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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To My Best Friend Who Doesn’t Know How Strong She Is

Always better together.
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To the one I know I will always have by my side,

First off, thank you. Thanks for dealing with all my shit: my mess, drama, tears, and weirdness. There are so many reasons why you are my best friend; you are funny, amazing, kind and unbelievably supportive. I am beyond lucky to have someone that gets me and has been there with me through the best of times and the worst of times.

You are strong.

Life is difficult; I think we have both realized that by now. Whether you believe me or not you are kicking everything being thrown at you in the ass. You have been through everything and more and have always come out of it a stronger, and better person. You are never alone and you know that; we have been there for each other for years and that will never end.

You are special.

I have never met anyone with a bigger heart than you; you sympathize with anyone that comes to you for advice. You take things to heart and look at the world in a unique and beautiful way. You appreciate the little things in life, watching Dance movies with your mom, a late night snack at Taco Bell, driving with the top down and dancing like no one is watching.

You are beautiful.

You are way more beautiful than you think. You've got softness to you that is calming, a smile that is contagious, and a gorgeous girl with so much to offer. You are filled with love and compassion, an amazing writer, dancer and overall an amazing and beautiful person.

You can get through anything.

I know you are going through a hard time right now, but look at how far you've come. You have gone through way worse and you will get through this just like you have in the past. You will become even more powerful than you already are. You are experienced and that's part of what makes me love you so much. We have gone through a lot together and we know that whatever life throws at us we can handle it.

I am always here.

Your hardship is my hardship, but keep your head up high just like I know you can. You have so much love in your life, from your family, your friends and me. I love you, I have never had a friend like you and I am so grateful every day because of it. You are going to get through this. You are going to get through it because you are, powerful, you are beautiful and you are strong.

~Written with love and appreciation for the most amazing friend I could ever ask for~

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Richman

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How To Cope With A Best Friend Breakup


Breaking up with a boyfriend is one thing, but breaking up with your best friend is a whole new level of heartbreak.

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We all know breakups can be tough, but when that breakup happens to be between you and your best friend, things reach a new level of heartbreak. I met my best friend junior year of high school after our Spanish teacher randomly assigned us to be partners; we struggled so much in that class but in the end, we truly became inseparable. When senior year rolled around we were still close as ever; people would often joke that we were sisters because we looked and acted so much alike. We would go on little dates together, go to parties together, and were always the first person we called when something "major happened."

When my best friend's boyfriend of four years cheated on her while we were spring breaking in Europe, it became my duty to make her feel better; I would randomly drop off flowers and little notes to her house, spend countless hours just listening to her cry and vent, and even stopped talking to people associated with her boyfriend so as to show my "support." All of these things were no big deal to me considering I loved this girl like a sister; whatever she needed I was there to give that to her.

Things soon took a sharp turn when we entered not only the same college but the same sorority. While I was struggling with the social aspect of FSU, my best friend soon found new best friends. When I started having major issues with my boyfriend, I would automatically text/call my best friend as she did with me, but instead of support, I got the sense that she was passive and uninterested. Our little dates and goofy inside jokes disappeared and reappeared between her and her new friends, and my comfortableness around her soon turned into insecurity.

Coming to terms with the fact that the girl I knew everything about is now basically a stranger was a hard one to overcome; I didn't want to accept the fact that my best friend decided it was time to find new ones. It's heartbreaking knowing that the special things you shared with a person are now being shared with others, and it's hard to accept the fact that you aren't wanted or needed by the one person you thought would be by your side forever.

Since school has ended I think I have accepted the fact that we're no longer what we used to be. Of course, it still stings when I see social media posts with her new, college friends, but I just have to remind myself that this is part of life and I just have to move on. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her, but it's time to acknowledge that they were made with someone in my past, not with someone in my present.

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