Like a cake? Yup, you read that right, it wasn’t a typo. I probably just made you hungry…sorry about that. For reference- my favorite is yellow cake with chocolate frosting ☺
When you bake a cake, you have a list of items you need and the specified amount of each ingredient to bake a perfect cake each and every time. You rely on the back of the box for the roadmap to making this yummy dessert.
You mix a bunch of ingredients together, you put it in the oven and bake the cake. When the cake is finished, you test it and see how it tastes. It is possible it will take you a few attempts to bake the cake exactly how you want it but once you figure out the winning recipe, you’re now able to bake the perfect cake over and over.
The same principles apply to your relationship.
To have a healthy relationship, you need to identify which ingredients your partner needs in order to make him or her truly happy. You start by creating your ingredients list (you can do this in your head or write it down) and begin experimenting.
You may need to change the recipe up a little from time to time but you have already done the hard work by figuring out the ingredients you need. Sometimes depending on what’s going on in your partner’s life, they may need a bit more or a bit less of something. Instead of completely starting over, you just adjust the recipe a bit.
It’s incredibly important to take the time to truly understand your partner so you understand exactly what the recipe calls for. There are countless couples who go out together and have a good time, but the relationship lacks depth, which is extremely dangerous for the vitality of the relationship.
I recently spoke to a male client who mentioned his fiancé is very insecure and unhappy in her life. I asked him how often they speak about her internal struggles and his response was “never”. My heart sank.
The reason this struck me so intensely is because his response demonstrates an immense lack of communication, openness and vulnerability between the two of them. I asked him if he and his fiancé talk about their emotions and he responded, “here and there but not within the last few years”.
He’s currently going through a rough time emotionally but he chose not to open up to her, so she has no idea he’s struggling, yet he wants to share with her. He not only feels completely uncomfortable opening up to her, he does not know how to.
They both didn’t take the time to identify the ingredients needed for each other so it becomes a guessing game. They are both grabbing ingredients from all over the kitchen that don’t actually belong in the cake.
This is an example of a disconnected couple who are planning their lives together yet they have not taken the time to truly understand each other. It’s a surface level relationship. They have been together for five years yet they have barely opened up to each other. Don’t let this be your relationship.
In a healthy relationship, as you spend more time together and the relationship becomes more serious, trust is gained and you both show more and more of each other as your guard comes down.
One of the amazing benefits to being in a relationship is knowing you’re with someone who knows and understands every bit of you, the good, the bad and the ugly but choose to be with you despite the bad because the good makes it all worth it. They’re robbing each other of this opportunity.
You need to be able to communicate, share your thoughts and feelings openly to create safety in the relationship, have less arguing, and to be able to anticipate each others needs.