Let’s be honest: relationships are hard.
It would be way easier if we could just do whatever the heck we wanted.
But. . . relationships are super awesome too, especially on Valentine’s day.
Here are three practices for relationship longevity.
I mean, who else is going to look at you ugly cry after watching Game of Thrones and still love you?
Some people would call this kindness. Compassion could work here as well. The point is, you have to understand that your partner is a human (superhuman), just like you. Sometimes we are grumpy and snarky. Sometimes you want to take your bad day out on your partner. Do not do this. Just shut your mouth. Then open it and shove in a cupcake. Don’t send that passive aggressive text because you feel lonely and want attention. Don’t make fun of their accomplishments. Don’t be jealous of their successes. Do listen to the things that are important to them. Do ask questions about their day. Do respond to their bids to connect with you ( More on bids for affection next week.) Do send them GIFs of Jennifer Lawrence falling down. Always do this last one. Always.
Pow! Relationship salvaged. You’re welcome.
#2: Honest Communication
I know, I know. Honesty and communication are important, but right here let’s talk about honest communication. This means . . . well, honestly talking about your relationship. Talk about things that are going well and areas in your relationship where you are unsatisfied. How is your wifey going to know that your love language is “touch” if they only way you communicate that is by rubbing your butt against her every once in a while when walking down the street. Do say when you want more quality time or that you miss them. Don’t blame and accuse because you have all the feels and they don’t know it; you probably haven’t communicated it. Don’t forget the long term; honestly communicate your small problems now before they become bigger ones later. Also, don’t fart on your partner, under any circumstances, this is NOT honest communication. This is just weird.
COMPROMISE? What are them big words. I will help you. *insert block quote Siri*
an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. “an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both” (Google, thank you, Google)
Worst block quote ever.
Relationship is compromise. It’s figuring out how to live with this other person who leaves dishes in the sink instead of on the counter. Horrifying, I know, but it happens to real people like you. Try to understand that they are doing the best they know how. Do talk about things. Stop doing things that you know annoy them. It’s ok, they can leave their Listerine bottle on the counter, in fact, maybe you should make a special spot for it! Such compromise! Much longevity! Do negotiate. Do problem solve. Don’t let things stew. Do not show people your genitals to manipulate them; that is not how we are using the word compromise here. Also you’ll probably get gonorrhea and die.
This might be the most important practice. If you and your partner are best friends, you might disagree or argue or be lactose intolerant but in the end you know that you have common interests and you have a foundation of friendship to fall back on when you might not “feel” the love. Facilitating friendship is going to save you a lot of boring nights if you plan on staying with your partner long term. Go on adventures. Find things you love to do and do them together. Video games, movies, exercising, reading, knitting with cat hair, whatever. Dance around and look stupid together. Don’t poop in front of each other. No, not even for friends. Just stop that.
If your relationship is as artistic as Lady Gaga’s performances it might be best to figure out (early) if you and your sweetums are both willing to put in the effort to create a foundation for a lasting (and healthy) relationship or maybe you just like the mess and that’s where you are with that. Just be honest.
What practices have contributed to the success in your relationships? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Daniel Nanescu of splitshire.com