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Relationship Advice From Someone Learning How to Be a Better Partner

I’m in such a wonderful place in my love life with my boyfriend of a few years which is why I feel prepared to write this article. I wouldn’t consider myself a relationship expert by any means, but I feel like I learned a few things over the years and now have a few pieces of advice I think would be helpful to share with you guys… so let’s get into it!

Don’t rush into things

The one thing that’s been extremely difficult with the technological world we live in is the online dating scene and matchmaking apps. I’ve never used any of these apps. And so I can’t confidently speak to that experience but I have heard many good and bad stories from my friends and their experiences. However, it’s not the apps themselves that are problematic, but the intentions of the people using them. I have friends searching for long-term relationships matching with people who aren’t looking for the same thing, they’re looking for hookups or wedding dates – a one-and-done situation. There’s nothing wrong with having these desires or intentions but it’s challenging when two people are on different pages, as that creates an unsuccessful start before anything even begins.

My advice here is not to stop using dating apps but to consider being open and honest about your intentions when you are chatting or even going on dates with people. I’m not saying you need to confess your love at first sight or talk about how many kids you want, but be sure to be open with your intentions and communicate that. Being relatively on the same page with someone or even having an open mindset will lessen the chances of two people wasting each other’s time. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that sometimes love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Being confident, independent, and trustworthy

The biggest contribution you can give to a loving and healthy relationship is YOU. That means being self-confident and independent. You need to know who you are, what goals and desires you have to help you be the best companion. There will be days where you can’t give your partner 100% but what’s important is that you are on the same team and can be there for one another to support each other and pick up the slack. I know my boyfriend and I especially deal with this since we live in two different places during the school year (only one more to go honey woohoo). Sometimes one of us isn’t in the best mood and needs to vent or we find ourselves missing each other on certain days more than others. This is why it’s extremely helpful to be independent while being in a relationship.

With the idea of independence, I’ve learned it’s really important to be your own person even in a relationship. I’ve witnessed friends get into relationships and become so wrapped up to the point where they can’t be on their own and always need the other person by their side. No don’t get me wrong, I love spending as much time with my boyfriend as I can and I do always wish he is there with me but even with that preference, I know we need to have our friends and our own lives because having that makes the time we have together even better. This allows us to continue growing as individuals and together which makes us even stronger as a couple.

Another key point to mention here is the idea of building trust with each other. Maintaining trust might be one of the things that matter most in a relationship. Well, confidence and independence too since that’s something many of us struggle with… but both are extremely important if you want to be in a relationship. Trust is super important especially if you have distance between you and your significant other.

You need to trust your partner and communicate even when things go wrong, or even if that means sharing your thoughts in advance of something that might be bugging you. At the end of the day, you are both human and you both may doubt each other’s trust at times, but don’t give in to that (unless you have good reason to, of course).

Communication is key

Yes…I know I went and used the cliché here but it’s SO true. I’m not the best at communicating always become sometimes I like to be angry for a little while and other times I’m so flustered I don’t want to talk right then and there. That is one huge learning curve I’ve had with my current relationship because my partner loves to talk about things right away. When I consider where we were at the start of the relationship to now, I can honestly say that’s probably been the best thing I’ve learned and adjusted for myself. Not only in that process have I become a better communicator with my boyfriend, but I’ve learned how to better communicate with others using that same approach.

No matter how much you want to be with someone if the two of you can’t communicate, can’t argue respectfully, or can’t agree to disagree you might not have a successful relationship. My boyfriend and I get along better than most couples I’ve encountered at our age. We don’t have big blowout arguments, mistreatment behaviors, or screaming matches. And part of that is because we set expectations and a commitment to each to resolve issues ASAP. Even if we’re angry or upset or feeling alone, we always choose to love each other and remember that we are on the same team, even if that means we have to have a long conversation or a few conversations to solve a problem. It’s always us versus the issue (if there is one).

If you take away anything from this article it’s that being in a loving relationship and loving someone else are great feelings to experience but what’s important is what comes with that – confidence, independence, trust, commitment, and communication. I hope that you can find my advice helpful, whether you can think about these ideas or implement them now or in the future.

Spread love to others, love yourself, and always remember you are SO loved.

Lynn Merigold

Illinois State '23

Hi there! My name is Lynn, and I am grateful to be part of the Her Campus team at Illinois State. Thanks for stopping by!