You know, for a very long time, my love life was so unfulfilling.
It was just constant arguing or codependent behavior. There was no growth on either side of the relationship.
At the end of the day, the relationships themselves were pointless. Though, I did learn some lessons along the way.
I grew from those negative experiences and they taught me what not to do in a relationship.
I finally have been able to find love and have a healthy relationship. It took a lot of time, but it is worth the wait. It is amazing to be with someone that you can actually walk alongside in life, while you both grow as people and grow together.
Here are some of the lessons that I have learned from relationships.
#1 Build your own life
Ultimately, the healthiest relationships are the ones where each person in the relationship is focused on building their own life. Yes, it is important to build a life together, but you shouldn’t lose yourself as an individual in the process.
I have learned from being in very toxic, codependent relationships, how bad it can be when your entire focus is on one person. Your sole purpose in life cannot be one person. That is unhealthy.
In a healthy relationship, the couple will support one another in their individual interests. My girlfriend loves crossfit and I love to write. These are just examples, but we support and motivate one another in our pursuits of these things.
By having a purpose and some sense of meaning in your life, you will be much more positive and loving to your partner and other people.
#2 Don’t sweat the small stuff
Everyone has flaws. Everyone has weird little behaviors. That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.
People are also going to have behaviors or character traits that you find annoying. That will always be true. Don’t sweat those things in a long-term relationship (I mean unless it’s something serious or really negative).
It is okay to be quick to forgive dumb mistakes. In a healthy relationship, there is no time to hold grudges over the small things. Work things out with each other through compromise and by being compassionate and understanding of one another.
#3 Work together as a team
A lot of the unhealthy relationships that I had growing up taught me how important it is to work together in your relationship.
Constantly combating one another is not going to grow your relationship.
We all know that no couple is going to agree on every little thing.
You should have your partner’s back. That is not to say that you should agree with them when they are wrong. But they should know they aren’t alone. Look out for one another’s best interest.
Being able to cooperate and compromise is vital to a relationship. You should absolutely be able to make decisions together.
#4 Show your appreciation for one another
I try to say thank you as often as possible to my girlfriend. Everyone deserves to feel appreciated and respected.
I am sure in the relationship, you both do a lot of things for one another. Show your appreciation for that. Whether you just make dinner, clean the house, or perform a simple act of kindness, give your gratitude in some way.
The more you give gratitude to the universe and your significant other, the more you will receive what you are grateful for back in return.
#5 You have to genuinely like each other
I have dated people that I later realized I didn’t even like as a person. I just didn’t want to be alone.
The intense infatuation is not always going to be present in any relationship. Some days you will want to kill each other, but if you actually like the person, you aren’t going to.
If you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you should genuinely like that person. What I mean by genuinely like them is they should be someone you enjoy being around and someone that does not get on your nerves too much.
#6 Be quirky and laugh together
Be weird together!
Each couple should have their own sense of humor. My girlfriend and I have so many inside jokes that I have lost count.
Life is too short to be serious all the time, especially in your relationship.
I am not saying you are going to find the exact same things funny or laugh at all the same things.
But you should be able to laugh together. I don’t find all the same things funny as my girlfriend does, but I am able to share with her things that I know she will find funny (even if I don’t always).
#7 Focus on the good things
It does not build a relationship to constantly pick at someone.
We should focus on the good things. It will increase how much you love someone by focusing on their good traits. It does no good to constantly focus on what you find annoying about a person or what they do that bothers you. There is no perfect person in this world.
Build your positive perception of your significant other. When you focus on the good qualities, eventually that is all you will really see.
A relationship is a journey.
It is a learning experience. You are building your own life while building a life with someone else.
You can’t expect this beautiful relationship to grow without any work. You have to be willing to grow as individuals and as a couple.
Use your words. Communicate with one another. Be kind to one another. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. But focus on the good because focusing on the bad will get you nowhere.
Life is too short to just waste your time in unfulfilling and unhealthy relationships. I understand that they can teach you things, but most of the lessons you can learn without actually experiencing years in a toxic relationship.
Cheers to more healthy and fulfilling relationships!
Thank you for reading!
This story was originally published on Medium:
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