Just over one year ago I signed up for Okcupid in hopes of generating some story ideas. I planned on carrying out some type of social experiment on how well people’s online personalities stacked up with their real selves, as well as to see what types of answers to profile questions attracted what types of people. I didn’t really get very far into my little experiment, as the third person I went out with ending up turning into the most significant relationship in my life so far.
We’ve had our ups and downs, though I’m happy to report that it’s mostly ups! He makes me laugh every single day and always tell me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. I know this might be making all you single people out there puke in your mouths a bit but bear with me, I was once in your shoes. Honestly, this is my first serious relationship in over a decade, and that being said, I wish to impart some wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way:
Relationships Take Work (But it Should be Worth it)
Relationships may seem easy at first when it’s all fresh and new, when all you want to do is be around the person and learn everything about them (and every inch of them). In the beginning, we want to put forth the best version of ourselves to impress our newfound love. But somewhere around the 4-6 month mark, the bubble bursts, ending the honeymoon phase and kicking in the “we can work it out” phase where you start to wonder why you’re bickering over seemingly insignificant things like which restaurant to eat at or who forgot to take out the trash.
Basically, it’s not like it should really take a lot of work at once, just a little bit of work every day from both parties. Compliments, listening, honesty and compassion go a long way.
Strive for a Similar Drive
Obviously you want to get into a relationship with someone compatible in certain areas like morals, beliefs and desires from life. One of the most important desires not to be overlooked is sex drive since this is the main aspect that differentiates your romantic relationship from the other ones in your life.
Finding someone who has a drive equal to yours is one of the keys to a happy and healthy long-term relationship, because if one person’s drive is higher than the other, someone will always be getting more or less than what they want. Since this is something that you can’t really change about yourself, it makes it easier when you find someone whose appetites are similar to your own.
Pick your Battles Wisely
A wise man once crooned that you gotta know when to hold em’ and when to fold em’. Compromise is the foundation upon which all great relationships are built. In an equal partnership, no one can get exactly what they want all the time. By focusing on which things are most important to you, you can figure out when to give in and let your partner win sometimes too.
Learn How to Fight Constructively
Fighting is a natural part of any relationship, and all couples do it in one way, shape or form. It naturally comes from spending so much time with another person and sharing your most intimate moments, both good and bad. I’m not really an authority on the subject, as our relationship is pretty amicable. The worst fight we ever had was when he shaved his hair much shorter that I thought he would, giving him the look of an ex-con… and not in a good way.
Bringing up issues as soon as they arise is the mature way of dealing with conflict. There’s no sense in letting resentment build, as this causes a massive imbalance in the relationship that one party isn’t even aware of. Letting things go once they’re resolved is crucially important too, because using old fights as ammunition in current conflicts isn’t exactly fair game.
So yeah… this counts as a gift, right? Seeing as how the traditional anniversary gift for the first year is paper, baby you can just print this out and voila!