Love is different for everyone—but we all need love in our lives in some way, shape, or form. We need love from family, we need love through strong friendships, we need love for ourselves (wicked important), and yes, sometimes we need romantic love. Unfortunately, romantic love tends to be the most difficult.
When it comes to having a partner, you can’t compare your relationship with others as no two relationships are alike. However, that does not mean there aren’t similar things to consider and follow to ensure a happy and healthy partnership.
While I’m no expert on love, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons in my 33 years. Some of these lessons are from personal experience, and some of these lessons are valuable words of advice from family and friends that I have found helpful through both my joys and heartaches of l.o.v.e.
If you’re in a relationship and you’re open to suggestions, consider some of the relationship advice below to see if the person you’re with is really “the one.”
Honestly, communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. If you have healthy communication with your partner, everything else will likely fall into place. Many people think that communication is about talking about your problems with each other, but communication is also about positivity. Don’t just communicate when you’re upset, communicate when you’re happy too. If your partner had a big work win, tell them you’re proud. If you had a big work win…share your joy with them. You also should make sure you’re asking how they are on a regular basis. In this fast paced world, it’s common to silently be down in the dumps. If you are feeling down or you notice your partner is, talk to them. They may not want to burden you with work or family concerns, and you may not want to be a burden to them with whatever is ailing you, but it’s important to be fully open with one another to avoid conflict.
When it comes to small bumps in the road, don’t wait until you’re furious to bring something up. Calmly bring up any frustrations and annoyances you have with your other half sooner than later as there will be a less likely chance of an argument. It’s also best to bring up said frustrations after the fact. If you bring up your frustration when they are in the middle of doing the frustrating thing, there will be tension. Make note of it and bring it up after you have cooled down and have thought it through. Some annoyances are fleeting and you may not even care to bring it up after the fact. Which brings me to my next tip….
Pick Your Battles
Everything doesn’t need to be an argument. For example, if you’re frustrated that your partner didn’t help you clean this week, look back to see if it’s a pattern. If so, you should definitely bring it up. However, if your partner usually does help each week, maybe don’t bring anything up (we all have off weeks). Not everything needs to be an argument. Which brings me to my next tip….
So simple, yet so hard. When your partner is communicating with you, actually listen. Don’t just wait to talk. This is especially important when you’re talking about a touchy subject such as finances, mental health, or day-to-day frustrations with one another. We all want our voices heard, so be sure to reciprocate.
Take Time Out of Your Busy Lives to Unplug and Spend Time with One Another
It doesn’t matter if you have been together for 2 years or 20 years, it’s extremely important to spend quality time together on a regular basis. That means you both unplug from the world (get off your phone!) and be fully present with one another. Turn your phones off and make dinner together, go to a drive-in movie, go on a local hike, or try out a new restaurant. If your budget allows, find an affordable Airbnb—it doesn’t have to be far—and get away from your busy routines for a couple of days.
Before a Big Step Like Marriage, Make Sure the Important Talks Are Had
Here are the big talks you must have before making a forever commitment with someone:
Do you want children? If one of you wants children and one of you does not, you are setting yourself up for failure. When it comes to kids, there is no room for compromise—both need to want it. Having a child when you know you don’t want to be a parent isn’t fair for anyone—including the child.
How do you want to raise your children? If you know you do want to have kids with one another, make sure you’re on the same page in regards to how you raise them. Communicate! Unlike the above question, there is room for compromise here.
Are you financially on the same page? Make sure you are fully transparent with each other on your finances. For example, if you or your partner are in debt, that needs to be communicated. If debt is a reality for either of you, you both need to be on the same page on how the debt will be tackled. Once you’re married, your debts will be shared.
While there are a lot of important conversations to have before marriage, these are the big ones. Remember, weddings are expensive…but divorce is even more expensive.
Don’t Forget Why You Fell in Love
You’re with your partner because they captivated you in some way. Never forget why. As you get older and life gets busy with different responsibilities such as parenting, homeownership, and career endeavors, always remember why your partner is special. If you thought they were special then, they are special now.
Never Stop Holding Hands
This is advice that was given to me by my grandparents and I believe in it fully. My grandparents were high school sweethearts. While they had their fair share of turbulence in their relationship, they never forgot why they fell in love and they held hands everywhere they went. It was beautiful and I’ll always remember it. Their love always radiated out of them and to this day, I have never seen a love so deep and connected.
Due to my personal experience, every time I see a couple holding hands while doing a mundane task like walking the dog, walking to the train, or simply just window shopping, it warms my heart and makes me all giddy and sappy inside.
Read more: 4 Amazing Benefits of Holding Hands
🎤 🎶 How will I know if he really loves me? Girl…He Will Tell You!
I love Whitney Houston, and her song How Will I Know is a classic, but the message isn’t realistic to me. Sorry to be blunt, but if you have to question your partner’s love…then they don’t love you. If you love someone, you tell them. It’s as simple as that.
When You Know, You Know
Don’t you know the phrase “when you know, you know?” Now that I’m in my 30’s, I can tell you it’s the truth. Past relationships of mine have been hard…a fight or disagreement was always on the horizon, or we both struggled making time for one another or putting each other first. My partner now? It has been nothing but easy—of course we have challenging moments, but overall, being with him is fun, exciting, and easy, and that has not faded with time. While we have disagreements here and there, we rarely fight, simply because we are on the same wavelength.
I now know that when people say when you know, you know—that is what they mean.
And my last bit of advice and potentially the most controversial piece of advice in this post…
Relationships Shouldn’t Be (that) Hard
If every day is a battle, you likely aren’t with the one. While you both need to communicate and be present with one another (and that can be hard), the core of your relationship shouldn’t be hard. Their company should give you peace and comfort and being in their presence should be easy…now and forever.
If you feel anything is forced within your relationship, or you’re making compromises constantly—your life paths just may not be the same—and that’s ok.
I hope this unsolicited advice helps you out. If you like my Valentine’s Day outfit, you can shop my look below.
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