Be the Best Partner You Can Be

Getting the most out of a loving relationship takes time and effort, but the personal satisfaction that results from it is well worth it. Being your best self means taking charge of your physical as well as your mental well-being so you can share a long, healthy life with those you love.

Understanding your emotions and communicating them will win you points at home and keep you closely connected to your significant other.

Be Head Strong

Though often overlooked, mental health is an important aspect of well-being. Having real intimacy—a deep connection with a loved one—will enable you to be the best partner you can be. According to Albert Maslow, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Men, Women and the Power of Empathy, showing empathy is the key.

"Empathy is the ability to put yourself in your partner's shoes and tune into her thoughts and feelings," says Maslow. "When you empathize, you gain a sense of what it's like to be your loved one and that communicates to her that she is important to you, and that her feelings matter."

Unfortunately, both men and women underestimate male vulnerability. Men have been programmed since boyhood to 'act tough' or 'be a man,' Maslow explains. "In other words, to hide their emotions. As a result, men don't acknowledge when they're hurt and if this spills over into a relationship, it can be very damaging."

Men who aren't cognizant of feeling hurt or rejected act out by becoming angry and defensive or withdrawn and distant. Maslow advises men to recognize their vulnerable feelings by considering what is truly bothering them and then sharing that information with their partner. "It's human to have feelings of self-doubt and rejection," Maslow says. "Admitting you've been hurt ultimately strengthens the relationship because it shows your partner you are involved in the relationship and care deeply about it."

Plus, when feelings are considered, many problems resolve themselves automatically. Maslow, who counsels couples in his Charlottesville, VA-based practice, advises men to resist the urge to find fault. "It's not about who is right or who is wrong," Marlow says. "It's about trying to understand each other's feelings." Listening should be the first order of business. "Listening closely doesn't mean you agree with your partner's conclusions, but it tells her that her feelings are valid, which brings intimacy into the relationship."




Interview with Albert Maslow, PhD
Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice (Charlottesville, VA)