Both women and men need to decide what you want from a loving relationship. What do you look for in a person that you love? What do you love in a person? If you’re putting a nice butt before a stable personality, you’re going to have a really tough time in relationships. Same goes for things like valuing friends who get you into the best clubs over friends who’ll hold your hair back while you puke.
When you go to start a relationship, be it romantic or platonic, you’ll want to be sure that you bring something to that relationship. Having nothing to offer will give you and probably the other person the sense that you are a leech.
A life partner or a lover can help you cope with the problems in your life and will work with you to solve them. Be friendly when you meet people, and try to see the best in them. Even if you're at a party you'd rather not be at, make a little goal that you'll make one new friend by the end of the night.
Don't put on an act with people you're interested in, or with friends that you're building a relationship with. If you're pretending to be one way, it's not fair to the person who meets you halfway. Don’t force love and don’t try to speed it up. This will only create false feelings which drain you emotionally and leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied. You can’t rush love.
If you're in love, prove it by putting effort into the relationship and working hard to make it work. Communicate openly with your partner about your goals for the relationship and where you see it going. If you're only interested in a short-term fling, be honest. Commit to the person and to the relationship. It’s easy when two people have been together for awhile and you’ve become very trusting to just get very comfortable with each other.
Yes, bad things will happen in your relationships. You’ll say the wrong thing, or they’ll hurt your feelings. It happens. The important part, when anything goes wrong (even if it’s just problems in your life), is to learn your lessons and just keep moving forward. If you're in the wrong, apologize and own up to your mistake. Good relationships air out the grievances and clear the air. Bad relationships hide the negativity and let it fester into serious problems. If you're in love, talk about your problems.
A good, loving relationship is one where you constantly challenge each other to be better people. Help the other person to achieve their dreams and goals because you believe they deserve it. This is one of the unhealthiest things to have in a relationship, as it can break down trust and respect, and create barriers. For some people, this can be the most challenging part of relationships. Jealousy is a tough thing to break, but you can do it. The most important thing to understand is that jealousy issues almost always come from within, from the jealous person’s own issues, so those need to be worked through first.
We hate to be wrong. Everyone does. But the thing about everyone thinking they’re right is that someone HAS to be wrong. If we disagree on an issue, we’re bound to be wrong on at least part of the issue. The whole point of going through life with people you love is so that you can tackle life’s challenges together. Work together to find solutions, solve problems, and comfort each other when times get tough.
Popular culture often tells us, subtly, that we should manipulate our significant other. You’ll find magazine upon magazine about how to get your girlfriend to do this or how to make your husband more that. But the thing is that expecting someone to change, and emotionally or mentally manipulating them into doing it, is one of the worst things you can do for your relationship.
Don’t expect perfection in the person you love or in yourself. This sets incredibly unrealistic expectations. Neither of you will be able to live up to these standards and you both will end up hurt and disappointed. Even if you feel that you only expect perfection for yourself, this will give you the mindset that people can be perfect and you will subconsciously expect the same from the person you’re with.
Life gets stressful sometimes. We have problems and they make us upset, hurt, or angry. There are many, many people who take out these negative emotions on the people they love, often because they feel like they have no other outlet. But you should never do this. Find good ways to deal with your stress, like exercising or doing art. This will keep you from unreasonable outbursts directed at the person you love.
Much like not putting in effort, you shouldn’t get to a point where your relationships are routine. Getting the same gift (or type of gift) for every holiday and birthday, going to the same place for dinners out, doing the same thing for your anniversary, etc.
One major pitfall of relationships is that we tend to get super focused on little things that drive us crazy, rather than seeing the bigger picture, which is often wonderful. Keep your focus on the things that actually matter, and constantly analyze why those things matter to you. You’ll have a much happier relationship if you do.