If I still had my other computer with Photoshop I would have put my face over hers. Alas…lol Photo via theurbanbuzz.com.
I was talking to a friend the other night and she asked me what I learned about dating and relationships in my twenties. It is an interesting question that I have actually been thinking about so, I figured in the spirit of transparency I would bring what I learned to y’all to see what you think.
Everything that I learned about love in the past decade can be summed up in these two statements:
1.) I learned that we each need to love our partner the way that they want/need to be loved.
2.) I learned that it is best to communicate and say what you want, need, or feel in a relationship early.
Okay. Let’s start with the first one. I think there are only a few people left on earth that have yet to take the 5 Love Languages quiz. If you have not taken it, please click the link, take it, and then come back and join us. Please. Now make your partner take it too.
I will admit at first the quiz seems silly but when you get your results and really do some soul searching you will realize that this is far more accurate than any of the Buzzfeed Harry Potter quizzes that I may or may not have made lol :-/. However, what is really important about this quiz in a relationship is not your answers but your partner’s. If you try to love someone that values quality time in relationships by giving them gifts or performing acts of service you could give of yourself until you are blue in the face and it wouldn’t matter. Conversely, if you are someone who needs to be hugged or touched or kissed and your partner presents as cold or standoffish you will wonder if this relationship will ever work for you no matter how much time they spend with you. Finally, as you all begin to learn each other, consider the other person’s love language when they aren’t loving you how you need them to love you. Are they loving you in the best way they know how (their definition of love)? Food for thought.
Either way, learn your partner. Learn their love language. Ask that they learn yours and then both of you must commit to love from there. If not? You will be doomed from the start or at least just have a LOT of headaches and misunderstandings.
This kind of feeds into my second point. You MUST be able to communicate with your partner. Now, let’s be honest, if you don’t like being vulnerable and/or are afraid of confrontation then this might be a hard task. However, communication is the most important part of relationships to me. There are a lot of things that all of us have swept under the rug in relationships because we have been afraid of asking one key question – whatever that question may be. The problem with that is once we start sweeping the pile is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. Then one day, out of frustration, we will pack up our rug revealing the mess we created and leave. We will be dirty and tired. They will be dirty and confused about where all the mess came from. Everything will be terrible.
So just ask the question. Air your grievance. State your boundary. Just be yourself from the start because doing all of those things early on will save you and them a lot of headache and heartache. Conversely, when people come to you with issues be ready and willing to listen, learn, reflect, and grow because vulnerability is hard and we ALL know that.
Trust me, all of this is so worth it because instead of creating a weird alternate reality in your head you will have the truth, they will know how you feel, and it will set you and your relationship free. Truly.
So yeah, those are the things I’ve learned. Now am I still working on all of these things? Yes, but I suppose we all are constantly working on ourselves to some extent, right? Am I late to the party? What have you learned? Any advice you want to share?