Get Exactly What You Want
Another classic relationship mistake: assuming that because your partner loves you, he knows what you need to be happy. Sadly, love doesn't magically transform us into mind readers, so we rely on the next best thing: We assume that what makes us happy will make our partner happy. That, as you can imagine, predictably leads to unmitigated disasters. He gives you tickets to the playoffs for your birthday along with the latest Nintendo game. You give him an inspirational self-help book and dinner in a romantic (read: stuffy) restaurant. To completely guarantee a life of misery, we take this warped thinking even further. We assume that if our partner doesn't behave the way we would in a particular situation, he doesn't care about us. Cue typical couple arguments about things like anniversaries (some people place importance on them, others don't) and chatting up your best friend (seen as charming her by one, flirting by another). But happily, there is a way to fix this sorry situation. It's called being clear about what you both want. Sounds easy enough, right? Here's how it works:
- For the next month, you take turns having "me" days until the month is up.
- On each of your "me" days, you get to ask for something you'd like from your partner that makes you happy. It might be something as simple as asking him to please pick you up on time, massage your shoulders while you're watching telly or hold your hand while taking a walk.
- Clearly state what you'd like your partner to do, giving as much detail as possible. The idea is to get into the habit of asking for what you need and want in order to be happy, instead of expecting your partner to second-guess.
- Pay attention to what your partner asks for. Write down what he's requested, and you'll have a list of his real needs and wants, rather than what you think he wants or doesn't want.