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by Kim Lance, associate publisher of Online Dating Magazine

Don't Disconnect During Stressful Times

When a romantic relationship is going well and the couple is happy, it can be very hard to image that anything in life could damage that strong bond. Unfortunately, even the most stable relationships can unravel as one or both partners go through major life-changing experiences. Although you and your partner may be in a stable relationship, full of love and open communication, there are some very important situations in life that can put some strain on your relationship. Whether you want it to or not, there are common events in life that have broken up many couples and, if you aren’t careful, those same changes can threaten your relationship.


The important thing is to be aware of some of these situations and prepare for them if you face them in your life. If you can recognize that some other factor may be causing problems in your relationship, you can more appropriately deal with those problems. Here are four major life changes that can often make or break a relationship.

1. Moving to a New Town
There may come a time in your life as a couple where you decide you need a change of scenery. Be aware, that if the two of you decide to pack up your things and head to a different town, there may be major stress associated with that. The stress is elevated if you move to an area where neither of you know anyone else and rely solely on each other in the beginning.

A new location means the start of a new life, but, it can also mean a lot of emotional turmoil, homesickness, and difficulty finding a new social stability. Because you both are going through this stress at the same time, you may begin to take out your stress on one another. It is important to recognize the pressure and emotions that moving can cause and make sure not to focus that negativity on your partner or your relationship. Instead, grow closer together by getting out and discovering new areas and meeting new people together.

2. Finishing School
If you or your partner decides to pursue higher education during the time you are together, be prepared for some strains on your relationship. Whether you are getting your Bachelors, Masters, Law Degree, or the like, your desire to further educate yourself does not only affect you, but also has a strong impact on your partner.

Prepare yourself for less time together, financial strains, and just plain grouchiness. You or your partner may feel ignored or neglected as the other puts more time into his or her studies, but try to remember not to take it personally. Also keep in mind that it is just temporary, and you will get back the person you feel in love with once finals are over. If you are the person working toward the degree, try to remember to make some time for your partner in between exams.

3. Losing a Loved One
Nothing can affect someone’s personality and happiness more than losing a close friend or family member. If your partner has just lost someone close to them, it is very important to keep that in mind during those first few weeks after the passing of their loved one. During that time (and sometimes much longer) they will experience some extreme emotions. You will have to practice extra patience and understanding during this time and try to avoid taking any emotional outbursts or unavailability personally.

Your role during this devastating time is to be there for your partner as much as you can and listen to them when they need to talk. While you shouldn’t just take any hurtful comments, exercise extra patience and understand that the emotions and words coming from your partner may be sparked by emotions much deeper than frustration over not taking out the trash.

Of course, there are many other important events that can change your life and your relationships – having children, starting or losing a job, dealing with illness, just to name a few. As these events pop up throughout life, the vital thing is to always try and look at the bigger picture when you start to notice more stress or arguments between you and your partner. Ask yourself not only what you are arguing about, but, also, what could be factoring into that argument that isn’t directly related to it.

If you or your partner is going through an important milestone in life that is making your relationship tougher, don’t just give up. Focus on the bigger picture and working through the tough times and you will find your self reconnecting again as the stress begins to lift.

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