Responsibility In Relationships – Different Forms And How To Foster Them

responsibility in a relationship

So how do you feel reading all those posts floating around on social media about responsibility in relationships? Inadequate? Immature? Ill-equipped? And then there’s your mother constantly nitpicking about when you will grow up and take charge of your life. Well, you can’t just wake up one morning and decide I will be responsible from this very moment. And yet, deep inside, you really do want to be proactive and responsible. But how? Not exactly sure how to go about it? Let me help. 

Relationships almost always start off on a dreamy note. Remember the first few weeks of butterflies in your stomach and doodling your boyfriend’s name in the back of your notebook? Then, from the first time, you hold hands to the first time you kiss too many more such firsts – aah! How sweet love is! However, eventually, all the sex and talking will become a bit monotonous; the spark will slowly wear off. This is exactly where reality makes a grand entrance with a bag full of responsibilities and a bucket of hard work. 

So why is it so important to become responsible in a relationship? The consequences of taking ownership will be there for you to see with your own eyes. You will meet the truest and most authentic self of your loved one, once you show up for them, take full accountability for your own actions and become the source of their inner strength. 

So, what are the different forms of responsibility in relationships? Let’s figure that out together, shall we?

The 7 Different Forms Of Responsibility In Relationships 

Believe it or not, efforts speak a thousand words. When your boyfriend’s mother is going through surgery, he would need you to survive the sleepless nights. Your constant support, emotional or financial, will automatically enhance his levels of trust in you. 

Fear of responsibility in relationships can be crippling if you treat it like a nine-to-five job. To be honest, you are not bound to any of these. Responsibility in relationships is an organic process developing simultaneously with genuine feelings and a sense of care between two people. 

Responsibility comes in many forms which give a different narrative to every relationship dynamic. Let’s discuss the seven big ones that you just cannot gloss over:

1. Emotional responsibility in relationships is the most desired 

Here, we take your various personal traits into account such as emotional integrity maturity, and level of compassion. Your first role as the emotionally responsible counterpart is to acknowledge that your loved one is not in the exact same headspace as you are. 

Say your partner is highly sorted in life and steadily reaching toward their career goals. Chances are, their calmness and confidence will intimidate you in the beginning. In a completely different scenario, you have to treat your partner with extreme care and patience if they are going through a chronic cycle of anxiety attacks or a phase of depression. 

I admit human feelings cannot be segregated into clear black and white boxes. But, in case you are in two minds about what to do when your partner is being fussy or stubborn, as long as it’s not a deal-breaker, let the person off the hook. Emotional responsibility in relationships means not holding grudges or keeping score. It means that sometimes you have to be the bigger person. 

Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Emotional Boundaries In Relationships

2. Quitting the blame game and balancing accountability

You don’t need to be an expert to realize that a major responsibility in relationships is to take accountability in a relationship. I have seen my neighbors dragging themselves through a dysfunctional state of affairs for a long time. Michael was always too busy with business trips and came home late every night. Claire, his wife, was a shopaholic, burning their savings into expensive cocktail dresses. As time passed, their fights got uglier, when the solution was a simple step away – accepting their own shortcomings. 

Trust me, you will reach nowhere with constant criticism of each other’s annoying habits that kill romance eventually. Stop right there and reflect upon the issues you are struggling with. The moment you begin to take accountability in a relationship, all the other factors will fall seamlessly into place. Why drag a nasty argument on and on if you can find the remedy in a warm hug?

3. Taking care of your personal responsibility in relationships 

I know what you are thinking. Relationships are supposed to be built on mutual effort and respect, aren’t they? Yes and yes. I cannot stress enough on the couples’ shared responsibility in relationships. But, before focusing on ‘us’, analyze if you are strong enough as a ‘me’. 

Are you getting into this relationship because you are facing a monetary crunch? Do you feel scared to sit in silence with your own thoughts? Are you desperately lonely? Do you yearn to share PDA pictures with a bae on social media just so that you can blend in with your friends? Any kind of codependency in a relationship will only put you through a series of mental upheavals, never hitting that sweet spot of peace and harmony. Personal responsibility in relationships suggests being clear about your own motives in the first place. If you cannot control your own inner turmoil, how can you expect to be sensitive toward another person?

Related Reading: How To React When Your Spouse Says Hurtful Things?

4. Being thoughtful before throwing your words out there 

There is a solid point behind the popular adage ‘words are mightier than swords’, be it written or verbal. It’s true, nothing cuts as deep as a hurtful comment from someone whose opinion you value a lot. People lose their minds and reason in rage; haven’t we all been there? The devil sitting on our shoulders makes us use appalling names and utterly unspeakable things. Sadly, there is no turning back once your words have been said. 

That being said, during an ordinary conversation, a petty slip of the tongue or a loose remark can pierce straight into the heart of the person at the receiving end. Ponder on the fact in solitude – is it very civil to play rough with someone you love dearly? The art of taking responsibility in relationships lies in choosing your words mindfully with empathy and warmth. 

emotional responsibility in a relationship
Once you have said it, no backsies!

