Is it enough to say that you are in love?
Saying “I love you!” to the partner is considered the most significant way to reinforce a relationship. This idea, which may date as early as our childhood when our parents were constantly telling us they loved us, has been enjoying growing popularity nowadays. But our feelings of affection are only one aspect of love.
Here are three more aspects, which deserve our attention, as well as three other phrases that also seem essential for a successful romantic partnership:
Saying that you are sorry
Everyone makes mistakes. Sooner or later. After all, imperfection lies deep In human nature. And if we make a mistake, our closest ones, most often our partner will suffer or bear the consequences. In such a situation confessing that we are wrong is necessary, as well as showing that we are aware of the fact we have caused them pain.
Although some people might find it difficult to express their feelings of regret a simple phrase as “I am sorry” is more than a good start.
Why apologizing is important
Couple therapists say that very often the partner who offended the other one does not agree with the injured partner’s perception of the situation, stating their intentions were pure. This causes conflicts in the couple and the partners find themselves fighting the battle of who is wrong and who is right which certainly doesn’t lead to a positive end. That’s why apologizing is crucial! It provides acknowledgment of the hurt partner’s feelings and shows an attempt to fix the mistake by the one who committed it.
In psychology, this is called “repair attempt” and comes to help the hurt partner realize that we don’t mean to impose negativity on them and want to diffuse the tense situation. It’s actually a very good strategy to save our relationship (in a longer perspective) from poisonous emotions such as anger and hatred.
The way you apologize for your bad deeds matters
Saying “ I am sorry” is a good way of admitting your faults but you need to be careful how you phrase your apology. If you say “I am sorry you felt this way when I did … ” you are actually blaming your partner for their negative emotions caused by your errors. You’ll have to express what you mean differently.
It is wiser to say “I am sorry I made you feel this way…” Now you are showing that you validate your partner’s feelings, while you don’t take their point of view as your own. Thus, you become able to clarify the intentions, which involved both of you in this conflict and pave the way for a positive outcome from the unpleasant situation.
There is no love without forgiveness
Trying to make up for our mistakes is the first step to take in case we’ve hurt our loved one. But it’s their forgiveness could put an end to the conflict. And despite the fact that saying “I forgive you” seems easy, forgiveness is not always given easily. The offended partner might need more time to let go of the negativity and to restore their trust in us.
But as “There is no love without forgiveness…”, “…..there is no forgiveness without love”. This means that forgiving is as important as offering an apology and if the love is true, sooner or later (we need to be patient) our partner will forgive us. And after they do the relationship will become more sincere and the partners more likely to apologize to each other in the future.
Remind your partner you are proud of them
Love cannot go without respect and admiration and they are most explicitly manifested when we provide verbal acknowledgment of our partner’s accomplishments and praise them about their achievements. So “You make me proud!” is a phrase our loved ones must hear every time they are successful in something. When we show that we appreciate them we also strengthen our emotional connection and become fonder of them.
Love has different aspects
There are no easy relationships. But the romantic ones are the most complicated ones as two different individuals, who usually come from different backgrounds, decide to be together only because they love each other. And saying out loud that they do is their relationship’s milestone.
Yet we mustn’t forget that love has other aspects which are also worth mentioning. So, don’t be shy to say ”I am sorry” when you are wrong or “I forgive you” after you have forgiven a mistake. And certainly, don’t refrain from praising your loved one for their achievements with a sincere “You make me proud!”