Life is full of transitions. Whether you’ve had a new baby, a death in the family, got laid off, or moved across the world, these pockets of time give you the space to learn more about yourself and grow. While you may have an idea of how you’d handle any one of these life-alternating situations, the tides might be harder to navigate if your S.O. is the one who’s going through a transitional period of time instead of you.
Nothing is more painful than seeing your S.O. go through a tough moment in their life and not having the ability to instantly make them feel better. You can try to control what they feel and think, but at the end of the day, they need to go through this experience to come out on the other side. Luckily, as their romantic partner, you can help them through it so they feel supported and cared for. Scroll below to read all the ways you can help your S.O. heal during a transitional time.
One of the most important things you can do for your partner during this time is to simply listen. If your S.O. is going through a transitional period, they may feel like they’re in a rowboat, lost at sea, with no sight of land for miles. It’s critical for your partner to feel supported and heard during this time as they try to figure things out for themselves — and this could mean that sometimes you need to be the supportive rowboat, my friend.
However, you need to be present and not be on your phone while they discuss their deepest, darkest fears. It’s important for you to actively listen to what they’re going through. Ask for clarification, don’t judge them, and make eye contact to show that you’re there for your partner. A little nod or another non-verbal cue goes a long way as well. When you’re fully engaged, you’re helping your partner reflect by being a sounding board, which can allow them to transition with ease during this time.
2. Ask How You Can Be There for Them
You may know this person more than anyone in the world, but it’s always a good idea to communicate with them about their needs, wants, and desires when things have been turned upside down. Creating room for this kind of discussion allows for you and your partner to be on the same page about the situation at hand and gives them the acknowledgment that you’re here to help them through this tough time. Without this discussion, it can be easy for your partner to feel alone and lost.
Asking, “How can I make this situation easier for you” or, “How can I be there for you during this time” gives your partner the power to feel comfortable asking for help — which is something we all forget to do sometimes. Just remember to actively listen to what they say they need and refrain from judging them so they can feel comfortable expressing themselves. You’re here to build them up, not tear them down.
3. Be Patient
It won’t do you or your relationship any good if you try to rush your partner during this time. Your S.O. might take their time going through this transition, but that doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to tell them how quickly they should or shouldn’t experience this moment in their life. This may be a journey that they have to see all the way through, and it’s your job to provide support in ways that will help them grow. The one thing you don’t want to do is make their situation about you. While you may handle this tough time differently than your S.O. if this was happening to you, that doesn’t mean that their way is wrong.
4. Help Your S.O. Become Present
Transitional periods of time usually involve instability and chaos, and a lack of routine can have negative thoughts play a key role in how your partner feels about themself and the situation they are in. While it’s important for you to listen to their worries and fears, it’s even more vital to remind them to try to be present. Now, this doesn’t mean you should shut down their fears or tell them, “Oh, stop worrying”, because doing these things will only make them feel like their emotions are not valid. Instead, kindly remind them to focus on the things they can control, and ask them if there’s a way for you to help them.
For instance, you can suggest for the two of you to meditate together, create new rituals together, or simply take a break from it all and watch a movie. Being present doesn’t mean that you have to ignore what the future holds or what caused this riff in the past, it means acknowledging the time you’re in and doing the most with what you have at your disposal.
5. Give Your S.O. the Space to Be Vulnerable
If transitions were easy, we’d have them be a part of our lives more often. However, when we do experience them, we tend to forget to be vulnerable because most of us aim to always have our sh*t together when in reality, this is the one time when it’s completely normal not to.
We want to feel strong enough to handle whatever life throws at us. We don’t want to seem “weak” or “fragile.” But we’re human and it’s important to remember that being vulnerable is a muscle you can and should use. Vulnerability is the bedrock for all your emotions to be discovered and breathe new life to your connection with your intuition. When your partner is afraid to express themself because they may think it’s weak, remind them that there is strength in being vulnerable because they’re choosing to connect with their stronger, deeper emotions, which can be terrifying.
6. Remember to Take Care of Yourself, Too
Unintentionally, your partner’s situation can affect your mental state and energy and as much as you want to be there for your partner and take away all of their problems, you won’t be able to provide comfort and care if you’re not taking care of yourself. This can be a highly volatile time between you and your S.O. Their stress can increase your stress which can stress them out in return.
To avoid this drama, you need to make sure that you’re still checking in with yourself. Schedule a self-care day, where you can be selfish and focus on yourself; spend time with your friends; or stray away from sugar so it doesn’t make you feel extra crappy. As long as you communicate to your partner that these mini me-time moments are important for you to do, so you can be the best version of yourself for them, then everything should be just fine and dandy between you and them.