Your Relationship Will Always Require Work

I grew up reading romances and pawning over Nicholas Sparks movies. It seemed to me that love was hard at first, but then you would get over the initial battle and everything would be like a fairy tale.

But I think we all learn the hard way that relationships are hard, even when you’ve found the right one.

Emotions are emotions. They are unreliable and powerful, and love may be the most volatile of them all. Even if you’ve met the one, your relationship will always require work.

You’ll always find something to fight about whether it’s over getting enough attention or putting the cap back on the toothpaste.

It requires constant effort. You can’t just buy flowers during the honeymoon stage then sit back and relax for the next 50 years. What kind of life or relationship would that be?

But the effort and the work and the bickering is all worth it for the person you love and want to be with. There will be trials and tests, big and little problems. Life isn’t a fairy tale, but a little work in a relationship goes a long way towards your happy ending.

Capture
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What I’ve Learned After 1 Year Of Being In A Relationship

So I had taken about three years off from committed relationships before diving into the one I’m in now. The last real committed relationship I was in lasted four years and this one has just hit the one year anniversary! 🙂

I learned a lot about myself in the time I spent casually dating and being single. It took me a long time to recover from my last break up, to find myself, and to open up to someone again. So here are the things I’ve learned in the one year I’ve been in a relationship:

  1. No two people are the same – don’t compare your current boyfriend to your ex.
  2. Being alone is still very important, you can’t spend all your time with your significant other without going nuts.
  3. There will be doubts, you just have to know if they’re valid or not.
  4. Communication will save your relationship. Be honest, always.
  5. You’ll drift away from your friends. That’s a big part of being in the honeymoon stage and growing older in general.
  6. No one is as happy as they make themselves seem on social media. Everyone fights, bickers, and gets annoyed at each other.
  7. Always show appreciation. I am constantly surprised by how patient my boyfriend is with me and I never stop thanking him for it.
  8. Be yourself from day one. I was weird when we went on our first date and I’m probably a little weirder now, but there were no surprises as the relationship went on.
  9. Being in a relationship isn’t like being in a jail. I used to cringe at the thought of being tied down, but it’s really not bad when you find the right person.
  10. Take everything at your own pace. People all around me are getting engaged and buying houses. But I’m a slowpoke when it comes to big steps and that’s okay!
Capture
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The Pressure Of Being In A Relationship In Your 20’s

Every other week someone I know is getting engaged, buying a house, or getting married. When you’re in your twenties, there are three kinds of people in your friend group. The single ones, the ones who met their significant other in high school or college, and the ones who met their significant other after college or a little later in their twenties.

I’m 24 and any friend who met their love in high school or college are now engaged. I fall into the category of the ones who met their love after college, so I feel a little behind. I feel deeply for my single friends, because no matter how happy you are being single, you still feel left out sometimes.

Now I feel a lot of pressure being in a relationship in this stage of my life because everyone automatically expects that engagement and marriage are a few short years away.

But a little over a year ago I didn’t really believe in marriage. I didn’t want it, I didn’t want a relationship, and now while I’m in a relationship I’m still not 100% on board with the idea of marriage.

When I mentioned my boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together, I was asked if I thought a ring was in the future and I replied, “god, I hope not.”

I’m just not ready, but I feel a lot of pressure when a lot of people my age are ready and have been ready. It’s just what comes with my age. When you’re single in your twenties, you’re pressured to find a boyfriend. When you’re in a relationship in your twenties, you’re pressured to get engaged.

As much as I know what I want, it’s hard to ignore that nagging pressure.

hc
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Getting Out Of A Relationship Rut

If you’ve been with someone for one year or ten years, you have probably hit a relationship rut at some point. I think these are the times that challenge us the most, that force us to decide if this is what we really want.

It’s a time where you’re probably fighting a lot without a good explanation, where you’re unhappy, and where you don’t know what to do. The most comforting advice I can offer is that everyone goes through them and you’re not alone. It’s okay to question if this is what you want to and to realize your unhappiness. But you have to do something about it, you can’t just let it build up and explode.

