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Of course there is no such thing as the â€śbest partner,â€ť but you want your loved one to feel that you are their best partner, right? Whether youâ€™re dating, married or seriously committed, the best gift you can give your loved one is to be supportiveâ€”even on those rare (or not so rare) occasions when you donâ€™t see eye to eye.
1. Speak your mind: Speaking up is just as important as listening. If your partner doesnâ€™t know how you feel, they canâ€™t be sensitive to your feelings. If Passoverâ€™s coming up and youâ€™d really like a hand preparing to host the holiday, donâ€™t wait for them to offerâ€”ask! So many relationship struggles come from lack of communication. If youâ€™re visiting your significant otherâ€™s parents and youâ€™re anxious about not being familiar with certain religious rituals that might come up during a holiday of a religion you donâ€™t practice, ask for a primer (better yet, if itâ€™s Jewish information you seek, find one here!). Youâ€™ll feel more comfortable and your loved one will appreciate your interest in their religion.
2. Go halfsies: My husband and I annoyingly like to tease each other that â€śwhatâ€™s yours is mineâ€ť when it comes to that ice cream sundae or a winning scratch ticket. But it goes both ways. When I see him eyeing the last of my homemade Hanukkah cookies: â€śWhatâ€™s mine is yours.â€ť When that wine bottle is almost empty: â€śWhatâ€™s mine is yours.â€ť When you’re both generous with the little things, you might find youâ€™re in a better mindset to compromise on the big stuff too.
3. Get creative: Feel like most of the time youâ€™re on autopilot? Work, grocery store, gym, errands, pick up the kids (if you have kids), etc. Thatâ€™s because we all are. So when you actually get a free minute to spare with your sweetheart, it can be hard to figure out what to do with itâ€”besides a Netflix binge. But there are so many great events going on every week in the Jewish community, plus workshops from InterfaithFamily for couples and new parents. #ChooseLove by taking advantage of that precious free time in a more enriching way and learn something new together. Even if itâ€™s just once in a while, youâ€™ll be glad you got off the couch.
4. Take your time: Figuring out your religious identity as a couple or family takes time. You might want to feel like you have a plan for celebrating holidays and family gatherings thatâ€™s just rightâ€”from the get-go. Let yourself off the hook! Be OK with not being the perfect Passover host this year. Your what-went-wrongs will inform next year. And some unexpected moments worth repeating will almost certainly happen organically. As you see what works for youâ€”hosting versus visiting, keeping the kids in school versus bringing them to a holiday observance, etc.â€”youâ€™ll start to create your own traditions.
5. Let it go: I’m not saying you should avoid communication and let hurt feelings fester (especially about big issues), but this is about not â€śsweating the small stuff.â€ť If your partnerâ€™s complaining about visiting your in-laws for Easter again, but you know sheâ€™s had a terrible, no good, very bad day, maybe let this one slide. Or if youâ€™ve already made your opinion known that your grandmother has the best chicken soup recipe on the planet, and it would be a travesty not to serve it to your guests, put it in perspective: If itâ€™s really important for your partner to connect with their grandma through an old passed-down recipe, perhaps itâ€™s not worth ruining your holiday over soup. Often we expect a lot from our loved ones, but sometimes we lose sight of whatâ€™s worth getting worked up over. And more important: whatâ€™s not.