Keeping your Partner

Major Relationship Issues and How to Approach Them

They are not supportive enough

Well this is a tough one. Mostly because it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what they are doing, or not doing for that matter, that makes you feel, well, just not supported. So first of all, know that your feelings are completely valid and you have every right to do something about it. 

The first thing you must do is make sure that you are supporting and believing in yourself. Now your partner may very well be behaving like an asshole about all this. But, oftentimes people, even if unconsciously, look to their partners to make up for a lack of confidence or self-worth in themselves. Just make sure that you are not emotionally over-burdening your partner with this. Remember that if you don’t believe in yourself, there is nothing anyone – including your partner- can do to give that belief to you.

But let’s say you have total self-confidence and you are already giving yourself the support you deserve from yourself. Yet your partner is just really negative, raining on your parade, or worst of all, acting indifferent about your accomplishments and struggles. Usually this is because they are struggling with their own support of themselves, and so it is daunting to them to now support you too. It can also be because they don’t realize you need some extra attention in these matters – perhaps they have a different personality and it doesn’t require the extra emotional backing that yours does. In any case, it is best to try and have an open talk about how you honestly feel. Frame the conversation in terms of how you feel rather than in terms of blaming them.

You have opposite schedules

Especially if you and your partner live together, sometimes it can feel like you are two ships passing in the night! Spending quality time together is really vital to the survival of your relationship, and therein lies the challenge. 

In this situation, it can become easy for your partner to not feel like a priority in your life anymore. This means that you must make extra effort to counter that. It can be difficult to prioritize the different parts of your life in general – juggling work, friends and family, side-projects, school, and self-care/alone time – it is hard! Then throw another person and their need to be close to you into the mix and it can feel downright impossible! 

So let’s use an example case to work out how to tackle this one. Let’s say you work at a restaurant and most of your shifts are at nights – they go late. Most of your friends, family and your significant other are on more of the 9-5 schedule. You might only have certain segments of free time that match those of the other people in your life who are equally important to you. So you just need to think outside of the box a little bit and work with what you have. You also need to compromise and make sure compromisation is happening equally between the two of you. 

For example, even if you’re working the late shift, you can wake up early one or two days a week to spend the morning time with your partner before they go to work. You can always take a nap after they leave! Likewise, they can devote one or two nights a week to stay up late and meet you out after your work. You can work the timing to meet at their “lunchtime.” Making extra time like this is doable, it just takes a bit more effort. 

Additionally, even if you aren’t around each other constantly, try to update them and include them in what you’re doing. If it’s possible, text them at work, share the silly things that happened, or even the frustrating things. Send them pictures. When you’re making time for friends and family, try to do the same. You don’t have to be glued to your phone the whole time, but even telling them how your friend says hi will make them feel more a part of your life in those moments. See if you can also bring them along sometimes in gatherings with your friends or family; if they all get along that is. And if they don’t… keep reading!

They don’t get along with close friends or family

There are several reasons why this could be, so getting to the source of the problem will help you figure out how to approach it.

One likely possibility is that both or either parties is jealous of the time and attention you devote to the other. As mentioned in the above issue, it is difficult to juggle your time and priorities and make everyone you love feel special and important. Talk to them separately and see if they are mentioning things related to how you spend your time. Consider their feelings. 

Perhaps you didn’t realize the imbalance and can now make new regular plans to correct it. If you feel there is balance, but someone is still jealous, find a way to let them understand how you still love them and how important they are to you.

It could also be that they just do not like each other, plain and simple. Like oil and water, they don’t mix and can’t see eye to eye. This might be okay, if you accept that they will never mix and don’t try to force a connection. Don’t push them to hang out with you at the same time. 

However, it can become a bit more tricky if they think that the other person is not good enough to be in your life. They don’t respect your decision to be close with that person. Remember that your significant other, friends, and family care about you, so they will try to protect you. Hear them out and consider their opinions seriously. They might be drawing on something you don’t want to face about the other relationship. If you really just don’t agree, however, express your appreciation for their care but say you would like for them to respect your choices. You won’t force them to see each other, but you don’t want extra grief from them either.

