7 things I have learnt about relationships (since not being in one)
It has been interesting over the last 2 years or so as an outsider to the relationship world. I have had time to reflect on things and it is so much easier to see certain situations from an emotionally detached vantage point.
I’m going to start with something positive..
As a whole we tend to take things for granted. People, what they do for us and just in general, especially when things are going well. Don’t! Show some appreciation (gratitude). This small gesture can go a long way. Don’t under estimate what a word of thanks or telling someone you appreciate them in your life can do. It makes people feel appreciated and feeling appreciated, feels good.
Lets face it, isn’t that the whole point.
2. Don’t lose yourself in the process of finding or being in a relationship.
This is a big one for me. Hopefully, you come into a relationship as a person with interests, passions and friends (a life basically). Keep all of those things in your life. Balance is so important. A relationship is supposed to add to your life, not take away from it. All of these things make you who you are. You can be with someone and still see your friends and do the things you enjoy, it’s all about making time for what is important to you in your life. Time for yourself is vital for your happiness and therefore the success of the relationship. Don’t give so much you end up losing yourself in the process.
3. If you are not happy on your own, then a relationship will not fix that.
Your relationship with someone else is a direct reflection of the relationship you have with yourself. Someone else cannot fill you up, if you are unhappy with yourself then looking for external sources to fill a void will not work. It may temporarily but deep down the issues you have, you will still have unless you do something about them. Using someone else to recharge your batteries is not sustainable, for either person. If you both turn up whole and complete then you will compliment each others lives not just try and make up for apparent deficiencies.
You should want to be with someone, not need to be with someone.
4. Don’t let the small things become big things.
This is something I have only been able to see from the outside, when my relationship was over. Life is far too short for the stress we allow into our lives and the amount of things that bother us that really are trivial in the greater scheme of things. I see people fighting (and this was something that happened in my relationship) over the stupidest things, at the end of the day it’s usually an issue that you are having that you are making an issue out of. Another thing I have noticed (from both my own situation and others) is always being right worth the drama it creates?
5. You are not a label.
I see so many people get hung up on labels, for whatever situation but with relationships being single is a state some people rejoice in while others feel negatively about. Single is a word. We put weight on words with judgements, fear and a perceived meaning. I would rather be happy or feel good in whatever situation I am in, rather than getting hung up on whether I am in a relationship or not.
6. Expectations can ruin relationships.
We attach expectations to all sorts of things. When we expect people to act or treat us a certain way and they don’t, what happens? We feel disappointed. There are a few problems associated with this. We have decided that because they are our partner (friend, brother etc.) that they should do things that go along with the particular label they have been given. It’s our thoughts about what has or hasn’t eventuated that makes us disappointed. How can we be sure the person we have put this expectation on feels the same way about the situation? Was it even an issue for them? We can’t change the situation but we can change how we think about it.
7. You teach people how to treat you.
As i’ve already said I believe a relationship is supposed to add to your life, being happy is the perfect reason to be in a relationship. You need to remember you are accountable only for your own actions, you cannot control anyone else’s. If you are unhappy in a situation, then it is up to you to do something about it. Sometimes it might be a matter of looking within, do you respect and love yourself? If not, start there. If yes, do not stay in a situation out of fear. Create healthy boundaries. If you are not happy with how you are being treated staying just reinforces that it’s ok. What you allow will continue.