What Commitment Teaches You

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (my favorite holiday), I wanted to do a little article on something love related. It got me to thinking- being in a (healthy) long term relationship has taught me a lot of special and important things, not only about companionship but about myself. This is the list of things I have learned during this long process. I hope some of you can relate or at least enjoy.

1.) You’re not always right.
I’m an incredibly stubborn and headstrong person, to say the least when it comes to my passion and view and what’s right and wrong. In the past I had a hard time dictating how people should live their lives, spend their money, and see the world. Whether it is in good nature or not, it took me a long time to realize that part of loving someone is loving how different they are and how they will not have the same thoughts or mannerisms as you do. Being in a relationship can be hard, and sometimes you will be wrong.

2.) You adopt habits of theirs.
You never notice it either, it’s always someone else pointing it out. Whether or not it’s good or annoying, you will adopt one thing, usually very small that your partner does and do it all the time without noticing. This will happen when you’re around someone so much, and it’s not a bad thing. Unless it’s actually bothering other people or yourself, then adjust, otherwise it’s natural and you shouldn’t worry.

3.) Things get boring sometimes.
The whole point of being with someone, if you plan on staying with them for the long run, is understanding that not every part of your relationship will be exciting. Unless you have the money and time to go travel and do crazy things with each other constantly, there will be times when you both run out of things to do for each other and together. This could last a week or months or even years with some people, but it’s not a reason to panic. Being in a relationship isn’t about always entertaining each other, but being committed. Learn to be okay with doing nothing with them, or even doing your own thing just in each other’s company.

4.) Your business isn’t your friend’s business.
There are somethings that should be kept between a couple and a couple alone. It’s okay to ask for help and advice from those whom you are close to, but there are also matters where a problem includes something personal with your partner. This shouldn’t be shared among others unless they said it was alright. This also largely includes oversharing on social media.

5.) Money/Status shouldn’t matter.
Money matters in the sense that you both need to have an understanding on how you take care of bills and each other (if you live together) but it shouldn’t matter as far as what you think of the other person. If your partner makes more money than you, that is okay. If your partner makes less money than you, that is okay. Unless you have an understanding on who pays certain funds and they don’t pay them or they don’t try to help out, money shouldn’t be as much of a concern of judgement. If your partner is holding their social status or their income above your head to make you feel bad about yourself or to belittle you, I’d leave them now. That’s abusive behavior.

6.) You aren’t embarrassed anymore.
Most- not all couples adopt this during a long term relationship. It’s when you stop caring about hiding or being embarrassed about bodily functions such as going to the bathroom or having health issues or being on your cycle. Like I said, most couples. Some couples prefer to keep those parts of their lives separate because it’s what makes them comfortable, or they don’t like their partner knowing about those things even if they’ve been together awhile. There’s not much else to explain other than the fact that you can be gross around them with being embarrassed and they won’t judge you because you are a human being.

7.) Knowing the difference between being unhappy or annoyed.
When you’re with someone for awhile, the things you originally thought were cute will eventually turn out to annoy the living hell out of you. This happens so many times in relationships and to me, it’s personally funny. Me and my partner laugh about how much we annoy each other sometimes. But if you constantly can’t stop thinking about how much someone irritates you and you constantly focus on the negative, you start to resent the person you’re with. Take time in these moments to remember why you originally were so attracted to them, remember how good of a person they are and all the things that made you love them in the first place. It’s okay for them to annoy you, but there’s a fine line between having a bad day/week and actually being unhappy with them. If you can’t remember why you enjoy being around them and can’t fix the issue or talk out your feelings, the relationship is probably not going to work out.

8.) Their friends aren’t always your friends.
Unless you guys met in a group of friends and have known each other awhile and hung out with the same people, you will most likely have different friends and different groups of people you associate with. For the most part people assume that because they’re dating their boyfriend or girlfriend, their partner’s friends are immediately their friends. It’s always good to get along with their friends and be nice with them- if you impress them and are cool with their friends, that’s usually a plus when dating someone. However there are some boundaries that should be set, and your partners friends is one of them. Their friends are the people they go to when they are upset or mad, including with you and they should have that separate outlet where they can vent and share their feelings. It’s good to be a part of your partner’s life, but they should have an area of their life where they can escape when feeling suffocated or want time to themselves.

9.) You don’t have to like everything they like.
This one should be self explanatory but for the younger ones reading, this is incredibly important. You shouldn’t need to change yourself or your interests to get someone’s attention. They should enjoy you for both the things you have in common and your differences. It’s a good thing to explore their hobbies and past-times because you evolve as a person through new experiences, and it’s cool to understand why they like it- but you don’t always have to like or be interested in what they like. And this is OKAY! If you and someone mesh well anyways, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re forcing a relationship and always have to do what they like in order for you guys to work out (which I’ve been there before, ugh) then it’s probably your best bet that it’s not going to be as great of a relationship as you hoped.

10.) Being with them feels good.
This one is nice, and was a relief to learn. In the past I’ve had some pretty ugly and forced relationships that were just cringy to think back on. My exes thought we were doing awesome but now that I’m in a relationship that just, I don’t know, works? It’s been such a fresh breath of air. This isn’t to say that you won’t have fights or problems. No couple is perfect. But to be around them and just fall into step and feel comfortable after that crazy passionate honeymoon phase, it’s really nice. Yeah, like I said earlier, things get boring. But I’d rather do nothing with someone I love than always feel the pressure to be entertaining or mushy with each other. Me and my partner are best friends, and loving him is like breathing- it comes naturally. And that’s how it should be.

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