Something that I have seen a lot of relationships struggle with (both romantic and platonic) is showing interest in the others likes and dislikes. Something that helped Dylan and I’s relationship dramatically was doing exactly this. Now let me clear something up, showing interest and liking are two very different things. I am not saying you need to like what your friend or spouse likes, but show interest.
Let me give you some examples, for some fun, I’ll use my husband. When it comes to who has more dislikes between Dylan and me, I take the gold. That’s not to say he hasn’t been extremely difficult, however, Dylan is…interesting to say the least. When it comes to music, Dylan is all over the place, he will listen to acoustic music but will switch immediately to bands that are much more hardcore and metal. He also (I hope he doesn’t get too upset at me for saying this) loves his anime, but I mean c’mon, what boy didn’t grow up watching Dragon Ball Z? I know my brothers did. But to this day, Dylan still loves to watch new ones like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia which I find to be…weird.
With all that said, I started realizing that there were a lot of stupid arguments happening. Why? Because we would shut each other down because we had no interest in what the other was doing, watching or listening to, thus shutting the other down or out. This, in turn, makes the other feel like they are uncared for, therefore causing the other to lash out, and extreme cases, friendships, relationships, and marriages end. When Dylan and I started realizing this, we changed instantly.
I started asking Dylan about his music (Dylan is a huge music head, always up-to-date with bands and all that), shows even video games. Dylan started latin dancing with me and listening to Spanish Music, watching shows like Tinkerbell with me, and even my insane need to decorate for every holiday! This improved our relationship drastically and not only that, we were able to learn and understand more about each other and how to better communicate. In any type of relationship, platonic or romantic, the key is always communication, and the more you understand and learn about someone, the better you will be able to communicate because you will have new tools and understanding.
What are some things that have helped your relationships when things got difficult or hard? I’m always wanting to improve and want to hear your stories, fire away in the comments!