One Tip for a Healthy Relationship

the one thing you need to understand for a healthy relationship

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We met in my second semester of Senior Year, AKA the height of my laziness and homebody personality. It wasn't love at first sight or anything crazy like that, and the way we met was literally the definition of awkward high schoolers.

See, he had actually met a friend of mine, who, in her infinite wisdom, thought we'd make a good match. It took over 5 months and two meetings for us to finally start talking. He was cute and smart. Funny, but not obnoxiously so. I found myself in awe sometimes, knowing how he had gotten into such amazing colleges, and seeing how easily the people around him accepted him. I was awkward (still am!) and tentatively exploring what it meant to be grown up, owning your own sexuality, and feeling comfortable in your own skin.

He left for Korea on a 3 month trip only a month after he formally asked me out, and a part of me was devastated thinking that this is how it would end, so soon after it started. It didn't though, not even after I went on a 2 week trip of my own. The sole reason why it didn't, and why we still continue even after two years of a highly emotional and growth filled time, was communication.

Okay, maybe you were expecting something crazier than that, but honestly that's all it was. Communication was the basis for understanding, and understanding made all those nights spent apart feel not quite as lonely. Of course, it's never as easy as those self-help/gossip mags make it out to be. It's hard. Laying yourself bare to a person that you don't quite know if you'll have a long future with and trusting that they will accept this raw and personal part of you while waiting with baited breath for them to do the same. He did though, and he shared more of himself than I ever thought possible and made me feel so incredibly comfortable to confide in him my own thoughts and emotions.

Here's a tip. If you don't feel comfortable with talking about your insecurities and relationship fears with your significant other, especially if you've approached that point in the relationship when it feels like it's been awhile, ask yourself, are they the one for you? Or perhaps you just need a little more time exploring who you are own your own?

My dad always had a phrase he'd like to use. Translating from Vietnamese to English, it essentially meant, "Don't take the trash into the house." We deal with enough shit in our regular lives. A selfish coworker, an over dramatic family member, or a friend who's just constantly making bad decisions (bless them). A relationship should be a safe space, a reprieve from all of that. I'm a big believer in having your significant other also be on the level of a best friend. And what do best friend's do? They talk! If you have a problem, make the time to sit down, maybe after dinner or an episode of your favorite show, and flesh out why you feel the way you do. Be straightforward, but not blunt (bluntness has its uses, but not when you're addressing someone you love). You'll find that often times things can work out better than you previously believed, and maybe your partner has something to bring up as well. What doesn't help is being passive aggressive, or keeping it all inside you until you want to burst.

It's cheesy, but when I'm with him, I feel like nothing else quite matters. He makes me feel better, and he draws me out of the negative spaces my mind tends to go. He's willing to try anything at least once and I trust him with my heart and my life. We are not perfect, by a long stretch, but we are trying. And, at the end of the day, I know that I can always hit him up to chat about anything and everything.


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