What the Challenges of a Romantic Relationship Teach You

I think anyone can agree that no romantic relationship is perfect. Even the most admirable couples are guaranteed to face their fair share of problems. This is because we’re human. In any committed relationship, there will be ups and downs, issues to confront, and compromises to make. While the majority of the relationship should not be dealing with problems, conflict is bound to exist. The challenges a romantic relationship present, however, are not always setbacks. Overcoming these challenges can actually strengthen your relationship or at the very least, grant you the opportunity to learn and grow. Here are a few things that the hardships of a romantic relationship teach you:

  1. 1. There will be challenges

    First of all, if you’re really interested in a committed, long-term relationship, you need to accept the fact that it’s not always going to be easy. If you don’t feel you’re ready for the complicated journey that entails a romantic relationship, you probably need more time to yourself before you take on the emotions of someone else.

  2. 2. You learn what works to resolve problems vs. what doesn’t

    Everyone is different. Everyone views, thinks and acts in different ways towards certain situations. It definitely takes trial and error, but through the course of a relationship you’ll learn what is triggering for your partner and the best way to handle the situation so that you’re both happy. Sometimes you’ll discover that some issues just can’t be resolved no matter how hard you try. Either way, they are lessons to be learned.

  3. 3. You’re forced to recognize qualities in yourself that need improvement

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    Most of the time, you won’t recognize a quality in yourself that needs improvement unless someone points it out to you. For example, maybe you tend to act emotionally instead of taking time to rationalize your thoughts. A friend may be less inclined to call you out on your behavior, but an intimate partner will likely say something, especially if it’s affecting your relationship. It can be difficult to admit that you hold a negative quality that you’ve never noticed before. It can even start some arguments, but eventually you’ll have to face it if you want the relationship to work. This requires letting go of that stubborn ego, but once you recognize your faults and start working on changing, it will not only benefit your relationship, but you as a person.

  4. 4. You’re going to make mistakes/learn to forgive your partner’s mistakes

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    Everyone makes mistakes. By mistakes I’m thinking of something like your partner unintentionally said something that really hurt your feelings. However, worse mistakes happen and some are deal breakers while others aren’t. Depending on what is important to you, you’ll learn to own up to your mistakes and/or forgive your partner's mistakes if you feel it’s worth it (without sacrificing your self-worth).

  5. 5. Compromise

    We all know that all relationships require some form of compromising, but what we don’t always know is how difficult it can be until we’re in a position where it’s necessary to save a relationship. Again, you never know until you’ve experienced it for yourself.

  6. 6. You realize what you need in a relationship

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    After much reflection, I’ve personally realized that the core things I need in a romantic relationship are effort, honesty, communication, and adventure. Once you’re faced with the unique challenges of your relationship and take the time to consider what is missing, you too will discover what you need. I believe identifying and communicating your values is important for a successful romantic relationship.

A romantic relationship takes time, energy, and work. Despite it all, feeling so strongly for someone to the point where you’re willing to struggle and work to stay together is a beautiful thing.