Because everyone should work on being a better partner.
Relationship writers don’t only draw their inspiration from their life experiences, you know. Once in a while, we’ll read up on ideas that our colleagues have, too — and that’s precisely why I picked up Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love by Andrea Miller.
In my life, I’ve definitely become more judgmental as years passed. While I would have been okay with dating a guy with no job earlier on, I can no longer do that without being pissed at myself. Oddly enough, I’ve also become a lot harder on myself as years continued to march by, too.
Radical Acceptance, therefore, is a concept that is totally foreign to me. Andrea Miller says that it’s a concept that’s focused on judgment-free love for both yourself and your partner. It’s a concept that focuses more on just being okay with flaws and working to meet one another’s needs.
It’s a revolutionary concept that I like, especially when you consider how Radical Acceptance can improve your ability to be a good partner. Here's how.
1. You’ll learn to love yourself enough to put your foot down.
Just because you’re willing to accept someone without judging them doesn’t mean that you need to be a doormat. Part of Radical Acceptance is accepting your needs too and making sure that you aren’t hurting yourself by tolerating bad behavior.
2. It’s also about learning how to meet your partner’s needs and speak their language.
Sometimes, we don’t need a solution for every problem we have. At times, the best thing that a partner can do is just listen. Sympathetic ears and understanding how you feel often makes things a whole lot better than just telling people what they should do to solve things.
3. It makes you less angry at your partner.
Ever notice how angry we get when we get disappointed with our partners? Radical Acceptance is learning how to stop being disappointed in our partners and curb negative reactions that cause relationship problems. As Miller said in her book, “[Radical Acceptance] offers a means to proactively and positively manage your perceptions of and reactions to your partner’s normal shortcomings and flaws.”
4. You’ll also remember why you fell in love with him.
Studies show that the couples that stay together the longest are the ones who don’t freak out at things their partners do and also maintain a good image of their partners over time. When you begin to practice this mindset on your partner, you’ll start to see him as the hero again and not the shlub who left his gym socks in the sink.
5. Radical Acceptance also makes you proactive in your relationship.
If you’re looking for a green light to be passive in your relationship, this isn’t it. Truthfully, this outlook will take a lot of hard work and inner reflection to take hold. And it’s all about improving the relationship that you already have by learning how to stop sweating the small stuff.
6. Your partner will feel less judged.
Have you ever been with a partner who made you feel unworthy of them or kept nitpicking your looks? It’s pretty horrible, isn’t it? Believe it or not, a lot of the reactions we have gained over the years make our partners feel judged, hurt, or otherwise insecure.
That’s not good for a relationship. Making him feel like he can be himself, on the other hand, is — and that’s what Radical Acceptance helps you do.
7. Lastly, it gives you a reality check.
We’ve been told, time and time again, that we should “never settle” and that we always need to find that perfect "One." But the reality is that no one is perfect, and by putting people up to the standard of perfection, we’re just hurting ourselves more. So, rather than seek out Mr. Perfect, doesn’t it make more sense to just Radically Accept the guy you’re with?