I remember hearing people say ‘Don’t marry your first boyfriend/girlfriend’ and I thought to myself, ‘oh please, what do they know?’ Boy oh boy did I wish someone fully explained that to me earlier on. So here’s the thing… you found someone great so you pull up that little checklist in your mind…
- Good looks ✓
- Great body ✓
- Good job ✓
- Nice smile ✓
- Charming sense of humour ✓
Yessss, they’re everythinggggg. You’re now head over heels in love, super-duper excited, on cloud nine over this new person. Soon your Facebook status changes to ‘ ♥ In a Relationship ♥’. A couple months passes, things are going greatttt… absolutely no complaints. Suddenly, things start taking a left turn because the person “changed”… I hate to break it to you but, absolutely nothing and no one changed. What happened was that initially you were so infatuated that you didn’t invest enough time to learn about the person on a level that was necessary before diving into a relationship with them. Now as those things about the person starts revealing themselves, you believe they changed. By then you’re either in too deep, heartbroken or both.
Getting to really KNOW someone is often overlooked when we don’t know better. Like when we’re young and naive and rush into a relationship; hence why older wiser people tell us not to marry our first. A lot of relationships serve as stepping stones in our lives to teach us lessons, and to help us better understand what exactly we want and don’t want from the person we choose to commit ourselves to. As we get older, we learn these things… or at least we should learn. Some of us, like me, learn the hard way and unfortunately some of us don’t learn at all. Some keep making the same mistakes over and over, simply because they don’t know what exactly they should be looking for in someone. So they dive in and later on find themselves in a relationship compromising way too much and tolerating more than they should just to make it work. To help avoid this, I created a list of what I think are the absolute must-haves for any healthy, long-lasting relationship.
I suggest you choose to be with someone who:
- Respects you in private and in public.
- Communicates effectively with you in times of agreement and disagreement.
- You can talk to about anything and who is understanding and not judgmental.
- Is open and is not afraid to share their thoughts and feelings.
- You trust and who trusts you (i.e. no accusations of lying, hiding or being unfaithful provided that it’s not warranted).
- Respects your boundaries and freedom as an individual, and does not abuse technology to overstep them.
- Treats you as an equal and is willing to compromise and listen to your opinions.
- Always lifts you up and is not extremely negative.
- Encourages you, supports your goals, and is proud of your accomplishments.
- Understands what it takes for a healthy relationship and is willing to do their part.
- Is caring and honest with you and others.
- You can rely on and who is there for you.
- Makes you a priority and spends time with you.
- You have a strong friendship and romance with, and whom you can relate to on the same intellectual level.
- You can absolutely be yourself and have fun with.
- Shares most of your interests like movies, sports, reading, travelling, music etc.
- Shares similar lifestyle, beliefs and values as you.
- Is comfortable around your friends and family and does not get upset with you for spending time with them.
- Doesn’t take advantage of you, manipulates you, or pressures you to do things that you don’t want to do.
- Doesn’t emotionally and/or physically abuse you, threaten you, or make you feel fearful.
By the end of this list you’re probably either – thinking your relationship is in the crapper, feeling awesome because you already share those things with someone orrrr thinking you’ll never, ever find that someone. I assure that when you’re with the right person… the right person… you’ll be amazed to see that most of these things will come naturally and with absolute ease.
If you’re already in a relationship, you can reflect on the list honestly and identify the strong and weak points. If you’re dating or currently looking, this list is a great way to help you choose someone that you can have a promising, healthy relationship with. Keep your eye out for little things that will prove these qualities to you. For example, if the person keeps telling you what to do, snooping around in your phone, or disrespecting you … don’t overlook it or think it’s passionate. There’s nothing passionate about someone being possessive or cussing you out. That’s a total red flag. However, if they say things like “I am so proud of you for starting a degree”… “I’m happy you spent time with your family today”… “You cooked dinner last night, I’ll cook tonight”… those are positives and should not be taken for granted. When you find someone with those qualities, make sure to appreciate it and give back. I believe that you should be all the things that you want from someone. I guarantee if you follow these simple guidelines it will contribute to your relationship being healthy, long-lasting and amazing.
… Keep Smiling – Love, Candace