The “Break” and How to Come Back From It

“I think we should take a ‘break.’” These words coming from your significant other can induce pure panic. We’ve all been there. It does sound terrifying and seems to imply the worst; the beginning of the end. However, if there are any doubts in the relationship, a break can be one of the most effective ways to get a fresh start and mend problems in it. You just have to be willing to see the break as an opportunity, rather than a death omen. 

Here’s what a break will give you:

Space

When you’re in a relationship it can be easy for two to become one. But as Alanis Morissette reminds us in her 90’s hit album, Jagged Little Pill, we don’t have to necessarily be our significant other’s “other half” because “one and one make two.”  Sometimes certain habits and routines develop over time and can cloud your vision about what is really going on with yourself and with your relationship. Stepping outside of the thick of it all will give you a chance to see things from a new perspective. You will come back with fresh eyes.

Time

In the midst of angsty or angry feelings, in the heat of the moment, vision can again become clouded and blurred. That is why you may need to come back to it all in a different moment, when you’ve had time to cool it down. Relationships are hard, often because they can trigger some pain that is not healed in us yet. If there are problems, inevitably someone is feeling hurt. Time is one of the greatest healers, and sometimes it can be the only one left. Giving some time to ease the pain, on either or both ends will make it easier to address why that pain is there and how it can be resolved. 

>Experience

This break is a chance to live without your significant other and have experiences outside of the relationship. You can vividly see what’s missing in your life, and also what you may be missing without them. This kind of experience can enlighten what may be out of balance in your life, which is surely affecting your relationship. This way, when you do return to it, you will know what you need to change in order to maintain your own happiness. You can then more clearly communicate to them, what your needs are, knowing them more clearly yourself.

A Break!

Well sometimes you just need a break. When you really love someone, of course you will put a lot of energy and thought into trying and trying to make it work. That can be stressful, however, and you can hit a breaking point. The “break” can literally be a moment of rest. You haven’t decided to break up, but you’re not trying to fix it in this time period either. You are just trying to catch your breath and relax for a minute to regain strength and orientation. Sometimes there are so many emotions to process when you’re trying to make it work, and a repose can give you the chance to catch up.

Coming Back

Okay so you’ve done it. You’ve had the space, the time, the experience, the break! The most important thing to do now is to make sure that all of it didn’t go to waste. 

Reflect, reassess how you really feel, and when you’ve figured it all out, be ready to communicate it to your partner. Also, be willing to receive what they have figured out during their reflection period. 

Try to stay grounded – they may have realized how certain of your habits or behaviors are difficult for them to deal with. Know that you may be asking for some changes and they may be as well. Know what you are willing to compromise and what you can’t before talking to them. At the same time, stay authentic with your feelings so you can clear things up for the two of you.

The thing is, you shouldn’t think of the break and coming back from it as hitting a pause button on the relationship. Instead, it is almost like ending the first relationship you had and beginning a new one. You just can’t go back to the way things were and expect it to magically get better. 

Many couples do this. The initial “honeymoon period” that can happen again after a re-connection is made, can cover this up for a week, or even a month, but it eventually fizzles out if some fundamental changes  aren’t made. You don’t want to go back to the same relationship you were in, even if you are in love, because that relationship didn’t work! You want a new one; a better one. The good news is, you have tons of experience with this person and the dynamics you can get into, from the first round. So use that experience to your advantage and make the necessary changes to make this new relationship work!

6 of the Best Literary Love Quotes and When to Use Them

  • It’s great to have some amazing love quotes up your sleeve when you need to make up after a fight, need to rekindle some romance, or simply want to make things special just because! Your partner will be really impressed when you have one of these elegant things to say. Even better, you can explain the meaning and know a little of the context or history behind them.
    1. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” 

    Who said it: Romeo

    In: Romeo and Juliet

    Author: Shakespeare

    Year: 1597

    Well who can resist a Romeo? Perhaps one of the most well-known iconic symbols of the lover, he had a lot of awesome things to say. But Shakespearean English may as well be another language, plus we have to understand a little of the actual plot here to grasp the meaning of this one. So Romeo’s family clan, the Montagues, doesn’t vibe with Juliet’s family clan, the Capulets. But you can’t help who you love, can you? So what Romeo’s really saying is, Juliet’s family background doesn’t define who she is, and everything he loves in her. This quote would be great to use if any issues come up for you and your partner around family or general background differences. Love sees through all of that!

