Today I was chatting with a colleague about relationships ‘n’ such and started pondering on matters of the heart. Love is such an individual thing and making blanket statements on how to make a romantic relationship work rarely works out, however I thought I’d have fun listing the top 10 things I think has helped “save my bacon” in the past romance-wise to help remind me how not to screw things up in the future. Well, not as much anyway. 😉
10. Don’t “Play Dumb”
Essentially, if you’re ending your sentence with the words “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” when you know exactly what they’re talking about, then you’re playing a dangerous game my friend. I know it’s tempting as heck sometimes to bluff your way outta things but come on:
(A) You’re not as good of a liar as you think; and
(B) This has cost you some major respect points.
If you’ve done or said something stupid, and you both know it, then just be brave, admit it and then apologise and move on. The other person may still be mad at you no matter what at this point, but at least they’ll respect you for making the effort to rectify the situation rather than lazily trying to cover it up.
9. Mellow Out
There’s a time and place for venting ‘n’ such, namely after you get to know each other after a few dates. Not during the beginning of your first date. Blowing off steam is enjoyable, and trusting someone enough to tell them what you really think about a certain topic or situation is great, but do your best never to be a killjoy and spoil the moment (for example, road rage is unsexy. Always).
8. Remember their Quirks
Remembering your crush’s quirks/foibles and having fun with it is always a blast. Whether it be in the name of thoughtfulness (“I’ve bought you a coffee, it’s got two sugars in it the way you like it!”) or used to annoy them for the fun of it (“Do you want some of this pizza? It has mushrooms on it. Your favouriiiiite!”), there’s limitless entertainment to be had!
7. Observe the Warning Signs
Okay, it’s easy…way too easy…to be irrationally paranoid and think of every little thing as a warning sign that spells doom and danger ahead (which ain’t healthy, but sure is normal when you’re feeling lovesick) but listening to your gut instinct is important. Especially with drastic changes of behaviour e.g. they’re suddenly not taking your calls anymore. Maybe they’re just really busy. Or maybe you really did upset them with that “yo mama” joke last weekend.
6. Be Honest
But not too honest! You need truthfulness in a relationship but don’t go spilling out every thought that pops into your brain. There are many things that can be said thoughtlessly which can really hurt a person’s feelings e.g. listing other people they find more attractive, insulting their intelligence level, comments on weight etc. Remember, to you it may seem like just a joke but to them it could be a brutal knock to their confidence!
There’s nothing sexier or more entertaining than a spontaneous person. There’s no need to go crazy or anything (“Hey honey, I’ve booked us a trip to the North Pole – the plane leaves in 2 hours, let’s roll!”), it can be anything from a surprise gift to an unexpected gesture of love. Like poetry. Or a love song. Or a hilarious pick-up line. Whatever your stye is, just go with it and have fun!
4. Don’t Bury It
If you’re upset, or you strongly suspect that the other person is upset/angry at you, then don’t ignore it in the hopes that it’ll just go away and blow over with no action being taken. Forget that you’ve heard you should “let sleeping dogs lie”. Be courageous, bring up the subject and talk it through together. Being open and dealing with each hurdle as it comes (rather than sweeping it under the rug) make for a happier and healthier relationship!
Being intimate with a person isn’t just about learning what makes them tick, it’s also about trusting them with valuable information about you. Your dreams, innermost hopes and desires. Being 110% honest about who you are is pretty damn difficult, especially when baring your insecurities and vulnerabilities, but it’s the best feeling in the world when you can openly talk with that special someone who truly loves and cares about you.
Don’t just be content with learning the surface details and then stopping there. There’s always more to learn! Pose interesting questions to stimulate their thoughts and keep them on their toes, be it serious relationship talk (“Do you see yourself getting married in the future?”) or crazy hypothetical situations (“What would you do if this city was suddenly invaded by zombies right now?”).
Don’t be a dummy, put aside your pride and apologise damn it! Do it selflessly, genuinely and often. I’ve found one of the most important factors in a healthy relationship is to be wise enough to know when you’re wrong, or have done wrong, and be more than willing to say sorry if you feel your significant other is feeling hurt. The sooner the better too. The earlier you say sorry then the less heartache the other person will go through! Plus a nice hug to go along with your apology never hurts either.
That’s all for now, folks! At the end of the day, we all get bummed out over the romantical screw-ups we make from time to time (I know that I’m still struggling with plenty of my own foibles) but the main thing is to stay happy and remember that you might as well face it, you’re addicted to love! 😉