There Is No I In You And Me
By: Alan Valdez
A relationship should be a team, like in doubles tennis. The world can be smacking circumstances and obstacles my way, but still, I do not hesitate to focus on what is in front of me. I see, hear, and feel my partner next to me, covering my blind spots, giving me support. For great teamwork, communication is a crucial requirement. So is a willingness to perform acts of service and use of words of affirmation, as well as spending quality time together, improving communication, and developing a healthy love language.
To selflessly help anyone is impressive. Acts of service will be the first of the three parts of love languages that your partner will notice. When my relationship began, I did not know how fortunate I was. I started to have issues in my personal life. The stress was building up, and I was being buried alive under it all. I was working a job that demanded too much and rewarded too little. It began to cause problems mentally and financially.
Accustomed to situations similar to what was going on, I tried to internally deal with it, saving myself the embarrassment of letting anyone see my struggle. It was too much for my willpower to handle. My girlfriend noticed I wouldn’t smile as much, and she would ask every now and then if everything was ok. Eventually, I opened up, telling her about the clutter I had inside. Without me asking, she lent a hand and took it upon herself to help me out of the dark place I was in.
Ashley would help me search for job opportunities. At first, I didn’t apply. They were jobs I did not have the confidence to apply for, jobs I would never have considered on my own. She also helped me organize my day, which helped me mentally, leading to solutions in other areas where I was struggling. The world didn’t seem so difficult anymore.
It can be challenging to make words of affirmation a habit and to remember the importance words of affirmation have with a partner—words of affirmation form a positive love language. I tell my girlfriend things that my mind dwells on, and in a shorter time than it took to get stuck on the situation, we find a solution. Soon, I felt I wasn’t offering the same support I was receiving. Making an effort to find the words can show empathy and support. It can be uplifting. Every morning before work, Ashley sends a message: “Good morning, I hope you slept well. Have a great day at work.” At first, I would read it and laugh because I thought it was cute. Now, I can wake up with zero energy and motivation for the day, and her message will be the cup of coffee to get me up.
I shared this feeling with Ashley, and she told me the things I could do to make her feel supported. Ashley is a full-time art student and likes to take on projects outside of her school work. Ashley enjoys her craft. She takes her time and gives each detail her full attention. She shares her work with me. I celebrate her efforts because when a lot is going on with school and work, it can be easy for her to underappreciate her work.
We recently went on a four-day trip, our first time going to Catskills, NY. It was the first trip either of us took without family. The two of us and friends of ours spent time away from our phones, doing activities together like Wiffle ball, afternoon walks, evening campfires, sharing stories, and spending quality time, which is hard to find in our everyday lives at home. Taking a couple of days to go on a trip and experience new things together strengthened the connection between us and our love for each other. Spending quality time together, we learned the small signs that the other is not ok and not being open about it. We learned that even if we may be wrong in our assumption, it’s important to understand we don’t always have the willpower to talk it out.
Life can be a lot to handle. A partner that has your back is helpful. It’s easy to keep to yourself and do nothing. Taking the time to talk or listen to your partner is great. You understand each other more with quality time. Using words of affirmation and acts of service develops a love language only the two of you will appreciate and benefit from.