I have been in my current relationship for nearly four years now and I feel like it’s been a real learning journey for the both of us. I went from being in a toxic, turbulent relationship (more information on that on my Mental health journey post) to being in a pretty normal but loving relationship, which to me was amazing but also quite hard to adjust to.
Jack was sixteen and I was fifteen when we first met and by the time it got to my 16th birthday I had fallen madly in love with him. Fast forward to present day and now we’re both about to turn 20 (me) and 21 (him), and we’re still learning and growing together. What has really helped me to learn these ‘lessons’ mostly is because the time period we’ve been together is a pretty big period of growth for both of us. We have grown into adulthood together which has been a journey within itself. Now you’ve got a little bit of a back story to my relationship, here are the lessons I have learnt from being in a long term relationship.
Everybody’s got their own battles going on so be kind and be compassionate.
Jack is not really the sort of person to share an issue with me until it is 100% necessary so a hugely important thing I have learnt is to just be kind and compassionate even when I’m not feeling it, because I don’t always know what’s going on with him. I think it can be hard to be seen as separate entities sometimes, especially when you’ve been together for so long, so this is something we can forget. Both Jack and I have problems of our own which we will deal with mostly on our own and so respecting boundaries and being kind as much as possible is essential. That doesn’t meant that we aren’t a team but sometimes we just would rather deal with things alone so it can be important to remember that.
Compromise is key no matter what happens.
The dreaded ‘C’ word..god I struggle with this all the time. Now I know compromise isn’t that hard to do but it is something that is essential all the time in relationships, especially if you want it to last. So just let the arguments slip and agree with them even if you don’t, and if they want to eat somewhere and you don’t just go for it because it’s worth making them happy. That’s not to say be a doormat because nobody should treat you like that but it’s just knowing when to stop putting yourself first and let them be happier for that moment. In relationships sometimes one of you can only give 10% so it’s up to the other to pick up the 90% until they’re able to level it all out.
Don’t take it too seriously, love with your whole heart and have a laugh.
A problem I see in a lot of failed relationships is that people take it too seriously and expect things from their partner that is way too unrealistic. If you want a Prince Charming when you’re with a rogue knight, that’s your problem that they’re not who you want them to be not theirs. So just accept who they are, let them grow when they’re comfortable to and be just have a laugh. Relationships are mostly about enjoying each other’s company and being happy together, so just enjoy the ride and smile a hell of a lot
Be honest and transparent with them.
Honesty is probably the most important aspect of being in a relationship, you need to be completely honest and transparent with the person you love because it’s unfair not to be. If you’re dishonest about your intentions then you’re just being cruel. Let them know who you really are, and be open with them. Tell them why you’re upset, tell them if they’ve irritated you and tell them your fears. They will want to support you but they can’t when you hide things from them.
Keep on top with making an effort, whether that be treating them to small things or keep up date nights, just make that effort to show that you still care.
I think a problem that I’m facing is keeping up on effort with each other, at the start you want to wear all the sexy underwear and make yourself seem like the coolest person alive but as the years go by that urge goes away. Three years in and you will barely scrub up for their family gathering on New Years. So try to make an effort as often as possible to go out on a date or treat them to something they will. For example recently Jack ordered some makeup he saw I was wanting to buy to my surprise because I was having a bad day, and this made me get the butterflies back for a few hours.
Take time away from others to just be with them, including your technology. This is massively important especially for the younger generation, we spend a lot of time online doing work, or connecting with others and sometimes we can forget the people sat in front of us. So try to leave your phone at home or in airplane mode whilst you’re with your significant other and live in the moment with them. It is such a simple thing but it can be so important as it really ties in with making an effort.
Have adventures together because them times bond you closer than before.
Despite the fact Jack and I have been together nearly four years we have only been on one holiday together and that was this year. That holiday was the first time in three years that we have spent a solid week just us, and nobody else. I can tell you now it really helps with getting closer, that time we spent together was amazing because we got to relax and enjoy each other’s company without the stress of work, family or friends. I cannot believe how amazing it was to be exploring somewhere new and beautiful with the person I love, it just made everything deepen.
Treat their fears and passions respectfully because fear and passion are two very personal emotions.
I personally think this is really important, it shows who a person really is by the respect they have for your goals and your fears. I find it very hard to share your true goals and true fears and so when I do I feel very vulnerable, so I would want to be shown some respect for them. Something a significant other should be is supportive, if they can support your dreams and support you when you’re terrified, you can get through a lot. As much as we hate to admit it our feelings can be pretty fragile so being treated respectfully is such an amazing thing, to be taken seriously and to know that that person will be there no matter what is the foundations of a strong and healthy relationship.
That my friends are a few lessons I’ve learnt from my long term relationship, I know there was a lot there but I really wanted to cover the important aspects of what I feel builds a positive relationship.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope to see you around these parts again soon!
Question of the day: what do you feel is most important in a relationship?