The Eastern Approach to Love: 8 Secrets to Finding and Maintaining a Healthy Relationship in Asia
Love is a universal emotion that we as humans all are capable of experiencing, but it is our expression or outward manifestations of the emotion that differ according to our cultural values and our societal norms. In fact, culture is one of the biggest determining factors in the way we think about love and how we behave and feel within romantic relationships. A French person can be in love and behave completely differently within their relationship than an Indonesian person. Neither relationship is wrong, but it does mean that finding and maintaining a healthy relationship probably play out differently. So if you’re looking for love in Asia, here are a few tips for a healthy romantic relationship.
1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Always know that what you do is often more important than what you say. Helping to prepare a meal with your partner or assisting with household chores is a sure sign of care and appreciation. Even more so than saying, “I love you,” or “I appreciate the things that you do.” When you make your affection visible through acts of compassion, understanding and generosity, your connection and heartfelt affection will become stronger. There are many ways to show that you care, just be sure that the way you show it is the way your partner understands.
2. Take Time to Relax
When you are happy, your relationship is more likely to be happy. Taking time out to relax and enjoy one another’s company or to find out more about one another can help relieve some of the stress and tension in your relationship. Sometimes you may need to relax separately as well. When you both enjoy very different things, take the time to do those things without one another so that when you are together you feel more at ease. Beating stress is sure to take some of the stress out of your relationship.
3. Work Together
It’s all about compatibility and support. Having a common goal makes a relationship easier. Working together is essential to the survival of your relationship. The goal can be supporting a family or making sure that the children have the best chance to succeed in life or running a successful business. Whatever your goals are, they should be valued by the two of you and actively sought. By working together, you are both on the same team and looking to achieve the same thing to the best of your ability. It strengthens your bond and inspires cooperation.
4. Think Before You Speak
Every relationship will encounter conflict at some point. But you have to be careful about how you vocalize your anger. You don’t want to be too critical or hostile. Do your best to keep arguments from escalating by not using absolute terms like “never” and “always.” If you move from disagreement to full-blown fight, then try to calm down or inject some humour. If this isn’t possible or it’s just not working, you may need to take a time out and come back to the topic once you have both calmed down and had a chance to think more clearly. When you can solve a problem together, you are more likely to enjoy a more satisfying relationship.
5. Argue at the Right Time
Arguments are rarely any fun, but trying to argue at the wrong time makes things worse. If you are hungry, cranky or sleep deprived, it’s probably not the best time to engage in an argument. This can make you unnecessarily harsh or mean. Arguing while you are trying to do something else or when you’re on the way out isn’t a good time either. Conflict resolution requires careful attention.
6. Family Matters
Although you, as a couple, are beginning a new family, you are still part of an extended family. Remember that you have your family name to uphold. You both still have obligations to your parents and need to respect the family of one another. Attempting to discount this will definitely be problematic. The advice of older relatives should be considered because they have been where you are and may be able to offer guidance that will strengthen your relationship.
7. Be Vocal
Being vocal does not mean being unnecessarily rude and nasty. It means that when something is great and appreciated, you speak on it. You never want to miss a chance to say a kind and generous word. It also means that you let your partner know how you are feeling. You want to be aware of his or her feelings when you do this, but letting your partner know when you are displeased can help to avoid those feelings in the future. When you know that a certain thing is particularly upsetting to your partner, you can do your best to avoid it when possible.
8. Be Careful Who You Blame
When things aren’t going the way you expect or something negative happens, do not be so hasty to blame your partner. Take a moment to reflect and see the role you played in the situation. If indeed you contributed to the trouble and you are partly to blame for the situation or argument, you should take responsibility and not blame someone else for your shortcomings, mistake or actions. Your stress, boredom or anger may have nothing to do with your partner, and your blame and aggression may be misplaced. No matter whose fault it is, remember to be kind. Make changes to yourself, since you have no control over the actions or thoughts of your partner. Address your flaws and look for the best in your partner. You will both feel more optimistic about your relationship and more motivated to make changes for the better.
Finding and maintaining a strong and healthy partnership takes some work, but your relationship is worth the effort. Being in a relationship is good for the health and well being of community and family. There are no guarantees, but when you are proactive in your relationship and practice some of these techniques, you may find that things are a little easier.