Real Talk

Written by: Lauren Steeves

Why it's important to reconnect and have those tough talks

Relationships are hard. Period. They require work, they require attention, they require compromise and they require a lot of energy. And let’s face it; sometimes we just don’t have the time, drive, patience and motivation to want to deal with them. It seems to me that when things are going great in our relationships, we hardly think about them. We have so many other things on the go and we have an endless to-do list that causes our relationships take a backseat. There is always another more pressing fire that needs to be put out.

But the problem is that when our relationships “suddenly” take a turn for the worse, we are left blindsided asking WTF. You want to pull an Adele and say, “Hello, it’s me,” because you figure your significant other must have you mistaken for someone else. After all, your relationship is perfect and you even have the Instagram photo to prove it.

Before things hit this point, we need to stop and ask ourselves why we only seem to put in the work when our relationship is struggling. When things are good, why aren’t we working just as hard to make them incredible? What makes us hit a point where we settle for “good” instead of “amazing”?

My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time, and I would confidently say that our relationship is great. I have as much confidence in our relationship as Kanye has in his creative ideas. But recently, I felt like our relationship could stand to be taken up a notch. And I wasn’t stopping until we were like Bey and Jay.

This meant that it was time to focus on making the good, better. And it was time to focus on making the not so good, not so bad. Essentially, it was time to reconnect and get back to the basics. So I figured where better to reconnect than in Banff with the fresh mountain air, the picturesque landscape and the ability to down a glass (or bottle) of wine whenever I pleased.

When we got to Banff, we both agreed to completely shut out any outside distractions and live in the present. This meant looking into my boyfriend’s eyes instead of my phone screen. This was way easier said than done, and my boyfriend’s easy on the eyes.

But I think that’s the best place to start when reconnecting and maybe that’s why so many of us take so long to because it’s hard to detach from everything else and actually put yourself on the big screen. This means taking a good hard look at yourself and how you could be a better person and partner.

It can definitely be uncomfortable to have those tough conversations with your significant other. The conversations where you ask how you can be better and what it is that your partner is missing. And let me be the first to say that it can be really hard to take criticism, especially when you hear it from the person you love the most. But it’s only in those hard, difficult and uncomfortable moments where you get pushed out of your comfort zone and into a space that allows you to grow, learn and ultimately, evolve.

If you never hear what you can do better as a partner, what’s going to push you to be better?  By being completely unaware of your shortcomings, it makes you think that you’re doing your best and your partner has all that he or she needs. But that’s where a lot of relationships fail, because it’s easier to walk away from a relationship than it is to put in the work and have those hard and awkward conversations.

So I challenge you to reconnect with your partner and really dig deep and see what’s missing, or rather what can be even more amazing. Is it that you need more time together, or is it that you need more time apart? Are your future plans lining up, or are you both needing clarification and direction? Is your intimacy level where you think it should be, or is that something that needs spicing up? Is your partner doing something that’s hurting your feelings, or is it something your partner is not doing that’s frustrating you? What is your partner doing that you love, and what is it that you value most about him or her?

By taking the time every now and then to reconnect and reinvest in your relationship, it allows you to shed bad habits, gain rich insight and discover deep gratitude for one another. I can’t promise it won’t be hard, but the best things in life are never easy, and we all know that (we’ve even got the Tinder stats to prove it). But I will promise that you will reap the rewards when you see you relationship go from 0 to 100 real quick.

It looks like Bey and Jay better watch the throne after all.