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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Making it work

Relationships, particularly long-term, take an awful amount of work.

It's almost like having a child and remembering to nurture, feed and take care of it everyday. ITS HARD! I've come to this conclusion in the past month or so while going through a few ups and downs with my boyfriend of a year and a half. When we first got together things were easy and simple. I guess about 9 months in, we started getting our first taste of dealing with a relationship without the training wheels and blinders of campus life. We weren't able to see each other 24/7, we had to go to work or class and things that weren't issues before became issues. I have to be honest and say that some of our problems were my own insecurities, that I've now gotten a handle on. We've reached a plateau, of sorts.

Point being, through these problems, when and how do you individually decide when and what is enough? How do you look at your relationship objectively and know when to walk away?

We went through a few times when I wondered whether or not we should stay together or just go our separate ways. We're still together but I occasionally look back at that time and try to figure out how we managed to come through OK.

What I've figured out are 5 things:

1. Change is constant. You both will change and evolve. It's what keeps you interested in one another.

2. Communication is key. If something they do bothers you, say something. A person cannot modify behavior if they don't know. Nobody reads minds.

3. Trust them. A relationship cannot survive without trust. Unfounded insecurities can ruin a bond.

4. Be the partner that you would want for yourself. Listen, help, and encourage.

Last but not least:

5. Love them unconditionally. Don't give up on them over one incident, argument or issue.

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