I start my first official Marriage therapy class in July. I’ve only just started my graduate degree but feel like I’ve had years of experience in counseling friends on their relationships. Even when I, myself, was in long term, unhealthy relationships. I’ve always found myself looking back and taking each relationship, dating experience as a learning lesson. Sharing those experiences with others helps me and them. I’m really looking forward to getting into the meat of my degree, learning about what I’m deciding to do for the rest of my life. Its exciting and liberating to know that I found what I’m truly passionate about. Helping others to have successful and happy relationships and sex lives.
In the last few years I’ve learned a ton, not only about myself and my own relationships, but about relationships in general and how to ensure that you work towards happiness together and as an idividual.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned about finding happiness:
Be happy alone first. In order to really have a successful, happy relationship with another person, you need to be happy as an individual. Depending on someone else to make you happy is going to cause strain.
Remain an individual. I dont know how many times I’ve seen friends get into a relationship and no longer have any self identity. They do what their partner likes regardless if they do or not and no longer do things they once enjoyed because their partner doesn’t want to join in. You should always be yourself first and remain so, a partner should be a part of your life, not the definition of your life.
- Know your limits. Relationships will have difficulties, there will be things each of you do not like. You have to know how much you are willing to sacrifice or tolerate. I have zero tolerance for cheating. One and your done, no exceptions. You have to know what you will work with and what you won’t.
- Remember that every partner you have is different. They will act differently, do things differently and be different than partners from your past. Don’t compare. Comparing can only make you feel unsatisifed if they don’t meet your expectations.
- Be realistic in your expectations, don’t get lost in a fantasy of the perfect partner, because there is no such thing. Expecting your partner to stand in the corner at a bar while they text you because they’re out for a night out with friends without you is not exactly the most realistic expectation. We’re ultimately human, we make mistakes. Holding your partner to a standard of perfection will leave you disappointed.
- If you have to make ultimatums…there’s something not right. Ultimatums shouldn’t be a part of a relationship. If you are feeling like you have to issue an ultimatum to get what you want out of your relationship, communicate with your partner and find out why they aren’t giving you what you need.
- Don’t compare your relationship to other peoples, or expect other people’s relationships to be like yours. I’ve actually had friends tell me that my boyfriend should be calling and texting me all day long because thats what their partner does. But texting every second of the day is not possible or realistic for my relationship as my boyfriend’s job is demanding. And just because we don’t text constantly throughout the day doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about me, or isn’t making an effort. Each relationship works in different ways.
- Have fun! Relationships can be challenging, but they should also be fun. You should enjoy your relationship. If you’re not, take a step back and figure out why.
- Make sex a priority. If you don’t make it a priority, it won’t happen spontaneously. Schedule it in if you have to!
Got some more great relationship advice? Post them in the comments !