Fellas, this one is for you. Jake here, with my top 3 (K maybe 4) tips for men in relationships. And although I’ve geared this towards men, let’s be honest here and clarify that these tips really apply to anyone. ‘Cause let’s get real: We all need help in relationships.
Alright, here we go:
1. Know yours and your partner’s love languages
If you haven’t heard of the love languages, where have you been? Just kidding. But seriously, this stuff is life changing. They have a free quiz here, take it with your partner and get ready to make some changes. It’s all about becoming fluent in languages like Words, Touch, Quality Time, Gifts and Acts of Service to fill each other’s love tanks in ways that are most effective. This was a GAME CHANGER.
It will allow you to:
- Communicate and understand how to give and receive love.
- Find more tools on how to fill each other’s love tanks.
- Be more generous with your partners intentions of giving love. (Even when it’s not your primary language)
2. Communicate EVERYTHING
This has to be said: In general, as men, we keep a lot of what we think, feel, and process inside. If you think back to caveman days, this was helpful with hunting. The more silent the better. But in today’s world with your partner? Not so much. We need to share what’s going on, ask for what we need, hold boundaries, and express how we feel. (Ooey, gooey, right?) Well here’s some reasons why we need to do this:
- No one likes playing games, c’mon.
- Transparency will always take you farther in the end game–trust me.
- It sets expectations for your partner and will build your trust and reliability together.
Some extra tips here:
- Communicating everything does not mean violating your privacy. Know when to draw the line and why, then–you guessed it–communicate that.
- Communicate your intentions. ‘Cause we all make mistakes and do things differently. If you can share your why, what you were hoping for, where your thoughts/actions are coming from, it will make all the difference when ya mess up. (Again, trust me)
3. Keep working on YOU
Your growth is just as, if not more, important than your relationship itself. As men we are groomed to be providers, to give financially, physically, and more to our relationships. Even at the cost of ourselves. When it comes down to giving emotionally, we just don’t have anything left sometimes. (Ya feel me here?) This is where tip number 3 comes in. Prioritize working on you, your faith, your health, your growth, your emotions. You can’t have the relationship your dreamin’ of if you’re not the partner you want to be. No one can do that for you. It all rests and depends on you. BUT–you can definitely ask for help. (Pro tip: Your partner will most likely LOVE to help you here). ‘Cause let’s cut to it: A relationship is 100-100 not 50-50. We gotta focus on bringing our 100 to the table, right?
4. BONUS: Ask your partner for what you need.
If you’re like me, asking for what you want is way easier said than done when it comes to anything past food. Asking for boundaries, respect, love, sex, space, play, budgets, compassion–way harder. (Please tell me I’m not alone here!) Just as much as we aren’t mind readers–neither are our partners! Here’s how to start asking:
- Start with telling them what you DON’T need, then try asking them for what you DO need.
- Be as specific as possible. (Like your subway sandwich–extra mustard and half pickles.)
- If you don’t know what you need, that’s okay. Tell them that, too.
Bonus, bonus. Start with asking for compassion. If you’re reading these tips and thinking, “Sweet. These sound legit. I wanna try them, how can I do that?”
“Hey babe, I saw this article on tips for men in relationships and I want to try some new things with us. I’d love to know your thoughts, but before then, can I ask you to have compassion for me when I’m trying these new things? With all new things I’m sure I’m going to mess up, having your compassion here would be really helpful and nice.” (Awkward pause while your partner picks their jaw up off the floor) (Just kidding, kinda. LOL!)
Alright, those are my top 3 tips. (4 and a half, really!) Tell me, did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!