As I've written in a past article, my past relationships were not... great to say the least. I had been single for three years before my boyfriend popped up out of nowhere, and changed my world for the better. Funnily enough, I had just reached a point in my life where I was finally taking care of my physical and mental health and had accepted when it was my time, my person would show up. And he did.
I was also really nervous about starting our relationship, as I had been single for so long. I knew I also wasn't the best in my relationships and could do better. So that's exactly what I'm doing. Here are a few tips on how to be in a loving, healthy relationship, and how to maintain it.
1. Communication truly is key.Giphy
I tend to overthink things a lot. Sometimes a simple delivery of a sentence makes me think my partner was trying to say something when he really wasn't. Bringing this up to your partner in a calm tone and with the right words can really fix it all. A simple, "hey, I felt x way when you said this" could alleviate a lot of future problems.
2. Love them in their love language.Giphy
We all have our types of love languages, and while we have our ranks, we also need to recognize our partner's love language. Attempting to love them in their language even if yours is different will truly show them you care about them, and are putting in the effort to make them happy.
3. Respect boundariesGiphy
You might want to spend all your time with your partner, and that's completely normal. However, we all have lives to live and tasks we need to get done. Both of you setting boundaries is beneficial to your relationship. A simple, "hey babe, I've got XYZ to do and it'll take some time, but I'll talk to you when I'm done," will be great heads up to your partner so they won't be waiting, and they understand you're busy.
4. If you're unsure - ask!Question Mark Idk GIF by US National Archives Giphy
If you're unsure about something, like what the best way to support them is or something simpler like what their favorite snack is, just ask! It'll save you lots of time from trying to guess it yourself.
5. State what you need.Giphy
If you're about to head into a rant, starting off by stating what you need can help. For example, "hey I need to rant and I just need your support," or, "I need to rant and I need you to provide solutions." Stating what you need before you begin can prevent frustration.
6. Check in with them.Giphy
It sounds so simple but it really does make all the difference. Simply asking how their day went or asking about a specific issue can display you truly care about their issues.
7. Don't yell.Giphy
If an issue does arise, bring it up to your partner. Don't however, raise your voice. Either partner raising their voice won't help resolve an issue, it may make one anxious and will show you don't respect the other. Keep things civil and calm, and remember, you're both working to better your relationship.
8. Tell them your triggers ASAP.Giphy
One of the *amazing* things about my boyfriend, was that right away he asked if there were any triggers or things he shouldn't bring up. It was really comforting to get everything out in the open early, and extremely heartwarming to know he cared.
9. Don't stop flirting.Giphy
My boyfriend and I still flirt with each other and he still asks me out on dates, which makes all the difference to me. Every day I still feel like I do when I met him for the first time, and I still get butterflies when he asks me out on dates.
10. Be open.Giphy
Be open and lean on them for support when you need it. Things won't always be picture perfect, but your person is there to support you.
11. Be willing to try new things.Giphy
I know my boyfriend is going to snicker when he reads this one, but do be willing to try new things with your partner. Though it may seem nerve-wracking or you may be anxious to step out of your comfort zone - do. You might find out you like something you've never tried before.
12. Don't look for things that aren't there.Giphy
Love can be scary, but trust is of the utmost importance. Don't look for things that aren't there - like red flags or any other indication that something could go wrong. Let yourself enjoy your person.
13. Have fun!Giphy
Try to live in the moment and enjoy your person, they've chosen you, and you've chosen them. Cherish them, and live in love.