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Game on! How Teamwork Can Improve Your Relationship

 

You may not even realize it, but you and your partner are teammates. No, it’s not just referring to the times when you play couples tennis together or when you dominate at Taboo during game nights. If you look more closely at the relationship between you and your partner, it becomes clear that you actually do form a team—arguably one of the most important teams that you’ll ever be on. In fact, it’s teamwork itself that’s key to making a relationship work.


Team Truths. A team is defined as different people with respective strengths and expertise who come together to achieve a common purpose. A team takes into account the contributions, interests and needs of other teammates, and they all unite to accomplish a desired outcome. Just think about your favorite sports team—the players aren’t all alike, but they work together and are committed to each other in order to achieve certain goals (so to speak).

This same concept can be applied directly to your relationship.
Sure, they say there’s no “I” in “TEAM,” but there are two in “RELATIONSHIP,” and they stand for you and your mate. You want to create a successful team dynamic where you and your partner are able to openly share ideas, listen to each other, support one another and basically have each other’s backs.

You and your partner should strive to be on the same page, all while working to achieve your own personal goals and relationship goals, whether it’s career success, marriage, children or simply the mutual decision to binge-watch Netflix over the weekend.


Team Troubles. The problems arise when you stop treating your partner as your teammate, as that’s when relationships start to crumble. Face it, everyone has been on a team that was outright dysfunctional, be it at work, in a kickball league or even in your high school Chemistry class.

Perhaps someone on the team was dominating every conversation, not carrying his or her weight, unfocused, uninterested, dishonest and/or lazy. (Or maybe that person was you!) If team members are working against each other, undermining one another, having different end goals and fighting all the time, a successful outcome is far more unlikely. The same goes for a relationship.


Team Triumphs. So how do you be a good teammate with your partner so that your relationship doesn’t fall apart like your tenth grade 0-12 soccer team? (It still hurts, doesn’t it?) All you have to do is take your cues directly from the different components that make up functional teams, and incorporate these characteristics into your relationship.

First, team building comes down to two words—trust and respect. Without trusting your teammates and treating them with respect, the team will not function properly. And the same goes for you and your partner. If you’re distrusting of your mate and/or treating him or her with disinterest and disrespect, you’re heading in a bad direction.


Team Techniques. Other aspects of successful teams are communication, support and listening. Again, without these factors present in your relationship, it’s hard to form a cohesive unit with your partner.

Lastly, the team has to be working for a common goal and purpose. And in relationships, this is where many people falter. You and your partner have to openly discuss where you see yourselves headed and what you’re hoping for and planning on in the future. If your partner is fixated on having children one day, and you’re not sure if you even want kids at all, you’re heading for a team breakdown.

For your relationship to function at its peak, your goals have to be aligned so that you can not only be teammates, but soulmates as well.
 
 
 

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Love Magazine: Game on! How Teamwork Can Improve Your Relationship
Game on! How Teamwork Can Improve Your Relationship
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