In about 2 days, I will have been with my girlfriend for more than 1/4 of my life. In world where success is commonly gauged by numbers, being in a relationship with someone for 6 years is something I feel proud of. From the first dance I went to with her to the late night talks over the phone, finding someone special is only half the journey. The other half involves hard work and dedication.
My friend recently asked me, “how do you make it work?” By no means am I a relationship expert nor claim to be, yet I believe that everyone has something to offer when it comes to relationship advice. From advice on how to keep your girlfriend happy when you’re an entrepreneur to knowing when to call it quits, for every question that someone might have, there are at least 100 different answers. Out of of these 100 answers, there are no wrong answers, but there are also no right answers. They are simply answers. The key is to look at all the advice and answers and to figure out which best fits your situation and also what feels right to you. With that said, here are 5 ways to make your relationship last.
1. Find Your Relationships Weakness
No relationship is perfect. That is a fact that no one can deny. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward that goal. Whether it be a having an open mind or a willingness to try new things, by identifying your relationships weakness you are able to work toward making them your strengths. The big question then is what exactly characterizes a weakness. When couples argue, one of the most important things to consider is why you are arguing. The solution to an argument shouldn’t be to ‘forgive and forget,’ but rather to ‘forgive and understand.’ Being able to understand what caused the argument is just another way of identifying what you need to work on or what your weakness is.
In my own experience, I have learned that no one likes to argue about the same thing over and over. Failure to understand why things are happening will not only cause stress on the relationship, but it will ultimately lead to more arguments and misunderstandings.
2. Be Spontaneous
A phrase that I’ve heard tossed around that can be a precursor to the end is the word ‘boring.’ When you are able to predict what you will be doing every weekend then it is time to start worrying. Being in a relationship should never be ‘boring.’ You may have times where you are swamped with work or you just don’t feel like doing anything, but that should only be on occasion. Some things that I find helpful in keeping things ‘fresh’ is going to new places on the weekends or trying new restaurants. You don’t have to go to Disneyland or shoot for the moon, but being able to ‘surprise’ your partner even in the smallest way is important
3. “Unplug” Yourself
In an age where you can reach anyone anywhere, technology can actually disconnect you with those that matter most. For example, I read recently that one type of guy to avoid are the ones that wear Bluetooth headsets wherever they go. No one likes to compete for someones attention, especially if its a little earpiece. I would be a hypocrite to say that I haven’t been distracted on an occasion or two by my Blackberry, but the it is something that I am working on. The less time you spend ‘plugged-in’ the more time you can spend ‘connected’ with those that matter most.
4. Don’t Forget The Past
Do you remember the first time you got in argument with them? Or how about the first time you went away for the weekend? Like a book, together you write a story. You may not remember all the details, but it is important to remember the important points. When you sit there and think about how you got to where you are today, remembering how it all started or even how it almost ended can make you want to write another chapter to your book.
5. Understand The Concept Of “Us”
When you think of a couple, while you may think of the individuals themselves, they are typically seen as one unit. Always remember that as a couple, it’s about ‘us.’ If one person is making all the decisions and plans, then it becomes like ‘follow the leader.’ While ‘follow the leader’ can be fun at first, eventually someone else will want to lead. Being able to make decisions together not only shows maturity as a couple, but also shows an understanding of each other.
If you Google “relationship advice” you will get about 43,200,000 results. Out of those 43,200,000, zero are guaranteed to work. Unlike math or science, where you can determine the solution to a problem systematically, when it comes to relationship advice, it’s a toss up. It can be a hit or miss, win or lose. Remember that a relationship is just like a job. You have to work hard at both and stay dedicated. The big difference is that if you decide to slack off, instead of losing your job, you may lose someone important to you.
Photo by GeeWillikersJett