How To Maintain a Lasting (like..lasting) Relationship

Yeah, I’m looking at you youngins- no, a month long relationship isn’t a lasting relationship. Neither is a two month, or three, or five. I’m talking about years and years (oh ew, with the same person??)

Well, I won’t put you guys in the line of fire- I was just teasing. In fact, I was like that once. 16, was my first relationship and oh, how wonderful it felt to be in love. I didn’t know what being hurt meant, I didn’t know how much it would hurt. I still remember telling myself: if we ever do breakup it won’t be a problem. I was definitely strong enough to handle it! (Pft, as if. I wasn’t over it for the next 2 years.)

As I kept getting older, I kept going through relationships, all which I took very seriously. With each one that has passed, I’ve learned something new about what it takes to make a relationship last. Now don’t take this as the word of God, just some pointers, food for thought.

#1: Be Honest.

Yeah, really. I know how hard it is sometimes; EVERYBODY lies a little in a relationship (you remember the cookie you stole from her and you told her you don’t know who took it?) but NOBODY should lie about something big. Something major, like your feelings. An ex. Your family. Your interests. A relationship is building a house- putting together the foundation made of real bricks and cement is a lot more work than making it out of foam and soap and of course, definitely a lot stronger. If you lie to them about how happy you are when you really aren’t, then hell will ensue. Because they will keep doing what makes you sad thinking they’re actually making you happy. Why would you want to do that to yourself? When you’re honest with one another, 2 things happen: you will fight, and you will know whether the relationship is worth it by the end of it.

#2: Be Independent.

You know what I mean. Be your own person. If your happiness is dependent on them, something isn’t quite right…and you probably would want to re-evaluate this. Don’t get me wrong again…I get those feelings of want and need too. I would love to see my boyfriend everyday. I miss him everyday. But I don’t go on a rampage if I don’t. I don’t demand him to see me- instead, I fill my days up with something productive, like working out. Paying my bills. Finding a stupid sublet for my next school term and in the process, be gipped out of my money…erm, and etc. Being your own person will make being with them that much better because you can stand on your own two feet. And nothing is sexier than a person who can thrive in and out of a relationship.

#3: Be Affectionate, but not Overbearing.

They look at their phone again and roll their eyes as you send them another “I love you baby” text. The words are starting to look like everyday prepositions. They probably don’t even take it seriously anymore. Giving too much love and affection can produce the opposite effect, and yes, as you grow older, this IS true. When your focus isn’t on undressing your girlfriend with your eyes anymore and instead, on your graduating year at university, or your full time job/career, these overbearing affections will make you go crazy. You just got no time for it, not because you don’t share the feeling; it just feels childish and infatuous (yes I just made this word up, sue me). And when you’re working full time, you don’t want to feel like a child. Neither do they.

#4: Be Sensitive.

You gotta care about them. Otherwise, why the hell are you in a relationship with them? Do you know their problems? Their personal, health, problems? Do you know how to make them feel better when they’re down in the dumps? Do you know how to make her laugh when she’s crying? Do you know how to make him feel like the luckiest guy in the world? Being sensitive shows you care about them genuinely. You listen to them and you act appropriately. You take their problems to heart, and you make sacrifices for them. The grad ball you were going to take her to falls instantly from your agenda when she falls ill, and instead of going solo, you spend that night with her at the hospital. You don’t have to think about being sensitive- you shouldn’t. It should just happen naturally, because you love them, don’t you?

#5: Keep Calm and Argue On.

All your pent-up anger bubbles in your chest and– you let it all out with a sigh. Arguing with loud, vulgar taunts at each other only proves one thing: you’re both still unable to handle things maturely. So you guys can yell and scream- what good does that do? Would your point be heard better compared to if you were to speak at a normal tone? It’s normal to get heated in an argument, but if it becomes a caveman yelling war, you guys are straying off track. Being able to keep a level head is absolutely the best way to counter. Why? Because it makes the other person look silly (assuming they’re yelling). By having such a drastic change in volume, the other person will automatically drop their voice. Win-win for both your ears.

#6: Is There a Future?

The most important point of all. When you picture yourself- being an entrepreneur, or a businessman, or an architect- do you see yourself being with someone? Do you feel like you can accept that whole new path? Are you READY? Is she the one you want in your life, the one you want to come home to, the one you want to tell all your family and friends to, the one you want to marry? Can you stand their shenanigans, their quirky personality, their ridiculous sense of humour, their cooking? How they’re scared of spiders, or how they’re unable to eat gluten? Think about it. Because this may be what you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

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