Although there is still a lot of sexism in our society today, the dynamics between men and women in relationships together has changed for the better.
Of course, there are exceptions, but generally speaking, men and women within a relationship believe themselves to be equal. The dynamic does vary between couples, but the best kinds of relationships, the healthiest that are built to last, are those that have a balanced power dynamic.
Still, relationships are not easy to maintain. They require a remarkable amount of focus and heaps of effort. Thankfully, some relationships do work out better than others and are more easily maintained.
Nonetheless, there is no relationship between two human beings (same or opposite sex) that does not require these 25 practices to weather the storm that is life.
1. CUT POOR RELATIONSHIPS EARLY ON
It may sound counterintuitive, but the fact is, you can’t make every relationship work. Most relationships are doomed from the start. You may know it’s not good for you, but you stick around anyway, just in case you’re wrong. Stop being so hopeful (not to mention stupid)! The more time you waste dating the wrong person, the less time you have to meet the right one.
2. DEMAND YOUR OWN ALONE TIME
We all need to spend time alone, whether or not we know it. Oftentimes, we ignore this fact and then emotionally retract into our shells or caverns, becoming temporary hermits as a result of an unbalanced lifestyle. Spend time alone regularly and you’ll have a clearer mind to guide you through all those emotions you’re experiencing.
3. RESPECT YOUR PARTNER’S PERSONAL TIME
It’s sometimes easier for us to demand our own personal time than to grant it to the person we love. Our egos understand the importance of personal space when we need it, but what about when he or she needs it? What if your partner needs alone time at the same time you’re feeling like you need more attention and intimacy? Always do your best to give your partner space when he or she really needs it. Knowing when is another story…
4. UNDERSTAND THAT TO GROW TOGETHER REQUIRES SIMULTANEOUSLY GROWING SEPARATELY
People are silly. Most of us feel that if we are single, we shouldn’t actually connect with anyone — because we’re not supposed to; we’re single. That is, until we get lonely. Then we find someone, fall in love and don’t want to leave him or her for a second. We want to spend so much time with this person that we eventually get sick of him or her. Why can’t we learn to balance? Live a life together, but also lead your separate lives. It’s that simple.
5. PROMISE EXCLUSIVITY
I’m sure polygamy or open relationships of sorts may work for some people, but generally speaking, they are a bad idea. People have egos — usually big egos. Sharing makes you feel like you aren’t sufficient, like you aren’t good enough. No one wants to feel that way. If you love someone, you won’t ever be willing to share. We’re very selfish when it comes to love.
6. DON’T CHEAT
Cheating is a result of laziness. You’re obviously not doing enough within your relationship to keep it exciting. Relationships sometimes have problems, causing people to fall into the arms of others, but if you have a healthy relationship, don’t go looking for new tail. Your woman is definitely just as beautiful as she was when you met her a few months ago. You’re just bored because you’re too lazy to make things exciting.
7. LOVE ‘EM OR LEAVE ‘EM
If you don’t love your partner, you are wasting both your time and his or her time. Plus, the inevitable breakup will just get worse the longer you wait. Cut it off like you rip off a Band-Aid and move on.
8. LET YOUR PARTNER KNOW HOW YOU FEEL
Don’t just tell him or her; show your partner that you love him or her, that you care. Expressing your love requires you having a keen understanding of what affection means to him or her — not to you, but to your partner. This is where most people go wrong. We think that loving our partners the way that we, ourselves, want to be loved is the same as loving them the way they want to be loved. It most cases, two people perceive love in two different ways.
9. ALWAYS GO THAT EXTRA MILE
Why? Because your partner deserves it. He or she deserves everything, the whole damn world. If you could give it to him or her, you would. This is the person you love and you wish all the best experiences in the world for. Your partner’s happiness is, in part, your happiness.
10. ALWAYS LISTEN FIRST
We talk too much and listen too little, too often. Most of the time, people don’t want to know your opinion; they just want someone to vent to, someone who will share their pain. Just listen, nod your head and tell them how much “that sucks.” If, and only if, they want your advice should you give it to them.
