Wendy Robinson head of services at CALM said: “Relationships are a huge part of our lives – on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year. Romantic or not, they have the ability to make us feel great, or really low.”
“So it’s no surprise that themes around relationships and loneliness account for more than one-third (37%) of calls to our helpline and webchat service. Whether you’re searching for a relationship, struggling with a difficult one, or have lost one – we’ve got lots of useful stuff to help you move forward.”
It’s okay to set boundaries
We’ve all known someone who takes the mickey when it comes to boundaries. The date who doesn’t order chips but then steals yours, or the friend who expects you to get back to their messages immediately.
Boundaries are important for letting people know what is and isn’t okay in your relationship, it’s stuff that can help protect your mental well-being.
If you’re often over-generous with your time, money, or emotions, it can help to take a step back and let that person know how you like to be treated. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but knowing where you both stand on stuff can actually make your relationship stronger and avoid difficult arguments in the future.
Talk it out so stuff doesn’t get lost in translation
Many disagreements come from misunderstandings, especially when we find it hard to get things off our chest. If those conversations don’t come naturally, make them more comfortable – take a walk together so you don’t need to hold intense eye contact, or head to a neutral space like a cafe or the pub.
If things get heated, take five and chat about something a bit less serious until you’ve both calmed down.
Topics that always get stormy? It can be hard when you keep stumbling over the same arguments, so there might be issues you steer clear of sometimes. We all have our own views and while it can be challenging, try to respect and understand that.
Laugh at silly stuff together
Showing you care doesn’t have to mean grand gestures, it can be the little things – making someone a cuppa after a bad day, buying your hungover mate a bacon sarnie, or checking in when you haven’t heard from someone in a while.
Things can feel heavy and serious sometimes, so make time for the relationships that make you feel good and enjoy the silly stuff together.
Life can be pretty noisy, but we all like to be heard. Carve out time to listen to one another without distractions so try popping your phone on do not disturb for an hour, or switching off the tv.
Also when you care about someone it’s hard not to interrupt with solutions, but we all know how frustrating it feels when all you really want to do is vent about something. If someone is upset, start by asking if it’s advice or just a bit of a moan they need.
Things end but you’ll get through it
Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Even though it’s normal for some relationships to fizzle out or go out with a bang, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Maybe you’ve grown apart or something happened that you can’t come back from – whatever the reason for a relationship ending, going separate ways from a partner, friend, or family member can fill you with the worst kind of feelings.
Breakups can actually churn up the same emotions as grief, so you might be feeling lots of different things day to day. It’s totally okay if you just need to throw the duvet over your head and demolish a family bag of crisps. Call the people who make you feel good and remember, it might feel like you can’t get through it, but you will.