I didn't know exactly how it felt when to have found the right person or love but I am truly blessed because I didn't have to go through many hassle to find the right person like having so many boyfriends etc. He is indeed my first and only boyfriend.
In fact, the way I met my other half was certainly not 'love at first sight'. We were friends before we became an item. It's been four years now, and I am glad that my other half and I have come this far, and we are counting the days until our big day...InsyaALLAH.
Since that fateful day when our hearts collided and everything began falling into place, I have learned so much - about him, about myself, and about love. I've had my fair share of relationships so I am here to share some of my experience on this issue; what I have found to know and things I have learned. By no means do we think we're perfect couple but if we are able to turn our ups and downs to become a better person, why cant you? This might be useful not just for married couples but for those who just started their relationship. I hope it helps in one way or another.
1. Good Communication is the foundation of any relationship; both talking and listening part.
A good couple always talks their heart out. Be it a good time or bad time. That's why they last long. It is in fact a good advice given to me by a dear friend when I was having problems with my other half in the first few months of our relationship. I always have problems with certain things that he's doing and I just dont know how to convey or express it to him (which i ended up telling my friends seeking for advice), thinking that it might hurt him if I spilled it out to his face. Telling him off what bothers you sometimes need patience and deeper understanding. We must always try to express our thoughts (good ones and bad ones) and feelings with care and in ways that the other person understands. Sometimes even if you say it's an A, the other person might perceive as a B. So getting your other half to understand really depends on how you address the issue. Even when I was still new with my other half, we do have communication issues but how did we do it? We discuss and talk often about things that matters in our lives, express feelings not just during the good times but also the bad times; eventually it becomes a habit. If we don't talk for a day, it's awkward. Good communication involves welcoming each other's perspectives and keep your communication from being one-sided. I am a person that demands certain things especially when it involves work or commitment and I always said to him ' I want this, I want it that way, please dont do this and please do this'. It's all about what I want. I hardly listen to him and he hardly responds; only to find out later that what I did have totally shut him off (that day when we had the chat; he spilled it out the problem after being forced). Good communication is not about talking a lot with no direction but talking whats necessary and matters between the two of you. I came to realize that it is also equally important to respect your other half's opinion even if you don't always agree with it. Listening to your other half is as important as being heard.
2. Trust and being truthful is the key in relationship.
Yes, mark my word. If you want to earn trust you have to be truthful to each other. Even a simplest lie can becomes a big bom if you didn't do anything about it cause remember 'Your actions always affect others'.
One more thing, once you start telling a little lie, you will eventually settle with a big lie and if becomes habit, disaster will wait for you at the end of the tunnel. So why need to lie when you can actually tell him or her straight? If you dont like him or her doing certain things, tell him or her off. If something makes you feel guilty, then share it with your other half. Dont' keep it to yourself and lie. Honesty is indeed the best policy, especially in relationships. Good intentions mean a lot, but they shouldn't blind you from seeing your other half's point of view. Another thing which I have learned about relationship that it is very crucial to 'say what you mean, and mean what you say'. Dont ever make your other half feels duped by telling sweet white lies because its totally unfair. If she or he asks for opinions then tell straight, he/she has to know it so that she/he knows where she/he standing.
3. Love should inspire you, not giving you headaches.
This is indeed one of the signs to know where your relationship is heading. Love has it's ability to transform not only the way we see the world, but the way we see ourselves. Small fights and arguments are part of the process in getting to know your other half, but if being with him or her constantly makes you feel down or depressed; giving you so many negativity, then something is wrong somewhere and you guys need to solve it. No matter what you love to do, the right person will be supportive of it. They don't have to do it too, they don't even have to understand it sometimes, but they will always loving and respectfully support you. They will bring you up as high as they can and never will they try to push you down.
4. Gifts and Surprises; things that your other half would definitely turn on.
I came from family that is full of celebration. We celebrate each other's birthday or any other special occasions together as family (especially my mum) so these have become a tradition that is essentials in my life. Compared to my other half, he comes from a totally different family up-bringing, tradition and not so much into celebrations of birthdays and etc.I still remember his expression the first time I bought him, his birthday present; he was shocked, mortified and totally speechless. I have to say something before he was able to put his words. Gift giving habits are often rooted in family tradition, but having someone who is not in that line, it helps us to look at each other's pasts.
Having said that, he too is not really good at giving gifts and presents but knowing how he was before, I came to an understanding that he needs time to adapt and the best part is, he became even better each year passing. To me, a present can represent a whole lot more than a celebration. It shows how well we think our other half knows, cares for and appreciates us; the effort taken to make it special no matter how big or small; cheap or expensive the gifts are. Good gifts is most importantly something your other half wants not something you wish that person would like - or that you want for yourself. Sometimes the best gifts like your time dont cost a thing. There's this saying ' Giving is worth more than the Gift' proven to be totally right. Its the effort you put in giving, not how much you spend. You don't need to be hopelessly devoted. Just be sincere.
5. Our 'Reset Button' works !
During our first year, we always have this fight, endless fight with the same issue over and over again. Why did it happen? First we didn't resolve the issue but instead we put it aside (with no communication and understanding at that moment; I almost think that its not going to work; us being together) thinking that the time will come when we need to discuss on the issue again. This also happened because we did not adapt to the first few values I have mentioned above. I am not the kind of a person who likes to take arguments for hours, but seeing the issues repeating itself just killing me bit by bit and thats why I am so pissed.
