Dating these days can sometimes feel like an Olympic sport. Mixed signals, commitment phobia, and trust issues tend to run rampant in today’s dating scene. However, most of these things can be blamed on the fact that the foundational building blocks relationships used to be built on no longer exist. Instead, relationships are founded upon social media, materialism, and other distractions that add no substantive value to the relationship.
I’d be willing to bet that if we reevaluated what we should understand about being in a relationship, we would find that most of us (and our relationships) are way off base. In my (humble) opinion, there are 5 key things we should understand about being in a relationship.
1. Compromise is key.
No, this does not mean that one of you is winning and one of you is losing. This simply means that you are both mature enough to realize that being selfish does nothing for a relationship. A relationship is a partnership, and a partnership is nothing without compromise. In reality, if you truly care about your partner, then compromising will be second nature. If you are unable to compromise, then your relationship is probably destined for failure.
2. Communicate loud and clear.
So many relationships fail because there is a total lack of communication. More often than not, this break down in communication causes unnecessary arguing that turns into something that gets completely blown out of proportion. Unfortunately, we tend to replace communication with silence or passive aggressiveness, both of which do nothing but make the situation even worse. Your partner cannot read your mind. If you’re upset with them, tell them. If you need some alone time, then say so. Being a straight forward and honest is the best thing you can be. That way your partner is not left wondering “what if” or overthinking things, and everyone is on the same page.
3. Apologizing does not mean you are wrong or are admitting defeat.
Who knew saying the words “I’m sorry” would be so difficult for some people? For some reason, society today has this twisted idea that “I’m sorry” = “You’re right and I’m wrong”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apologizing is nothing more than an acknowledgment that you are mature enough to realize that there was a situation that needed to be rectified. Apologizing is not a competition where we keep score of who is the winner and who is the loser, so don’t make it that way in your relationship.
4. Keeping in touch with your self identity is important.
Sometimes we can get so consumed in a relationship and the person we are dating that we forget who we are as people. Remember, you were a person with a life before you met your partner, and you should never fully give that up even if you’re in a serious relationship. If you’re in the right relationship, then your partner will encourage you to continue your hobbies, to keep in touch with old friends, and to carry on traditions that were in place before you met them. As discussed earlier, compromise is key, and part of compromising is realizing that self-identity can and should exist in a partnership. There is nothing wrong with “me” time. And if your partner is not on board with that, then you are probably not in the right relationship.
5. Without trust, there is no relationship.
If you do not trust your partner, then you should not be with them. End of story. Trust is one of the, if not THE, most important building blocks in a relationship. This ties back in to the communication aspect – if you are communicating with each other, then there should be no doubts and trust issues. You won’t feel the need to know what your partner is doing, who they are with, etc. if you trust them, because you know they are 100% committed to you. So, instead of expending time and energy worrying and overthinking things, make sure your lines of communication are open and the trust will grow from there.