Everyone has their own opinion on what a healthy and well-functioning relationship between two people looks like. I’m here to tell you mine because I was born with a partner that I can confidently say is my other half, so I have a clear perspective on how to handle an intense partnership, and not make your partner hate you by the end. I’m not perfect, I’ve had my fair share of botched relationships, but my partnership with my twin sister is a wonderful example of how two people can learn to grow together and lift each other up while reconfirming our friendship in the process. Not every relationship will look like ours- I mean, how many people can say they’ve shared a single cell? Or a womb? But, with my help, your relationship can be as beneficial and functioning as mine with my twin.
An Identical Twin’s Perspective On Partnerships And Relationships
This is a huge part of investing yourself in a long term relationship- you’re not going to be the same person in time. After a couple of years, weeks, or even days you could be a different person than who committed to your partner. Just as well, your partner may go through some changes too. Remind yourself that you picked this person for a reason, and if they are changing, or if you are changing, then it’s probably for the better! Accepting change and moving forward hand-in-hand is how you overcome life changes as a partnership.
Balance Time with Others- and Yourself
This is a common problem in a lot of new relationships- you get so excited about your new partner that you spend all of your time with them. While this could be fun and exciting at first, it’s impossible to not grow sick of each other. I experience this with my twin all the time; a lot of our fights end with us realizing we’re simply sick of looking at the same face for too long and we branch out to other people. It’s completely normal and healthy to become sick of your partner, just take a step back and reevaluate where you are at in your relationship.
Challenge Each Other
This might be one of the most important tips for long-term partnerships- don’t become stagnant! Challenge each other! Keep looking good for them! Make them a meal and treat them nice! Not only that but push each other to accomplish bigger and greater things than they could envision for themselves. Having someone to talk to and share your life with is great, but it’s even greater when they can help you further your life and career, too. And when you do everything with someone, things can get boring. So make a challenge out of it! My twin and I race when we go on runs together, and we see which one of us can do more push-ups. It keeps things interesting, and you’re helping each other grow at the same time!
Be There for Them
If you want someone to be there for you when you are having a bad day, you cannot hesitate to be loving, supportive and understanding when your partner is having a bad day. This is a huge part of having a partnership- having someone to pick you up when you’re down and doing the same for them. An important part of being in a relationship is feeling safe, and that means creating a connection that’s built on trust and support. Mike Bundrant explores this idea, stating that the most important pillar of any relationship is trust: https://inlpcenter.org/fulfilling-relationships/
Even Exchange of Energy
This is very closely linked to my last point– reflect on how much time your partner gives you out of their day. How much they talk to you, make your food, how much money they spend on you, etc. This is all energy they are taking out of themselves and giving to you because they love you, and if you are stagnant in how you’ve reciprocated that love they’ll grow resentful. You should each be seeing how much love and energy you can give each other, lifting each other up, so that no problems are caused by neglect.
Appreciate Each Other’s Differences
While an even exchange of energy should be a prevalent part of your relationship, how you show each other love and appreciation may vary. For example, my twin has no problem forcing me out of bed, getting breakfast started, and tidying up our mess from the night before. This means the world to me because they seem impossible when I’m struggling to open my eyes and get up. How I may show my love to her is by making her tea when she’s having a hard time, and sitting down and helping her talk through her problems- something that seems impossible to her at that moment. We are both very different people, but our differences are what make us a great team. For each relationship, it’s important to figure out how your puzzle pieces fit together and appreciating what makes each of you different is an important part of that.
Keep Each Other in Check
While it’s important to accept what sets you apart from each other, you must make the distinction between what is a good difference and what is destructive behavior. My twin sister has considered taking up smoking a couple of times in a social setting, and I had to put my foot down because we agreed we’d never hurt our bodies like that. She was upset with me, because she thinks I embarrassed her, but I knew I was helping her. Today, she thanks me for it. There are countless examples of how you can stop your partner from being self-destructive. It’s important to accept this responsibility because committing to someone means committing to their faults too.
There is No Secret for Chemistry
You can try all you want, but you can’t force two puzzle pieces together that don’t fit. There’s no harm in trying though! Have fun in your relationships, experiment with who you pair yourself with, but a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship takes a type of chemistry and can last through time. Not just chemistry in communication, but in worldviews, lifestyle, goals, ambitions, and favorite ice cream flavors. Ultimately, a healthy partner is one that helps you to be your best you, someone who brings out authentic and unfiltered parts of yourself. There is no “Perfect Relationship” recipe, but as a twin, I can confidently say that every single relationship will go through many phases before you can see that they are right for you. Patience, trust, and understanding are great pillars for building a relationship, though.