Making It Work

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, let's talk relationships.

I've been with my boyfriend for six years, and while I'm no expert, over that time I have learned my fair share on what can keep a relationship running smoothly.

So whether it's something I've learned myself or just a few reminders to pass along, here's my two cents:

  1. Pick your battles. I'm going to include this in every advice list there is. Pick. Your. Battles. Don't bother getting worked up over the little things. They aren't worth your energy.
  2. People express love in different ways. And just because it differs from your way doesn't mean it's any less valuable. (This might help.)
  3. People also communicate in different ways. For instance, if my boyfriend and I get into an argument, I want to talk then and there to get it resolved ASAP. He doesn't always work that way, though. He needs time to process everything and sort out his thoughts. So oftentimes when I'm looking for some sort of response, he's quiet. And I have to remember not to take that personally. Instead, we'll table the discussion and come back to it at another time. It can be frustrating, but ultimately, it's best to take the necessary steps to let each person communicate as clearly as possible.
  4. There's nothing cute about being the crazy girlfriend. You'd think this one would be obvious enough that it didn't have to be mentioned, but you'd be surprised how often the "crazy girlfriend" image is glorified. Don't let jealousy or pettiness get the best of you.
  5. Don't compare your relationship to how it "used to be." The two of you will grow and change, and in turn, so will the dynamic of your relationship. It doesn't mean the romance is gone. More likely, the passion and romance that comes with a new relationship is evolving into a feeling of companionship.
  6. Definitely don't compare your relationship to others. So-and-so got engaged to her boyfriend even though you've been with yours longer? A friend of yours just moved in with their S/O and you're still living by yourself? Shrug it off. Everyone is on their own timeline and their own journey.
  7. Do what's best for you. Here's what I mean by this one: There are times where my boyfriend wants to hang out and I just want the night to myself, or vice versa. If I agree in an attempt to be nice, I could end up irritable. So I don't. I take the night to myself. That's just one example. In general, even though you are in a relationship, you are still your own person, so make sure you do what you gotta do to be happy.
  8. Sleep it off. Because "never go to sleep angry" is BS. Sometimes you have to. Staying up in an attempt to resolve the argument will usually only make it worse. Wait until the morning to address it when you're in a better mindset.
  9. Remember that you are partners. You're in it together. Don't keep score. I know some girls who refuse to pay for meals or drive anywhere, which is silly. Keep it equal.
  10. Your relationship isn't everything. No matter how much you like or love each other, it should never be the only thing you care about. I bet your friends are pretty awesome too. Love is great – just don't lose yourself in it.

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