    1. 2. “How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

    Who said it: Elizabeth Barret Browning

    In:  Sonnet 43, The Sonnets From the Portuguese

    Author: Elizabeth Barret Browning

    Year: 1850

    For the full version or to recite it to your lover see the full poem as it is quite beautiful. But this small quote is used regularly as an expression. It is for times when your partner is feeling insecure in any way about your love for them. Use the romantic literary reference to kickoff a list of things you love about them. It will show how much you appreciate who they are and that your love is true. Hint: use very specific details that only you know about your partner to make them feel extra special, and extra specially loved by you! Sometimes it can help you also to remember how unique they are to you.

    1. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    Who said it: The Apostle, Paul

    In: Corinthians 13:4-8, The Bible

    Author: N/A

    Year:  Around 55 CE

    Well it’s hard to argue with the Bible. After all, it is the most widely read book ever written. Use this quote when either one of you is perhaps lacking in the qualities mentioned here, like patience. In the heat of the moment it is easy to become frustrated or angry, but if you really love your partner, you will best remember the purity that lies underneath all of that. If your partner is becoming ill-tempered, a reminder to be patient and kind and forgiving is a peaceful message that should go over well. 

    1. “We can’t choose our fate, but we can choose others. Be careful in knowing that.”

    Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

    In: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Author: J. K. Rowling

    Year: 2003

    Well who could go wrong with a Harry Potter quote? Especially if your significant other is the nerdy type, this one can hit home. Make sure to say, after reciting the quote, that you choose them! Reiterate how being together with your loved one is not just something that happened by accident. Being chosen as someone’s lover is actually quite special and implies not only love, but worthiness of being loved. This quote will show your partner how much you value them. The reference to not being able to choose your fate can also be used if one of you is hitting a rough patch in life. Even though things may be tough, you still choose to love and stay by your partner and that is a beautiful thing to be cherished. 

    1. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

    Who said it: author, Tolstoy

    In: Anna Karenina

    Author: Leo Tolstoy

    Year: around 1875

    Feel free to replace the pronoun with a “him” if your partner is a fellah. But what a gorgeous quote, huh? First of all, it implies that your partner has the magnificence, power, and energy of the sun, okay? It also gives this body-tingling feeling of being completely known and understood- in a way that goes beyond seeing visually, or in material actualization. Use this one if your partner has been feeling like they haven’t had enough attention lately. (Then be sure to give them some more). Make them understand that you honor, love and admire them incredibly. It shows that you not only know your partner so well , but that their energy radiates and illuminates everything around them the way the sun lights the Earth.

    1. He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

    Who said it: Catherine Earnshaw

    In: Wuthering Heights

    Author: Emily Brontë

    Year: 1847

    Last but certainly not least, a demonstration of the almost sickeningly deep love between Catherine Earnshaw and the ultimate Byronic hero, Heathcliff. They share a profoundly intricate connection that is almost too difficult to explain in words, lest it not be done in this quote. If your relationship began as a result of one of these inexplicable connections, it is always the right time to remind your partner of it! Anybody can build a relationship by spending time and experiences together, by taking care of and admiring each other. But not everyone can have that special spark, the kind that happens when your souls match!

     10 Best Romantic Love Songs

    1. Dreaming of You

    Selena

    Who could forget this Mexican-American pop princess who seemed to ooze romance from her whole being? This is the perfect song for confessing your love to your crush. It could also work for rekindling some romance if your relationship is feeling a bit stale – to remind your love of how it was when you both were crushing on each other. Remember the desire you had for one another- butterflies and all that magic. Remember how being with each other is your happy ending, and appreciate it all the more. 

    1. I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing

    Aerosmith

    Well rock stars are lovers too – and damn good ones! How romantic is it to think of your lover watching you sleep and wondering what you’re dreaming? That they don’t even want to sleep because they want to be present for every moment with you. This one really will show your partner how much you cherish them. Plus, it’s perfect for pulling a corny high-school slow dance out!

