Relationships in any form are a lot of work — sometimes more than we think we can truly handle. Whether it's a family member, a friend, or a partner, true (and tough) work goes into keeping any relationship up and running.
1. "Always remember that in a relationship, it's not 50/50 to make 100%. Each person has to put in 100%."
2. "Waiting until you’re too far in to discuss marriage and kids — that’s an issue that needs to be hammered out before you completely shut yourself off from anyone else."
"I feel like this is something that a lot of people miss. It's different if you're just casually dating, but if you want to be in a long-term relationship with someone, then kids and marriage are such big things. If one person wants kids but the other doesn't, then the relationship is doomed to fail in the long run."
3. "Tons of people have those tough discussions way too late. Kids, in-law interactions and responsibilities, finances, living situations, household chores, medical issues, and future plans should all be discussed before marriage. If you don't have an answer for that now, you're going to have to find one soon enough. All of these things WILL be faced during your lifetime together. It's better to find out if you're completely incompatible before signing that paper. Or at least have a plan for how to face these things together."
4. "Romance and attraction aren’t always enough to sustain a relationship or marriage. On the days they don’t, the two people need to show up for each other as friends; it will always go a long way."
5. "Focus on being individuals. It's easy to fall into seeing you and your partner as one 'being,' somewhat. You start treating your partner as if they are part of you and not an individual. You take things for granted, and you don't approach them like you would normally approach another individual. Grow and change together. Allow yourself and your partner to evolve into unique people with unique perspectives."
6. "Perspective comes from introspection. Retaining a certain perspective requires honesty, gratitude, and genuine desire. It's good to ask yourself what your reasons for breaking up would be. Is the problem something that could be fixed with more time together, more communication, more intimacy, more friendliness, and more gestures?"
7. "Arguing over mundane things. What I've learned in my eight-year relationship thus far is that some things, although annoying, are just not worth an argument. Sure, if he's cheating or something as big as that, then yes, it'd end in an argument. But I'm not going to cause World War III because he came home a bit too drunk or because he didn't do something in the house he promised to do; focus your energy on things that matter."
8. "So many people jump straight to 'lack of communication,' but more often than not, the problem is refusing to accept what your partner is communicating. Communication skills can always be better, but a lack of understanding or willingness to compromise around the differences in each other's needs leads to resentment really quickly. Once you resent each other, it's game over; there's no real way to come back from that."
10. "Taking the other person’s love, time, empathy, or patience for granted."
"I was going to post the flip side of that coin: holding on to a relationship that isn't making you happy out of some hope that the other person will stop taking those things for granted. Both are non-starters."