During my freshman year of college, I noticed one thing. In college, there are a lot of college students who are sexually active, and I didn't fit in well. I have a strong belief that you wait until after marriage before becoming intimate with your significant other for personal reasons. When I joined the dance team at my college, I heard from several members of my team say, "Love isn't real." Now, this stuck with me for my own reason, and that reason was simply that I didn't agree with that statement.
In general, many people like the idea of a relationship, they like the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, or fiancé, even husband, and wife. However, in my own opinion, when you look at the majority of society, many people don't like the work that goes into making a relationship work. I have been with the same man for almost four years now. Many people I know believe that I have the ideal relationship and that it's all perfect. Well, truth be told, it's not. While it may not be the worst relationship in the world, it's most certainly not the perfect relationship. No relationship in the world is perfect, and mine is no different. What people see on the outside is only a slim picture of it. People don't see us fighting. People don't see us at our worst. Those are problems we keep private because they are very personal issues, and I'm not talking about issues like he texted someone I don't like or that he is friends with someone I hate. Those to me are just little disagreements that people turn into a big deal.
I met my boyfriend when we were in 6th grade. We had the same teacher, but we didn't really talk to each other until our physical education class. From the beginning, we were close friends. As we got older, we started to develop those romantic feelings for each other. Unlike other people who say they felt that spark from the beginning, my boyfriend and I didn't follow that path. It was a gradual process, and that's okay as well. It gave us time to really get to know each other and allowed us time to naturally develop our feelings for each other. In the second half of freshman year in high school, we started dating. You know the saying, "The first year is always the hardest?" That was 100 percent true in our experience. I had boyfriends before, but the relationships were never as serious as my current one. During the first year of our relationship, we had several serious arguments and disputes. The issues ran from lying to very personal topics that I won't mention. I had no clue that a relationship could have been so difficult, but I was determined to keep this relationship. As we got older, it became easier to deal with our different points of view, and our communication improved. Through trial and error, we began to work together to make each other better and not change each other. Does he have friends I don't like? Absolutely. Do I have to like all of his friends? Absolutely not.
Common Issues in Relationships
One of the most common issues I found is when someone in the relationship doesn't like the other's friends, and then they try to make their partner stop being friends with them. Don't do that. Not only does that destroy their friendship, but that also harms your relationship. It's important to know that its ok to express your dislike of that particular friend, but it is never ok to tell your partner that they can't be friends with that person anymore. They are a person, not your dog. Everyone is different and that is the beauty of a relationship. It is not the end of the world if they are friends with that girl you hate from school. For example, my partner is close friends with a guy we use to go to high school with. They both lived together in a house my boyfriend's grandmother gave to him as a late birthday gift. I did not like this friend of his, and while I didn't want my boyfriend to be friends with him, my mother reminded me that it's not my choice. In the end, it is my partner's choice if he wants to be friends with him or not. Does that mean that I have to like my partner's friend? Absolutely not. Am I allowed to not like his friend? Absolutely. My partner and I are similar in many ways, however, we do have our differences, and that is okay.
Another issue in relationships is trust. Oh my god. Everywhere I looked I would see couples fighting over a text message, or that someone hung out with a friend of the opposite gender. Again, your partner is a human, not a dog. They are allowed to hang out with other friends that are the opposite gender. Now, this doesn't mean it's okay for them to be unfaithful to you, but it's ok for them to be friends with people of the opposite gender. Now, these arguments often happen when people don't trust their partners. It's understandable if this partner is known for cheating, but remember that not everyone is a cheater. For example, my partner is friends with girls, and you know what? It doesn't bother me very much, and the reason for that is because I trust my partner. I trust that he will stay faithful. I trust that he will make the right decisions. It is important to have trust in the relationship. Without trust, the relationship will crumble.
The last issue I want to bring up regards to pace. Many people want to rush their relationships. They want to hurry up and get married and have that family, and they think it will be super easy and that the faster they tie the knot the better. Well, I'm sorry to break it to you but that is not the case at all. One of the most common things I hear people say when I tell them I've been with my partner for almost four years is "Why aren't you engaged yet?" "Where is your ring?" or "Shouldn't you be engaged yet?" I can say right now, it's annoying. Many people feel that you should be engaged after a year or two of being together, and that's their opinion. I personally believe that the longer you wait, the better, and here's why. First of all, a wedding is expensive. Everything from the dress to the ring, the venue to the food. This can cause the newlyweds to be in financial debt. The second reason is that you don't really know your partner in a year or two. I want to really get to know my partner before I get married. I'm the kind of person that wants to make sure that the person I'm with it truly the person I want to marry.
I think the best advice I've received is to simply enjoy life, enjoy your relationship and take your time. When you stop listening to society's expectations for a perfect relationship and just enjoy it, you are typically a lot happier. I know that personally, when I began to let go of all those high expectations for a perfect relationship, I found I was a lot happier and more relaxed. It's your life and your relationship. You're in control of it.