There is so much wrong with “relationships” today that I figured it might be beneficial to provide some practical advice gleaned from my own past experiences. Now, I am in no way trying to say that I know everything-I just hope that this might help someone avoid one or two of the numerous mistakes that I (and unfortunately,many others) have made.This article is about putting the relation back in relationships.
The only thing more important than trusting your significant other is being trustworthy yourself. But more on that later. For now, don’t make assumptions. If someone of the opposite gender says “hi” to your boyfriend try to see it for what it is as opposed to assuming that means he has been cheating on you with her for the past three months and is about to leave you for her. Also, don’t snoop through their things (i.e. electronics) unless you have permission and reciprocate that liberty to them. And don’t allow any baggage from other relationships to cause you to bring any unwarranted suspicion or distrust to your current relationship-really hard but absolutely necessary. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, on to my favorite part.
Many people assume having trust in a relationship is all about being faithful but there is so much more to it than that. That is not to say that fidelity is unimportant because it definitely is. A good rule to follow for that is to simply not do,say,or text anything that you wouldn’t want your significant other to do. And don’t rationalize by saying “it’s different because…”. Be honest with yourself. You know what’s okay and what’s not. Moving on, trust incorporates many facets of a relationship. For example. don’t fight dirty. I know, I know- you’re probably like “How the heck does that relate to trust?” Well, your partner trusts you with his/her deepest secrets, insecurities, and fears. It would be very easy to use these things against them in an argument. They’re trusting you to not say anything to purposely wound them. You have the power to press buttons that can cut more than you will ever know-don’t use it! Your partner also trusts you to not go around talking about every aspect of your relationship to all your friends and their mothers. Remember that conflicts can be resolved but if you tell people, they might hold a grudge against that person long after you’ve forgiven and forgotten. All these aspects of trust are crazy important and necessary to having a happy relationship.
After being in a relationship for a while, it’s easy to assume that your significant other knows you and can totally read your mind by now- not true. People are always changing and so are their opinions. It’s your job to be honest and open with your partner about all your feelings, hopes, desires, likes,dislikes, and everything. Again, NEVER make assumptions! (I know I’m capitalizing a bunch of stuff but that’s because I feel like all these things are ridiculously important.) One of my favorite quotes regarding this is “you can talk a lot but never really communicate”. What that means is talk to your partner, not at them. Also, don’t assume that they understand something just because you explained it in a way that makes sense to you. Always clarify that your partner understands you and if not, try rewording it. Also, don’t interrupt. Ever. And do not, I repeat, do not get defensive. It’s imperative that both you and your partner feel comfortable expressing emotions and concerns without fear of being attacked in the process.
3. Pick your battles
Your partner is going to chew with their mouth open, be late for everything, talk too much, or some other habit that annoys the crap out of you. Allow the minor things to fall by the wayside. Decide what things you absolutely cannot deal with-these are your deal breakers. These are topics worth bringing up a slightly confrontational conversation about.Typically, these are more major things such as being unfaithful,emotionally abusive, or manipulative. Those are just examples-it’s completely up to you what your deal breakers are. Only you know what you absolutely can and can’t live with. Just remember that no one is perfect and every person your with is going to have some “unfavorable” habits. These things are nothing to start World War 3 over.
You should never feel like you have to be some “better” version of yourself around your partner or that you need to hide certain parts of your true self. If the person you’re with doesn’t make you feel unconditionally loved for exactly who you are, they are probably not someone you should stay with. That’s because this will cause you to start questioning your worth and if certain aspects of you are defective somehow. Never allow anyone to make you feel less than-especially your significant other.
5. Have fun
Don’t limit your relationship to being solely mushy-gushy,googley-eyed stuff. Your partner is supposed to be your Best Friend right? So act like it! Tell corny jokes, wrestle, play games, go bowling-keep it fun. Laugh together. Watch comedies. And never,ever let your relationship be only about “relationship-y” things.
You should never get used to your significant other. Never take for granted the little things. Don’t assume that they just know how you feel about them. Tell them-every chance you get. Don’t allow someone outside your relationship to come in and give your partner more reassurance and appreciation than you do. Remind her that you still catch your breath whenever she smiles. Remind him that you still get butterflies when he holds your hand. No one ever gets tired of hearing nice things. Even if your partner never expresses it, appreciation is an irrevocably necessary part of every relationship. Feeling under appreciated or taken for granted is one of the main reasons good relationships fall apart.
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Relationships are complicated and diverse. I couldn’t possibly discuss all the important details in one article but I do believe these are some of the most important blanket pieces of any healthy,happy relationship. At the end of the day, these are all things we already know but might not be putting into practice. I encourage you to do your best to start infiltrating these qualities into your relationship and see where it goes. Of course, things might not change overnight and no relationship is perfect, but they can still be happy. My wise mother has always told me “You can only do your best.”-I don’t think that could apply more.