My parents have been through hell and back yet still have managed to stick together through it all for 28 years. When it comes to love and relationships, I could not ask for better role models.
Here are 6 things I learned about love from my mom and dad:
1. Friendship is the foundation for any healthy relationship.
Love is a beautiful thing and it’s real easy to fall into it. Unfortunately, it’s just as easy to fall out of love, too. In order to thrive in a relationship when you are constantly being tested—How’s the income? I think she’s starting to let herself go. My ex wants me back. What do I do?—that solid foundation of friendship needs to be there. And when your partner seemingly takes the place as “best friend,” he or she’s probably a keeper.
2. Relationships are a two-way street.
When you decide to allow someone into the most intimate part of your life, there will always be a need for compromise. You give and you shall receive. Thing is, that should not be the primary focus of a relationship. If you’re constantly keeping tabs on everything you do for your significant other and how he or she has “repaid” you for it, then the relationship is doomed for failure. Rather than a fifty-fifty, each party should give it all he or she’s got.
3. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
Life is too short to allow people into your circle that won’t add to the life you’re trying to build for yourself and your family. Entertaining the idea of being with someone who does not treat you the way you’re meant to be treated is a waste of time and a waste of space. A partner who truly loves you will always fight for you, and fight to keep you. Anyone else deserves a wave goodbye.
4. Love and laughter go hand-in-hand.
It is without a doubt that some people lose interest when things start to get boring. One sure fire way to keep that spark alive and well is to be with someone who makes you laugh. A sense of humor always win, and so does the person who’s witty with the tongue. Now, I’m not saying that every comedian makes an ideal partner, nor am I saying that someone who’s more on the serious side sucks at relationships. But when times are rough, it always helps to have someone around that’ll make you smile through it all.
5. Be with someone who accepts you as you are.
The biggest mistake of many of us make in relationships is not accepting our significant others for who they are. If you get into a relationship in hopes of transforming your partner, then you’re doing it all wrong. Natural changes take place during the course of a relationship, when two entities gradually join to form one. If he enjoys playing on his PS4 for hours at a time or she prefers to keep of with the latest fashion trends and remedies that by shopping, don’t expect him/her to give that up. Understand that as much as you two are joined at the hip, it is perfectly fine to retain your separate identities.
6. Don’t waste time on someone with whom you don’t see a future.
The more time you spend on a person you couldn’t imagine settling down with, the less time you have for meeting someone you can. Relationships are a lot of work as it is–you laugh, you cry, you argue, and ultimately, you fall in love. We’re basically dealing with bipolarity on crack here. So what’s the point of going through that if it’ll mean nothing in the end? Isn’t a “forever after” the end goal?
As my parents have taught me throughout the years, all these pieces to factor into this puzzle we call love. I can only hope to find something as tightly knit and genuine someday.