Let’s face it: living, breathing, and especially dating humans is not always a walk in the park. Unless that park is filled with potholes, screeching children, and those birds that just won’t stop pooping on your head. So, you’ve found yourself in a relationship and suddenly discovered that patience isn’t your strongest suit. Fear not, weary traveler, for I have gathered pearls of wisdom for those of you who have, on more than one occasion, considered gifting your significant other a one-way ticket to the North Pole. But before you start shopping for thermal underwear and mittens, let’s dive into the practicalities of being more patient. It’s not as difficult as waiting for the ketchup to come out of the bottle, I promise.
1. Remember They’re from Planet Annoying (and so are you)
Your partner, no matter how fabulous and dreamy-eyed they are, is an alien from Planet Annoying. But here’s the twist: so are you. That’s right, while you’re busy lamenting about how they leave socks on the floor or forget the name of your second cousin twice removed, you’re probably doing something equally quirky (and by quirky, I mean annoying). Maybe you hum songs off-key, or perhaps you believe cereal belongs in the fridge. The point is, we all come with our own set of endearing flaws. Once you accept this universal truth, you’re one step closer to being the Dalai Lama of patience.
2. Take a Deep Breath… or Ten
When your partner does that thing — you know, the thing that makes you want to launch them to the moon without a spacesuit — pause for a moment and take a deep breath. And then another. And another. Basically, keep breathing until you’re either light-headed or the urge to snap subsides. This tried and true method has the double benefit of keeping you alive and potentially saving your relationship from imploding over unwashed dishes.
3. Put on the ‘Empathy Goggles’
I know, I know. Empathy might seem like that exotic fruit you never want to taste, especially when your partner is driving you up the wall. But sometimes, it helps to put on those (not so) stylish empathy goggles and see things from their perspective. Maybe they had a rough day, or perhaps their brain cells took a brief vacation when they decided to binge-watch their favorite show instead of helping with house chores. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but understanding where they’re coming from can be the key to unlocking your inner zen.
4. Set Aside ‘Vent Time’
This might sound a bit unconventional, but bear with me. Every week, take out 15 minutes to just vent to each other. It’s like a therapeutic session where you both get to say, “You know what drives me bonkers about you?” The trick is to keep it light-hearted and ensure it doesn’t turn into the blame game. At the end of your vent time, hug it out or dance it off. Whatever rocks your boat. But this dedicated time can actually help clear the air and make you both more tolerant. Just don’t bring out a PowerPoint presentation listing their faults; that might be overkill.
5. Create a “Safe Word”
No, not that kind of safe word. When you feel like your patience is wearing thin, having a goofy or fun word to signal to your partner that you’re about to lose your cool can be a game-changer. Not only does it break the tension, but it also provides a moment of levity. So the next time they forget your anniversary, just shout “BANANA!” and watch the confusion (and laughter) ensue. Then, of course, calmly explain why you’re upset. But, I mean, who can stay mad after yelling “BANANA!”?
6. Recognize that You’re Not in a Sitcom
We’ve all watched those romantic sitcoms where partners engage in hilarious misadventures, misunderstandings abound, and yet everything magically falls into place by the end of the episode. Reality check: Life isn’t a sitcom. There’s no laugh track when things go wrong. So, instead of waiting for the commercial break or the end credits, communicate with your partner. Real-time, real-life communication is always better than waiting for the next episode to resolve the cliffhanger in your relationship.
7. Adopt the ‘Not Everything is a Federal Case’ Mentality
Honestly, ask yourself: will it matter in five years, five months, or even five days that they ate the last piece of pie or hogged the remote? While it’s essential to address big issues that impact your relationship’s foundation, sweating the small stuff will only leave you drenched in unnecessary frustration. Choose your battles wisely, lest you find yourself in a never-ending war over who left the cap off the toothpaste.
8. Schedule Alone Time
Sometimes, the best way to appreciate your partner is to… well, not be around them for a bit. It’s like that old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” (or at least less irritable). Make sure you set aside time for yourself, whether it’s diving into a book, taking a bubble bath, or plotting world domination. A little space can do wonders for your patience reservoir.
9. Laughter: The Best (and Cheapest) Medicine
When all else fails, laugh. Whether it’s over a shared inside joke, a goofy memory, or just the absurdity of a situation, finding humor even in the challenging times can be a saving grace. Plus, laughing burns calories, so really, it’s like a mini workout for your patience muscles!
In conclusion, remember: patience is a journey, not a destination. So, as you embark on this epic quest of not hurling the remote at your partner, take solace in the fact that every relationship has its bumps. But with a sprinkle of humor, a dash of empathy, and a good dose of BANANAs, you’re well on your way to mastering the fine art of patience. And hey, if all else fails, there’s always couple’s yoga. Just be sure not to push them over during the balancing poses; that would be counterproductive.