With all those mini fights which later turned to be a big fight happening so much, he said to me 'this got to end somewhere' and so we did. We actually took the time to resolve the issues concerning us and of course with a little crying and babbling (yeah who else?) we came to a few solutions so that it wont happen again. We spent like the 4 hours speaking our hearts out with no lie and grudge. We also came to a conclusion of this 'Reset Button'. He introduced this concept just to make sure that we are oke after any fight. By saying reset button, we are able to let go of things that we have issues before (after solving it) with no hard feelings; in other words it's solved and back to happy mood. Reset Button also allows us to think back what we did to each other ( like Muhasabah diri) , the happy moments we had before and that we are grateful to have each other's arms for support.
Frankly, after having this 'reset button' we both feel so much at ease now because we have poured out what we wanted to say to each other without any hesitation. Sometimes it's kind of funny looking back at how it started =D So now everytime we fight. we quickly think of the happy moment we have spent before...it really can cool you down; in a split second. We are not that stupid to give up on things like this where we can actually achieve more.
6. A little gratitude and compliments to spice up; talk pretty to your half
Good communications shouldn't be a priority only when something goes wrong but you should also communicate to make each other feel good. For instance, my other half and I always compliment each other- a lot. I use nicknames to make him smile or at times tease him (in a good way of course) like ' My handsome, or Mr. Gorgeous Prince' etc to show him how hot or great person I think he is. I mean if you don't call your spouse or other half he is handsome ( probably he's not that handsome compared to Tom Cruise), who will? Right? Personally, I like it when he compliments on my new jeans, or when I don a fancy shawl makes me feel appreciated. Those words although it's a little, so powerful to me. Even a 'thank you' can express love.
I mean 'Who on earth doesn't love compliments?'. A simplest gratitude or compliment can mean so much to one's person's life and couples too need to have this thing going. Life can be so monotonous or routine and when these things ended up as a routine what else can you say? Life becomes boring ! Hence, it is important for you to make sure you venture new things together...maybe not always but occasionally. Create something new, or find an interest or adventure that both of you like. This way you are able to have fun while enjoying what both of you love to do. As for my other half and I, we love photo-taking. On Friday night we will make a simple plan for the weekend like going to some place for shooting or sometimes we just hang around in our own house and have like hours chatting online. It sounds ridiculous since we are only a block away but we love doing this so why not? Sometime we don't plan, we just go with the flow. So it totally depends on how you want to spend the time. Its the quality that we are looking for, not quantity.
At times when you just dont have anything to talk about, just do some check ins; just to make sure both of you are in good conditions. For example' Hey Honey, I'm checking in. Is everything ok? Are you happy? What's going on?'. These kind of questions you need to ask if you feel that something is not right. It can also be way to start a conversation or chat. 'Check-in' is a term or phrase used as a form of opportunity to get things off your chest early, instead of letting them bottle up and funny thing is a couple like Giuliana and Bill Rancic exercise the same thing too. They form the word 'check-in'. What my other half and I used and still do is exactly the same, only we don't have the term before. Now we have.
7. Love requires effort, but it should never seem too hard.
Like most who have been in love, it starts off easy and carefree until reality sets in and then there you find that there are just two people who are alike in some ways and different in others and who have to find ways to interact with and love one another in spite of their differences. But, I've learned, the work you have to do for the one you love shouldn't be a complete drain on you, making you question or wonder if all of the stress and strain is worth it. No, the kind of work you do for love should come naturally and should be worth it. I too have doubts about love, afraid if I fall for the wrong person and etc but I truly believe in this advice given to me before when I was confused; if it's really love, you will learn to let go of the past. I can tell by now that whatever the past hold on to me before, I am able to let go and start anew.
I've discovered that (from experiences of other people like friends and relatives), if you're hurt more than you're happy, you're not with the right one. In relationship it is not just about making the other half or spouse happy; not about you happy but it is about 'US' happy; you and me.
8. Ask for help, if you need one !
Guys especially, they are the kind where they think they can handle most of the things in life. Not to mention, their super high ego can sometime turn us women off the hook ( beyond control). As a woman, I understand really well why man like my other half hardly ask for help. I understand that he doesnt really need help that much, all he needs is support. I read a book once before that men like to give and receive suggestions about how to fix a problem not complains and nagging (just show how much we women love to babble) where as women prefer to give and receive emotional support. But as I go along in the relationship, sometimes being there is enough for him. I dont need to give him anything, just be there when he needs me so that he can regain his strength to do whatever that he needs to, like being there when he's presenting his works, or meeting a friend, or when he has big problem in the office I would just sit there next to him without uttering a single word; to let him calm and if he needs to talk then I am there right next to him. At times, you also learn on how you can help the other half by asking him/her how's he/she feeling. Don't be afraid to ask for support and help because really, when you love someone, there are no burdens (thanks to my other half for the saying)
Sometimes, he needs his space and so do I but most of the time it didnt happen quite well because neither of us are able to express it to each other. What I've learned is that never give your other half's mind wander by giving mixed signal, false indication and etc. If you need space tell each other and work things out. No point avoiding and make the silent call because you will not only make the problem bigger, but you are destroying the trust that you have built together; tarnish the relationship with these attitudes will not make you go anywhere.
Of course to share the whole life story is a never ending thing...but these points which I have laid down for you, are the key points that you need to know just to make sure everything's oke. Each person's problem can totally differ from another in so many ways, but as long as you hold on to the key value you will be able to adapt and use it according to your situation.
I really hope it helps.