fell for you, the individual, so keeps that in mind. Create goals for yourself, whether career, personal, hobby, or health-related. Not everything you do has to be attached to your couple’s identity. Create those goals to be the best version of yourself and your partner. Nothing is more attractive than a driven and dedicated person.
On the flip side, you are now also part of a couple. Form goals together and work towards them together. Support each other in your drive to reach your individual and couple’s goals. Nothing screams commitment like planning a future together and making actionable steps to achieve that future. Building and planning a future together takes time, trust, communication, and teamwork, but if you can mix them all, you’ll have a great partnership with your significant other.