Monday, September 24, 2012

The Things I've Learned By Being in a Serious Relationship

This post has been a long time coming. I really feel that having a serious boyfriend, and us planning on getting married someday has really changed me and my perspective on life. This isn't just advice for people in relationships!! These can be applied to anyone! I've learned a lot of things just in the past  11 months that we've been dating. It's almost been a year! And to celebrate that, I want to share with my readers the things that I have learned by being with Chris.

1. Everyone Has Flaws
Nobody is perfect. I'm certainly not. I have tons of flaws, and Chris is no different. But it's learning to look past those flaws and the little things that may bug you. This is something you shouldn't just learn in a relationship, but in life. You can't constantly judge people for their little flaws. Some people are very sensitive about those flaws, and if you're constantly chastising someone for their flaws, you aren't helping anyone. Acceptance is key in both relationships and life. Flaws don't matter. Just look past them.

2. Love Takes Sacrifice
This is probably the most important thing I've learned. Chris and I have sacrificed a lot for our relationship. I moved back home with my parents, two hours away from Chris, so that I could save up money for college. I'm about $8000 in student loan debt and I don't really want to take out any more loans (doesn't look like that'll happen though) so saving money for now is great for me. But it means I can't be with Chris all the time. And while we see each other every weekend, it's a struggle. Chris has sacrificed too. He has put off some of his soccer goals so he can continue working to make more money (to buy me a ring). 
I think the most important thing I've learned about sacrifice though, is that I don't care. I want to do all I can to make my life with Christopher perfect. I don't care that I'm putting school and dance on hold for a while, because I'm more concerned with making my relationship work. Relationships take some sacrifice, but it's worth it.

3. Stop Being Selfish
Quite honestly, I didn't think I was very selfish until I got into a serious relationship. It was more I was constantly worried and concerned about myself, and now I'm more concerned with Chris and making sure he's happy. I'm a dancer and as much as I wish Chris could come dancing with me all the time... he's not very good. He wants to play soccer and go fishing all the time. I'm terrible at soccer, but he's trying to teach me. I've never caught a fish the 20 something times I've gone with him, but I go anyways, because I've learned that we can't just do what I want. We have to make each other happy. I've learned to stop being selfish, and to do what he wants as well. 

4. Sometimes Other People's Happiness is More Important
I've suffered from depression since I was in middle school. I still do. But I lived my teenage years more concerned about my own happiness (or the lack thereof) than anyone else's. But by being with Chris I've learned something that changed everything. I have to help him (and others) to be happy too. I can't be constantly concerned with myself.
What I've found to be amazing in this relationship, is that when he is happy, I'm happy. I sincerely want him to be happy! I worker harder now everyday to make him happy. Our happiness seems to go hand in hand. We're a couple and I know it sounds crazy, but we share most of our emotions. Or rather, we feed off of each other's emotions. I can always tell when something is wrong with Chris, even through texting. And I will do anything to make sure that he's happy. This is another one that can be applied to people not in relationships. Sometimes it makes you happier to make someone else happy. 

5.  Take Time For Adventures
I was in a relationship in high school where I just got bored. Maybe it was because I was 18, maybe because we just weren't right for each other, but I just got bored. We did the same thing over and over again. With Chris, we don't get bored. I'm always happy to be with him, never bored. More importantly, we try new things, go to new restaurants, visit new places, and constantly go on special dates to keep us from getting bored. 
I've found so many wonderful dating advice for married people on Pinterest. My favorite would have to be this:

Take time to date. Like really date! Last Valentines Day was incredible! I've always hated Valentines Day, but Chris made it fantastic for me! We got all dressed up and went out to dinner and a movie (the movie was a surprise, I only knew about the dinner). The best part was him picking me up for the date, flowers in hand. I got the jittery, butterflies in stomach feeling that you get on a first date. But it wasn't our first date. We had been dating for three months by then. Some of our dates are still like that. I get so excited and anxious because I know he'll make the night extra special. 

6. It's Okay to Have Some Fights
My dad when I first started dating Chris was very protective. He would always ask me questions about how we get along, what I don't like about him, and what arguments we've been in. When we started talking about marriage, my dad sat me down and told me the importance of arguing. It sounds really weird, but it's important. Chris and I do argue sometimes. We had a really big fight back in January where I thought I would have to break up with him. But by arguing, you learn about each other.
I think it's knowing how to argue that's most important. I can't really yell. I'm just a very quiet person. So when I argue, I cry my eyeballs out and explain everything that's wrong and everything that I'm upset about. Chris doesn't really yell either (which I'm very grateful for) so our arguments quickly turn to discussions, and those discussions turn to agreements and ideas that we then turn to solutions. Arguing in a relationship is about finding a solution. It's not about proving that you're right and they're wrong. It's about creating a healthy safe environment by both acknowledging each other's need and wants and learning to adjust. 

7.  There are Always Hard Days
Living apart means that we have more difficult days than other people. But even when we were living in the same city, things would be hard. Sometimes it's a bad day. Some days I wanted my space, and Chris would realize that, and I would get irritated (sometimes it had to do with me being a girl). Sometimes things are hard but being in a relationship means that you work things out. Don't let one hard day bring you down. 

8. Love is Most Important
Expressing your love for another person is amazing. When you truly love someone and are willing to give all you have for that one person, you know. And you have to share it with them. I dated other guys that I thought I loved. I thought I might marry them. But until I met Chris I never knew what love was. Now I do. Love is a feeling that is very hard to explain. But trust me when I say, you'll know when you find it. It may not be love at first sight, it wasn't for Chris and me, but you'll know in time. Everyday I find a new reason to love Chris, and I truly believe that from now through eternity, I will always find a new reason to love Chris. 
Don't settle for a love that won't last. For love that isn't real. When you find it, you'll know. And it's the most special and wonderful feeling that you'll ever know. :)

If you have any other tips for relationships or important things you've learned, please leave a comment! I would love to learn more and hear what you have to say!



1 comment:

  1. I guess honesty is always the best policy in a serious relationship.

    By the way, both of you look lovely as a couple.



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