    1. L-O-V-E

    Nat King Cole

    The one, the only, the classic love song, L-O-V-E, spelled out for us and all. It’s classy, it’s schnazzy, and hella jazzy. If you want to really take it to the next level, learn a bit of partner dancing to go with it and sweep your lover off their feet! This song starts off strong, and still manages to have quite a build-up from middle to end. Your partner will be undoubtedly falling for you all over again.

    1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

    Diana Ross

    Talk about soul, sister! (or brother!). The Diana Ross version may be lesser known, but it’s the best one. The sing-song way she delivers her lines in the beginning 2/3 of the song and the gorgeous ah-ah-ah-ah-oos remind us of the soothing tenderness love (and Diana) have to offer. Then the middle part, builds up in energy to hit home with pure gospel at the end. Use this song to express to your lover how you would go to any lengths for them and be there for them no matter what. Show them the power and strength of your love. If you want to make a dramatic moment, this is the song!

    1. Can’t Help Falling in Love

    Elvis Presley

    Those very simple chords, but how they light up! The gentle strumming and simplicity of the song makes it all the more beautiful, especially coming from the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Use this song to demonstrate the trueness of your love- that you couldn’t help it even if you tried! “Take my hand, take my whole life too”- what a gorgeous line! This song demonstrates the fullness with which you are willing to give yourself to your lover. 

    1. All My Loving

    The Beatles

    There are quite many brilliant Beatles love songs, but this one stands out for those in, or about to be in a long-distance relationship. Or, if you’re extra cute, just if you’re going on a short trip and want to express to your lover how you’ll miss them while you’re away. “I’ll write home every day” is a sweet line because it reminds us how much effort lovers had to put in before technology made things that much easier! However, the sentiment remains the same, in that, you will make that same level of extra effort, as a lover, to make up for the distance. 

    1. I Will Always Love You

    Whitney Houston

    Written originally by Dolly Parton, but made famous by Whitney, especially with it’s part in the early ‘90’s movie, The Bodyguard, it is a modern classic love song. The Bodyguard in fact has the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time! And Whitney is arguably the best ballad singer of all time- boy does she deliver. From passion, tenderness, to sweet high notes, to power, she brings all the dynamics of love into this song. At the time of the song’s release it stayed #1 at the charts for 14 full weeks, a record for the time. And it got 2 Grammy’s. Yea.

    1. All Coming Back to Me

    Celine Dion

    If Whitney’s the best power ballad singer, Celine Dion must come second. She has several very moving love songs, but this one really strikes nerves. It is the perfect song for those second-time-around romances, when getting back together with an ex-lover. She evokes so strongly the feeling of stirring up old passions with a lover you once knew- the memory of the feeling itself. Plus she brings in all the emotions of having to rebuild oneself and forget about your ex, but then still loving them after all of that. It demonstrates the possibility of healing and moving on, together again, even after being through pain from each other. If you want a song to bring pure power, this is it!

    1. I’ll Be There

    The Jackson 5 (Cover by Mariah Carey)

    Little Michael Jackson stole hearts even from his very early years with his siblings in the Jackson 5. What better song is there to express to your lover how dependable you and your love are! “We must bring salvation back” is such a poetic notion, that brings in how the love is almost bigger than the two of you. And even mentioning the possibility of your lover one day moving on to someone new, and how you’d still be there shows true selfless loyalty- that’s what real love is all about. And perhaps our third power ballad singer, Mariah Carey, killed her cover of it too. 

    1. Your Song

    Elton John

    Last and never least, Sir Elton John’s way of turning melancholy into complete romance is uncanny. To say the least, he feels he doesn’t have much to give, but he does have this song. If you feel like you have a humble love, this is the one for you to play for your partner! It’s all quite simple and complex at the same time in a beautiful way. And what else is love, but realizing that life is so much better because your lover exists? This one is soft, sweet, and sentimental, but with a little hint of rock. It’s the perfect mix. 

Back to Top

Return to the Zorro Survey