Getting out of a relationship rut takes communication that sometimes hurts. It’s alllll about the honesty. But when you put all of your feelings on the table and openly listen to your partner’s feelings, then you’ll be able to see how you got here in the first place.

If you’re like me, relationship ruts usually occur when you let things get too comfortable. When you stop going on dates, stop putting make up on for when they come over, stop trying to look good for them and make them feel good. It’s when you start ordering in and watching Netflix every night and stop making them feel special.

And you don’t even notice it happening because it’s nice to feel comfortable. But it’s overwhelmingly boring and unhelpful to stick to the same routine and just stop appreciating each other.

If you’re in a relationship rut, don’t worry. We’ve all been there and if you want things to work then you can make them work. Be open and honest when you don’t feel good about the way things are going, the earlier you make a move – the better!

hc
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When Is It Okay To Be Selfish?

When I was single, I decided that I was tired of being screwed over by putting other people first and getting nothing back. I decided that I needed to find my happiness alone and it wasn’t fair when people tried to get in the way and hinder that happiness. I decided to be selfish.

And it worked out so well for me. I became a healthier and happier person and didn’t let anyone get in my way. It was a couple of the best years of my life.

But now that I’m in a relationship, it doesn’t seem okay to be selfish anymore. Because when you care about someone, you want to do what you can for them and sometimes that means sacrificing things for yourself. But is that okay?

Or can we still be a little selfish. In the end, should we always put ourselves first? I feel like we should because when it comes down to it all, all we really have that is 100% guaranteed is ourselves. But then we feel bad for being this way. And how can you even be selfish when all you feel is guilty?

When you’re in a relationship, is it still okay to be as selfish as you were when you were single or should you really sacrifice some of your happiness for someone else’s?

hc
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Leaving The Honeymoon Phase

The beginning of a relationship is full of smiles, laughs, and eyes for only each other. There are barely any fights and all you want is to be with each other all the time. It’s the honeymoon phase and though I know some people stay in it forever, most of us leave it behind after a year or so.

I think it’s even possible for one person in the relationship to still be in the phase while the other person has left. It probably causes a lot of turmoil, possibly ends relationships. Because at that point you’re wanting different things and it’s hard to make people budge on where they spend their time and how moon-eyed they are about you.

Realizing you’ve left the honeymoon stage is tough, because now there are bigger things to tackle. Now there are fights, now there is real life in front of you. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies anymore. You’ve been together for a while and it’s potentially the real deal. It’s potentially the time you need to contemplate if this is for you or not.

It can be such a pivotal moment but also a time where most of us relax with courting our partners. Where we give way to life and just go with the flow. When I see you, I’ll see you. Apologies for having to cancel. No more surprises. Two minds that became one start to separate.

Leaving the honeymoon phase is probably one of the hardest parts of a relationship, it’s a true test. All you can do is evaluate where you want to be and who you want to be with and make sure your partner is on the same page. The phase will come in and out over time, you just have to make sure you want to stick around for the next honeymoon.

hc
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How Do You Know You’re Doing What’s Right?

A lot of the time, I see couples that I never want to end up being like. I can tell they’ve been in it for a while and as time as passed they just grew comfortable enough to never give their relationship up.

And then some of the time, I see couples who got it right. They’re in love and happy 20 years later, they’re with their best friend.

But how do you know what you’re doing is what’s right? Is it just luck that you gave the right person a chance, that you didn’t veer from the course even though you wanted to? I don’t understand how people know if they should stick with something or see what else is out there.

Especially now, in a time where options are everywhere. And it’s not just relationships. It’s jobs, it’s where you live, it’s what dog you adopt, it’s anything that you have choosing power over. How do you know that this job will be the best one you ever have? What if you quit for something that seems like a better opportunity, but actually ends up being a dud?

There are pages and pages of job opportunities. There are states and countries we are free to move to at any time. There are dating apps and social media and a frenzy of people at your finger tips. Something may feel right right now, but how do you commit to something when you don’t know what it will feel like in 6 months, a year, 10 years?

So how do you know what you’re doing right now is what’s right? How do you choose to stick with it when there are endless possibilities in the world?

hc
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