My boyfriend Adam and I have been together for four years, but that does not mean all of it has been happy and exciting. Relationships are A LOT OF WORK. Trust me. So here are a few things that Adam and I have done to keep things interesting and working to make it last.
My first piece of advice might come off as strange, but it is VERY important. If you’re in a relationship, you are obviously are more than friends, but the basic communication and trust of friendship is also important for a relationship. Adam is my best friend as well as my boyfriend. We confide in each other, we support each other, we hangout with each other etc. Make sure that you are making this a foundation for you and your significant other. Don’t just go on romantic dates, but also take the time to do random friend things together like homework and shopping. Building this relationship will help you later on if problems arise because you will both feel comfortable speaking your mind and being your true self communication will be easier.
You have to communicate with each other. This is so important. Make sure you set up boundaries before you get into the relationship. Tell each other what you are comfortable with (sexual and nonsexual). Talk about what the expectations are in the relationships. This is usually a big thing for couples. One was expecting more than the other was. Make sure everyone is on the same page with everything—even little things like how often you will hangout.
- Staying True to Yourself
This is also super important. Adam and I met in high school because we had the same friend group. Then we ended up going to the same university as well. This is something the both of us have struggled with. You have to make sure you have friends and interests apart from one another. It is awesome to have the same friends, but it can be even better when you don’t. For a while, I felt like I had no friends except for him, and this weighed heavily on my mental health. Make sure you guys do things separately sometimes. This will build your trust in each other and ensure that you are both getting all of your needs fulfilled because despite what you might convince yourself, you cannot be each other’s everything and still have a healthy relationship. Try to not cut your friends and family out to only hangout with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Maintain Your Comfort Level
This goes along with making sure you have boundaries. You have to be comfortable with everything that is happening. If you start to notice red flags with your partner DO NOT be afraid to talk to them about it or, if it is bad enough, to leave. If you are uncomfortable with a situation do not feel pressured to continue on. If your partner loves and cares about you, they will understand.
- BE OPEN
Lastly, be open. If you are trying to find a relationship, you need to be open to all of the possibilities. You are not always going to find your forever person on a drunk saturday night. I mean you might, do not get me wrong, but it is important for you to understand what you are looking for. Try looking at the people in your classes or clubs or at the gym. They are more likely the ones who are interested in the same things you are. This will help guide conversations. I never thought that me and Adam would be dating, and yet here we are four years later. We met because we liked the same things, but we have gotten along since because of all of these things I have listed. Be open, put yourself out there, and be yourself. No point in pretending to be someone you’re not because it will just come back and bite you.
So here are some of the things that I do in my relationship and I hope this helps. Just remember not every person in your life is put in your life to be there forever. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED if you have to kiss a lot of frogs before one turns into your prince. Remember to love yourself first over everyone and you will eventually find your forever person.