Well, today is all about love. I learned a lot about love outside of a romantic context, but this post is about relationships specifically, but many of these things can apply to other relationships as well.
Here's what I learned about relationships this year:
1. Be confident in your relationship.
I am one to naturally compare myself to others, so it's sadly transferred over into my relationship at times and had me insecure about my relationship for different reasons. There were times when I didn't even tell Darell because I was so insecure about different aspects of our relationship. It wasn't until an eye-opening conversation I had with a professor that I realized that I have no reason to be compare myself to others and have other relationships dictate what I should or shouldn't be doing in mine.
This year has taught me to be confident and be okay with my relationship, imperfections and all. It's the good and bad things mashed up together that equal the crazy relationship I have with my boyfriend, one that I love and am happy with.
2. You are going to fight.
No healthy couple that is expecting to be together for the long-run is going to be completely fine with each other all day, every day. Don't go into a relationship thinking you guys won't fight. If you guys never do, someone isn't speaking up about issues they may have with the significant other. It actually is healthy to fight and argue and disagree every now and then, as it shows that you two aren't robots but have different interests and can enjoy them in one another. Once it becomes an every day then, that's when it becomes an issue.
3. Compromise is necessary.
If you truly love and care about someone, know that you will not always get what you want. You hear about compromise in relationships (romantic or not) all the time, but compromise really is a lot harder than it sounds. Because fights are going to happen, there are three solutions: one of you gets exactly what you want, you guys hold a grudge/break up, or you two compromise. Which one would you choose?
4. Disagreements are not the end of the world.
This also goes with the last two lessons, but I just had to keep reminding myself that disagreements happen and that they're not always a bad thing, even though they feel that way. I once saw a quote and it said, "The couple who fights the most loves each other the most because they it shows they care enough to point out what's wrong in one another," or something like that. It put things into perspective because it put disagreements in a new light for me. It's just a matter of talking out fights and disagreements and coming up to a solution that leaves both people satisfied.
5. Honesty is good, but don't be rude!
Hah, this is a lesson that Darell and I still struggle with! In any relationship, honesty is good. Actually, it's great! Just please know that it is still important to be considerate when being honest with your significant other or friend. Even if you have good intentions, if you don't consider the harshness of your words or tone of voice when you talk to that person, then you may still hurt that person and therefore elevate the argument or disagreement.
6. Opposites attract.
We've heard this saying so many times, but I didn't realize exactly how true this was until this year! Darell is into videogames, I'm into wedding shows. He's into horror movies, I'm into chick flicks. He doesn't like seafood, and I love it. I love musicals, and he hates them! Although there are some things that we have in common, we also have a lot that is so vast and different from each other, but somehow it all works out. It's a beautiful thing, actually.
7. God in the center of the relationship doesn't make things easier, but it puts things into perspective.
Darell and I still struggle with so many things within ourselves and as a couple. We've gotten better at handling conflict, but it is still so hard to deal with. And even though we are both Christians and love Jesus, it doesn't dismiss us from any struggles that any other couple may deal with, and it doesn't make our struggles any easier either. If anything, I feel like things get more difficult. But still, knowing that God is there for us and has so much mercy and grace upon us helps make our situations better.
8. Little things count!
|Okay, so this was actually a big thing! But Darell was a great sport about dancing and publicly showing affection for once!|
Except maybe horror movies. haha.
9. Keeping score = no-no
Never, EVER keep score. Darell and I have done it in the past and it just doesn't do any good for the relationship. When you keep score it is almost like you are expecting your person to fail. Then you might do something just as stupid to "even out the score." No. This also goes with bringing up past mistakes. I know I do this sometimes and it's bad. If you bring out a past mistake that your s/o has clearly learned from and you were supposed to have accepted, then you're just re-opening the wound for more hurt. Don't do this. ever.
10. Independence is okay
I recently wrote about the differences between a healthy and clingy couple. I said that being attached to your s/o is okay, but don't be obnoxious by posting and talking about them all the time, and every other picture is of you guys kissing. It's not cute at all. From seeing how couples that both cling onto each other and other people were being disgusted just like I was, I was reminded at how lucky I am to be with someone who is okay with us having separate lives, but shows enough affection in a decent way (although I sometimes wish it was more often).
11. It's okay to talk about your significant other.
Being at a Christian school teaches you really quickly that people are going to ask about your story and you will be telling it to lots of different people over the course of your time being at that school, whether individually or in a group.
I've noticed that many people with significant others don't even mention that person in their stories. For me, I've started incorporating Darell into my story and talking a little bit about what he's done for me. In the past 3 1/2 years, he has made a huge impact on my life and has affected it for the better. This also goes back to being confident enough in our relationship for me to be able to talk about it.
|We're both actually laughing candidly in this picture!|
This one sounds very obvious, but yet it's something that many of us can forget pretty easily. Darell can make me laugh almost at any moment, even when we're fighting with each other. As for me, when I'm able to make him laugh is usually on accident, but he still laughs nonetheless! haha. This brings couples together and brings them together when they laugh over the same thing or someone makes the other laugh. A similar humor is always a plus in a relationship. With mine and Darell's weird behaviors, we have definitely shared quite a few laughs together, which I love.
13. Take a few steps back to reflect on your relationship every now and then.
I think this lesson is important because it almost brings you back down to Earth by showing you your "roots" and where you two started as a couple. It always amazes me when I think of how we were at one point in time, then we look at ourselves now and we've evolved so much since then. It's such a cool thing to notice because many don't. I once heard that happiness is based off of how grateful you are.
This exercise of reflecting on what you've endured throughout your relationship can make you more grateful for your significant other and make you more happy to be with them. I don't know about Darell, but sometimes when we argue I reflect on our past to put it into perspective how far we've come. And with that, our situation suddenly seems so small.
So there you have it--my top love lessons I've learned this year! How have you experienced any of these lessons? I want to read your story!
Missed the whole series? You can see the posts here! Start from fashion all the way to food and now love.
I'm so stoked for this!