I’m by no means a relationship guru, but here are a few things I learned while being in a relationship for a little more than a year..
1. Love Yourself First.
You can’t expect to fall in love with a person without being comfortable with who you are as a person. When you aren’t comfortable with yourself it causes many problems: being self conscious can lead to being overly jealous (something I am still dealing with). If you don’t love yourself, you also start to not have standards.
2. Have standards.
Don’t date someone you don’t picture having a future together. You would be wasting their time and yours. If you do want to have fun and date around, then by all means go ahead but make sure you and the other person know exactly what is going to happen.
3. Agree to Disagree.
Not every relationship is perfect, there are going to be times where you don’t agree on things but its best to take a deep breath and realize that everyone has their own opinion. You are here to learn from your significant other, maybe its best to learn things from another point of view. Who knows? You might change your mind.
4. Go at your own Pace.
Seriously. Don’t look at other couple’s relationship and think to yourself, “Am I going too slow? Maybe I’m going too fast?” This is your relationship, not theirs. If you are not comfortable doing something with your partner, don’t do it.
I remember after 9 months of dating my boyfriend, we decided to live together. People told me not to because, “You guys are moving too fast and you are going to burn out.” At first I was scared, what if they were right? But then I realized, “If it doesn’t work out, then at least I know early on.” We moved in together and although we don’t live together now (we moved because it was just too far lol) we are still together and are stronger than ever!
Don’t let anyone dictate your love life.
5. Jealousy is the ugliest trait.
In the words of Keri Hilson, “Jealousy is the ugliest trait, don’t ever do it.” There are times where you see other couples spending lavishly on each other, or going out to eat together all the time and you take a look at your relationship and go, “I wish that was my relationship.” Don’t. Do. That. Would you like it if your significant other compared yourself to another person? Then why would you compare your relationship? Every situation is different, maybe you guys are money problems. Of course, you can use other people’s relationship to improve your own and take notes but do so wisely.
6. Be honest and talk everything out.
This is going to happen to almost everyone. There is always this one little thing we don’t like about our partner. Maybe you hate it when you guys split the bill in half (I hate that… so inpersonal!), or maybe you get irritated when your girlfriend expects you to always pay.
I used to hold back my feelings and would end up being irritated and my boyfriend wouldn’t know why, but in the end honesty is always the best answer.
7. Never take a partner for granted, Don’t Slack off.
This is the most important thing that I have learned. “Sometimes love is not enough, it’s easy to think that you won’t in the later term, but we sometimes forget how we got the person in the first place. Basically always be the person you were when you first dated” – Virginia.
I asked a friend of mine and this was what she answered with. Many people believe that once you have been dating for a while, you don’t have to dress up or be a gentlemen. Sorry, that’s not true. Love is something you work at with your partner. It doesn’t matter if you have been dating for 5 months, a year, or married for 25 years. You are with this person to make them happy, and in turn they will make you happy. Buy bouquets, surprise her at work and take her out to lunch, make him his favorite meal, give your s/o a massage. Why do people divorce? “It was getting boring.” “The romance wasn’t there anymore.” You have to remember why you fell in love with that person in the first place. Don’t take the person for granted, show them they are the best thing thats ever happened to you.
8. Enjoy it while it lasts, learn from your mistakes when it ends.
Things end, even though we may deeply in love now it doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future. So… Enjoy it while it lasts, love is a rollercoaster (cliche, I know). You will always keep on learning about yourself – what you like, what you don’t like . Most of all, don’t rush it, if you’re not ready to be in a relationship then don’t force yourself.