5. Financial responsibility in relationships – finding growth in tandem 

Let’s discuss a practical matter as serious as the financial compatibility of a couple. A survey result from The Economic Times Wealth states that 89% of the participants believed in the importance of similar monetary habits between two partners. Here are some handy tips to make sure money doesn’t create any unnecessary conflict between you two:

  • Accept the difference in your payslips and appreciate your partner’s hard work
  • Depending on your commitment and the age of the relationship, you may create a joint account or maintain your finances independently
  • Make sure you contribute equally to every joint venture or at least proportional to your respective incomes 
  • Hiding a large credit card debt or reckless purchase bills from your partner is a deceit if you are sharing expenses
  • Lastly, when you are willing to take financial responsibility in relationships, talk about mutual consult each other about every life choice, regardless of whether it’s minor or huge 

6. Meeting your commitments toward each other 

As we talk about shared responsibility in relationships, this should be on the top of your priority list. By commitments, I do not necessarily hint at the aspect of fidelity in a relationship. Think about the small plans made on the way of our humdrum life – a date night, grocery shopping together, seeing him off at the airport, or maybe a trip to your parents’ house. Yes, each one of these is considered a valid responsibility to secure a healthy, happy relationship. 

Let me share a little story with you; a few days back, one of my friends was leaving a party quite tipsy. But he was too proud to admit that he could not handle the wheel. I was in awe of how his fiancée took charge of the entire situation and drove him home. So there, go shoot your cliched gender roles – you have got to break free of them in your attempts at taking responsibility in a relationship. 

7. Planning the future together

In almost every job interview, we answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Now, what if I were to ask you, “Do you see your partner in that future?” Not only is it a big deal, but it’s also a big responsibility in relationships to set your goals jointly unless, of course, you are looking for a fling. 

Wait for a second, I am not trying to be the spoilsport here. We are all for carpe diem and living in the moment. But there are certain decisions in life that require prior planning and mapping out. For instance, let’s say, your dream of going to Cambridge contradicts your boyfriend’s desire to work for unprivileged kids in rural India. Here, you can avoid an abrupt, soul-crushing, break-up if you are realistic and honest to one another about the short span of this relationship right from the very beginning.

Related Reading: Love Without A Future, But I’m Glad We Have Today

Five Essential Keys To Foster Responsibility In Relationships

Tracing back to personal experiences, I can fairly say that fear of responsibility in relationships is a valid concern. So many of us fall into the trap of ‘what ifs’ and give up on our chances of love. We end up looking for familiar patterns of old toxic lovers or deep-seated childhood trauma. Consequently, we push the nice ones away even before the relationship has enough time to mature. 

I would like to assure you that you are neither running away nor flaking out over responsibility in relationships. You may want to incorporate these 5 strategies to develop a habit of taking responsibility in relationships:

1. Communication is key

I bet you cannot offer a better alternative to transparent communication. I mean, how else would you know what’s going on in a person’s mind which triggers certain behavioral traits? Please don’t bottle up your feelings because you dread confrontations. Find a way to convey your emotions and not only the negatives. Sweet compliments or a message of gratitude every now and then acts like glue to keep you attached. If nothing else, lend them a patient ear to help them vent. 

Related Reading: 11 Ways To Improve Communication In Relationships

2. Conflicts can be constructive 

Yes, you heard me right. If you go on for a long time without a single fight, that means you are not challenging each other. Your growth as a couple has come to a standstill. Certain disagreements and clashes of opinions are absolutely natural. If both of you resort to a problem-solving approach, you will come out of it stronger and your relationship will evolve into a better version of itself. Remember, you are allowed to correct a mistake in your partner as long as you don’t take a superior tone. 

3. Value personal space 

Are you often accused of giving too much in a relationship or taking over responsibility in relationships? In fact, do you take over completely? Slow down, man! Otherwise, it may bring about discord and ruin the rhythm of your union. Do you really have to fly with her all the time when she clearly wants a solo trip? You don’t need to feel alarmed if your girl says she wants some space. Everyone should be able to spend time on their own. Reconnecting with self, indulging in a favorite past-time, and enjoying one’s own company is not only important, but it’s also good for your relationship in the long run. Your presence in the backdrop and holistic support will do the magic!

4. Be the bigger soul

You know what, responsibility in relationships is not about keeping score. “He won the last fight. This time I will not yield. Let him crawl back to me and say ‘Sorry’. Then we’ll see.” Wrong! For the sake of this relationship, you have to let go of a few from the past. Once in a while, be more empathetic toward him, try to comprehend his point of view. You will see, sometimes it’s not so difficult to forgive and forget or to slip a small apology note in his purse. 

5. Uphold mutual commitments and responsibilities 

The word ‘responsibility’ won’t sound like a burden when you are both ready to take up equal parts of it. Do not expect your partner to come back home after a long day at work and take care of home chores very efficiently. How about we divide and conquer? You can swing this partnership into a smooth ride by aligning your goals and life choices in a similar direction. 

You see, happy relationships are not a myth. While there is no standard recipe to reaching that state of absolute bliss, we do the best we can. We love, we fight, we learn, we grow. You cannot hope to be successful in life by taking a shortcut, right? Well, that holds good for relationships as well. They demand time, patience, a sincere effort, and undivided attention. And if you feel, a little professional guidance would help to straighten up your queries and confusion, drop by our Bono counselors panel where a team of esteemed counselors and psychologists are ever ready to remedy your situation.

As I state the importance of becoming responsible in a relationship one last time, don’t presume this article to be your one and only guiding manual. Listen to your heart. Connect with your partner on a deeper level. Once you realize what your set of responsibilities to make the relationship more alive than ever are, the road to Blissville just becomes that much smoother. 

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