Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!! Or, if you’re against Valentine’s Day, then Happy Single’s Awareness Day! Since I know love is on everyone’s mind today, why not talk about it? Even though it is not on social media, I know most of you know that I have been dating the same guy for a year and four months. However, he has been my best friend for way longer than that time.
Nevertheless, dating for that long does NOT make me a relationship expert. I doubt anyone truly is an “expert” when it comes to relationships. That being said, I have picked up ten general tips for both relationships and single people that can be helpful.
- Communicate- Every day if possible. When there are issues, and when things are going well. Discuss everything thoroughly that way there are no festering issues that get pulled up in a heated argument.
- Trust- Trust your partner. No relationship can function without trust, especially long-distance relationships. That’s what my boyfriend and I are in now. I am up in Muncie and he’s in Indianapolis. Yes, I know that is not that far, but we still have to deeply trust each other. Otherwise, the relationship would crumble due to paranoia. But also, trust your gut. If something feels wrong, then it probably is. I am not condoning snooping through your partner’s phone, but tell them what’s bothering you and talk it out (see point #1!!!). A deficiency in trust creates a surplus in issues.
- Be understanding- Nobody is perfect. If your partner makes a mistake, do not hold it over their heads or “keep score”. That just creates tension in the relationship. I understand there are special cases (like cheating) that some may not be able to forgive, but do not get mad at them for not texting back immediately, or something like that.
- Be your own person- Do not, I repeat DO NOT, change yourself to be exactly the same as your partner. I have seen it happen firsthand, and it decimates relationships quickly. Your partner likes you for who YOU are. There is no happiness in being exactly the same. Should you have some common interests? Absolutely! But they do not all have to be the same. For example, my boyfriend is into wrestling. Me? Not so much. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not something I like. However, I am not encouraging him to stop loving wrestling, and he’s not wanting me to become obsessed with wrestling to please him. However, that being said…
- Challenge yourself to learn something new- Find out why your partner likes the hobbies he/she does, and when he/she talks to you about it, do not just shrug it off as unimportant. If it is a sport, ask your significant other who his/her favorite player is. If nothing else, remember that.
- Little things go a long way- This one is self-explanatory, but the smallest gestures mean the most, at least in my opinion. The grand gestures are nice, but those often take a lot of planning. A simple gesture like a thoughtful text or a kind act take only a few minutes but leave a lasting impression.
- Tell each other that you love each other every day- You never know when your last day will be your last. I know that makes it sound really dark, but it is true. If you love someone, tell them as often as you can that way it is never forgotten.
- Be kind and forgiving- This goes back to being understanding. In an argument, do not bring up something minor that is in the past. (For example: “You didn’t invite me to your sister’s birthday seven years ago!”) If your partner apologizes for something, forgive and let it go.
- Be a best friend- Be the one that he/she is excited to tell things to, and be the first one called when something goes wrong. Be the one to console, and be the one to rejoice. Be there for your partner in every way, just like a best friend would.
- Refuse to give up on each other- Relationships are stronger when you have two people who refuse to quit on each other. It makes arguments less painful, and it makes the sweet moments better.
- Stop looking- Seriously. I was not looking for a boyfriend when my best friend asked me out over a year ago. I was expecting to go away to college and meet someone there. Being asked out totally took me by surprise because I was not looking for one.
- Be patient- I know single people hear this all the time, but it’s so true. One of my favorite quotes says “You can’t rush something you want to last forever.”
- Date someone you know- Do not date someone you just met. I have never seen those end well. My general rule of thumb is knowing someone for at least two years before I could even think about dating them because I want to be sure I know the person I am hopefully going to be spending the rest of my life.
- Find some friends- Get some people around you that are single as well that way you all can still have fun together and not bring up relationship talk (especially, if it puts you down).
- Learn to love who you are- From my experience, you need to be comfortable with yourself before you can be comfortable with someone else. Accept your flaws and traits with confidence, knowing that they are yours.
- Set some standards for yourself- Take this time to think about what you want in a partner. Figure out what qualities and characteristics are important to you. The right person will meet all or most of them. For example, one of my preferences was that my boyfriend would have blue eyes. However, the guy I’m dating has dark brown eyes, but he meets every other standard I have, so his eye color is not a deal breaker for me.
- Be yourself- Do not let the media tell you what you need to be. You are perfect as you are, whether single or in a relationship. So embrace who you are and do not change for someone else. That only leaves you feeling unsatisfactory.
- Do not accept anything less than what you believe is the best- Nobody likes to be put down. If someone makes you feel unworthy or terrible, they are not worth your time. That goes with “friends” as well. Surround yourself with people who always uplift and encourage you.
- There is no need to compromise who you truly are- If you have a gut feeling or your friends do not trust someone who is asking you out, stick to that. Do not say yes to someone who you know is bad for you just because you are so desperate to be in a relationship.
- Do not focus so much on your relationship status- Immerse yourself in your education, your career, your family, your friends, or just about anything else. Being single helps you become independent and be your own person. The right person will notice, be impressed with, and love every little thing about you.
Once again, I assure you I am no expert when it comes to relationships. There are things I am still figuring out as well. However, I hope these help and I hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day is filled with love!