11. ALWAYS MAKE POSITIVE THINGS INTO COMPETITIONS
Relationships should motivate both people to be the best versions of themselves they can be — both for themselves and for their partners. Turn life into a game and race. Just remember, there can be no losers.
12. NEVER MAKE NEGATIVE THINGS A COMPETITION
It’s one thing when there’s healthy competition within a relationship, competition that produces positive results for both parties. It’s another when the competition produces negative effects. Healthy competitions don’t produce losers; both people are doing their best and their progress is reward in itself. But when there is a clear loser, that person feels like a loser. No one wants to feel like a loser or feel weaker, uglier, less successful or dumber than their partner, regardless of how much they love him or her.
13. BE RATIONAL AND LOGICAL
Use your partner to his or her greatest benefit; your partner is your best friend. This, of course, requires you to distance yourself from your emotions and give an objective, unbiased argument. Easier said than done? Maybe. But whoever told you that relationships are easy was lying to you.
14. UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTIONS BEFORE YOU ACT ON THEM; REFLECT
Never act on impulse or on an emotion in a moment. Emotions are often too intense during the moment you feel them; they amplify the situation beyond its regular bounds. Only make decisions when reflecting on emotions. Reflecting on emotions after the fact is far wiser than acting on them in the moment of experience.
15. GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER DEEPLY
This is one phenomenon I have yet been able to concisely put into words. When you know someone deeply, you know that person in the same way he or she knows him or herself. That’s really the only way I can describe it. It’s not that you know all the information and facts there are to know; you know them for whatever exactly it is that makes them, them. Some call it a soul.
16. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PARTNER IN MIND
Your partner isn’t all of you, but he or she is a part of you, an extension. You can’t ignore a part of yourself because you’ll never be happy that way.
17. DON’T REPRIMAND YOURSELF FOR LOOKING
If you don’t touch, no harm done. We’re only human. We have imaginations and I fear the day we are too afraid to use them. I’ll be having sex with the most exotic and beautiful women till the day I die… if only in my mind.
18. BE RESPECTFUL
A person is not a thing. If you love someone, you have to respect and treat that person as a human being. Often times, this does require giving personal space.
19. NEVER PUT YOUR PARTNER DOWN
You shouldn’t push anyone down just to make yourself feel a bit taller, especially not your life partner. You pushing him or her down a mile to get you a few extra feet brings your relationship as a whole (the two of you) to a loss.
20. IF YOU MAKE PROMISES, KEEP THEM
You’re only as good as your word; that counts double in relationships.
21. LIVE LIFE, IN PART, THROUGH YOUR PARTNER
Your happiness should be your happiness. Making your partner happy should bring you happiness. His or her successes should make you just as excited as your own. You guys are in a partnership; you’re a team. When one wins, so does the other.
22. ALWAYS LOOK YOUR BEST
For whatever reason, people like to test out how much their loved ones love them by having them see them at their worst. Believe me when I tell you, they will have plenty of time to see you at your worst — but only if you look your best for as long as possible. The fact is, attributes we find physically attractive add to our level of emotion. Look better and the love will intensify by default due to the arousal.
23. KEEP THE SEX HOT (I’M SURE YOU CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY IF YOU GET CREATIVE)
Sex should never be boring. It may not always be earthshaking, but that should basically be the goal. It’s when we get lazy in the sack, when we just want to finish and get to bed, that the flame burns out. Find a new way to do it. Google it.
24. BE OPEN WITH YOUR PARTNER
Don’t lie to your partner. Be honest and sincere. He or she should know all the important things about you and your life.
25. …HOWEVER, ALL THE NON-IMPORTANT STUFF CAN STAY HUSH-HUSH
Keep the mystery alive. Your lover does not need to know and should not know every little thing there is to know about you. Why? It’s predictable and boring! If we know all the variables then we know all the possible outcomes.
Leave some things to the imagination. Let the minds and imaginations of both you and your partner fill in the missing gaps. This way, you’ll always stay on each other’s minds. Be a puzzle that either of you can’t quite solve.
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