How to have a great international relationship

December 28, 2021 at 9.44am by in International Dating
international relationship

Relationships are not supposed to be easy. There are compromises, money, in-laws, household chores, kids, …. These could be the unpleasant realism in romantic relationships. But the good news is you can make a relationship easy.

  • The real reasons why some relationships are hard:

Firstly, a serious, long-term relationship isn’t just about love. I hope it’s only about love, but in reality, a meaningful relationship includes many other aspects that we don’t necessarily like, e.g., personal finances, career choices, where to live, and so forth. Those can potentially erode the love that you share with your partner.

Secondly, a real relationship is less romantic than you think. I also hope every relationship is just as romantic as sentimental love songs, yet realistically, a relationship can hardly stay extremely romantic when you spend so much time with someone for years while saving money for a house, doing housework, bringing up children, and so on.  When the mortgage, doing dishes, and raising kids are in the picture, it’s indeed a bit hard to imagine romance at the same time.

  • How to make an international relationship enjoyable:

The fundamental reason why relationships are challenging is because people rarely communicate their expectations and standards cleanly and clearly. When confusion is the norm, a relationship will only get harder and harder. Therefore, you would be well-advised to master communication skills, e.g., when your partner violates your standards, you have to let your partner know what has gone wrong so that they will not make the same mistake again.

The key to a successful relationship is to establish boundaries. Henry Cloud wrote a book called Boundaries in Marriage which should be read by every couple. Truthfully, when you don’t even know what your boundaries are, your partner will definitely cross your boundaries; consequently, both of you will be upset and stressed out. Hence, it’s time to identify your non-negotiables so you can strike a balance between “getting my needs met” and “compromise”.

international relationship
  • Three components of a relationship:

A relationship is supposed to have three pillars: 1) emotional connection; 2) intimacy; 3) mutual benefits. The mainstream culture only talks about emotional connection due to obvious reasons, but without fully understanding all three pillars, you probably can’t have a rewarding relationship.

Pillar 1: Emotional Connection

Emotional connection is all about shared experiences, compatible value systems, and true love in a romantic relationship. The quality time you spend with your partner, the deep conversations you have on Saturday mornings, and the obstacles that you overcome together all contribute to a strong emotional connection in your relationship.

Pillar 2: Intimacy

This is a taboo topic in mainstream society, but it is of vital importance because, without intimacy, a relationship is just a friendship. High-quality intimacy is the foundation for a satisfying relationship. A relationship without intimacy can easily become a loveless relationship.

Pillar 3: Mutual Benefits

It turns out that the third pillar is something that people rarely talk about. Statistics show that many people would rather talk about intimacy if they can choose because mutual benefits aren’t pretty – the third pillar is actually about things like money, status, convenience, etc. For instance, when a couple runs a company together, they are less likely to get divorced because they have mutual benefits, i.e., the profit from the company. Another example is when a couple has children, they probably wouldn’t break up easily because they don’t want to hurt their children (or someone doesn’t want to become a single parent).

“If a relationship has one pillar in it, it is a sustainable relationship. If a relationship has two pillars in it, it is a pretty good relationship. If a relationship has three pillars in it, this couple should be featured on Oprah.”

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