13 Things I've Learned In A 13-Month Long Relationship
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13 Things I've Learned In A 13-Month Long Relationship

What being in a relationship for over a year has taught me

13 Things I've Learned In A 13-Month Long Relationship
Kylie Schmeckpeper

In honor of me being with my boyfriend for just over a year now, I’ve written an article to help those in relationships. These are just a few things I’ve picked up from being in a semi-long term relationship. Thirteen of the most important things that I’ve learned in 13 months.

1. Not everything is just about you anymore

After I stopped dating awhile five years ago, I had a lot of time to focus on myself. It gave me time to learn the things that I enjoy. I was allowed to be selfish for a long time. When you invite someone new into your life, that comfort of everything being about you goes away. I’ve learned to share the love I’ve developed for myself with another person. Over the course of the last year I’ve learned to love someone other than just myself.

2. It’s okay to let someone break down your walls

In the beginning, it’s okay to keep your guard up. It’s even okay to let this new person in your life know that there’s a wall. But as you grow with your new significant other, it’s okay to trust and start letting them past your walls. Let someone break down your barriers. Don’t be paranoid of one day building them back again. It’s so important to have faith in one another.

3. Space is okay.

Being distant from a significant other is more than okay; it’s beneficial. This one is something that I’ve just come to realize recently. Up until about a month ago my boyfriend and I hadn’t spent more than a day away from each other. Things were rocky and a really good friend told me that we need to learn to miss each other. I took her advice to heart and we spent four days to just ourselves. It helped me a lot. The space made me think of our relationship and what we can work on to improve ourselves. Things still aren’t perfect but knowing what we both needed separately helped us learn what we needed together. It’s nice that we learned we don’t need to talk everyday anymore. We can enjoy things without the other and not feel guilty.

4. Social media is not a realistic place to base your relationship

What you see on Facebook and Twitter is not how every relationship works. I will never expect my boyfriend to leave boxes of Godiva and Victoria's Secret at my doorstep. Sure those posts are cute, but if you expect all guys to do that you’re going to end up heartbroken. Different guys are going to show their love in different ways. Whether it’s in gifts, public affection or other displays of love. If your boyfriend loves you, he will have his own unique way of showing it.

5. Be honest!

Honesty is honestly so important. Telling each other things about yourselves builds trust in any type of relationship. Being honest with each other is how you grow as a couple. I’ve always thought that if there isn’t trust in a relationship, then there isn’t really a relationship. There’s a difference in lying about larger things, than small white lies that everyone tells. My boyfriend might say a certain dress looks great just to avoid me changing for the fifth time. No relationship can be based off of real lies. Being honest builds a relationship and welcoming trust in helps a couple grow.

6. Don’t settle

If you know you shouldn’t be treated a certain way, don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Many people think that not having a boyfriend is worse than having a toxic boyfriend, this isn’t true at all. If something in the relationship doesn’t make you happy, speak up and have open communication. It will make you feel better to have been honest than to explode at them for something small because you bottled all your feelings. Overall, take care of yourself first.

7. There’s a time and a place for everything

If you’re stupid like me, naturally you’d think that dating a coworker is a really great idea. You see each other all of the time, at work and at home! When you complain about that one co-worker you can’t stand they know exactly who you’re talking about and it feels great to have someone who understands. You will share the same interests and basically just share everything together! I beg you not to be stupid like me. But if you are stupid like me, it’s important to know that there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s hard to turn off the girlfriend switch and just become a normal co-worker, but it is something that needs to happen. If you never stop being his girlfriend, you can’t suggest ways he can improve his work ethic - that conversation being done at the workplace of course. Getting ready for bed is not a good time to tell your boyfriend that he did a suck-ish job at work today, trust me. Even if you don’t work with your boyfriend, it’s still super important to learn when and where to talk about things.

8. Be patient

Over the last year I’ve learned how to be more patient with others. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to go at the same pace as me. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as me and that’s okay. Just because you’re dating someone doesn’t mean that you have to believe everything that they believe and vice versa. Be patient with your partner until they start understanding the way you see things. It’s hard not to raise your voice at the first sign of frustration, but most of the time when him and I are mad at each other there isn’t a real reason to be mad at each other. Nine times out of 10 it’s just a lack of communication and understanding. Take the time to explain why something makes you feel a certain way and your problems will be resolved much easier.

9. Do not keep score

Do not let your relationship become a competition. Don't tell him he has to do something for you because you did something for him. That doesn’t mean you can’t take suggestions every once in awhile. If you pick where you’re going for dinner almost every night but one day he comes up with a new suggestion, go for it. But, don't say the next day that you guys have to do something because he picked dinner last night. Love doesn’t keep score, no one is in the lead- unless it’s who has won the most tickle fights, in that case always keep score.

10. Be respectful of yourself and your partner

Be respectful of your partner’s wishes. If they don’t want to do something, don’t be that girlfriend that pushes them into doing so. All being pushy does is push him away from you. If you aren’t respectful of him he has no reason to be respectful of you, and you can’t survive in a relationship where you don’t respect each other. As well as respecting him, don’t forget to respect yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, don’t do it. With explaining why, odds are he’ll understand why you don’t want to do whatever it is. If you can show that you respect yourself, you’ll gain a lot more respect from him.

11. Be adventurous

The fun in dating is the adventure. Having a routine that happens every day gets really boring after a month or so. Sometimes it’s really good to be spontaneous! To help you out I suggest making a bucket list of a few things you each want to do over the course of a year, or even just the summer. Plan just a small adventure to take every other week or so. It isn’t anything that has to be crazy spontaneous and sometimes you don’t have to travel far. Just go hiking at a local state park, something to get you out of your usual everyday routine and keep adventure between you two.

12. Don’t share everything

Your relationship is between two people, you and your significant other. Nobody else is in your relationship, not your best friend, not your co worker. Don’t share everything about your relationship with your friends; they aren’t in your relationship. They don’t have to know about that fight you guys had and how wrong your boyfriend was. If you have a problem with the person you’re dating, try talking to them. I’ve learned that not sharing everything about your relationship with your friends keeps your relationship more personal. Especially if you only share the bad and not the good. When that happens you’re only talking about the fights and bad parts and not focusing on the good. Your friends will end up hating your boyfriend because you’ve made him look like Satan, when he’s actually a really nice guy.

13. What love really is

You always think that you’re in love until someone asks you what love is. The first time I got asked that question it legitimately struck me back. I actually responded with “I don’t know." This time around I think it’s a little more clear. It’s me putting him before myself in almost every situation. It’s us not just planning our day together, but our life together as we go. It’s recognizing in his tone when something is upsetting him and working out a solution rather than ignoring it to get what I want. Love is loving someone more than you love yourself no matter what stupid things they do everyday. Even though our relationship is a huge roller coaster, I never wanna get off this ride.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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