Relationships are hard. Period.
Don't get me wrong: When you find the right person, your life will be just a little bit more amazing, but it definitely won't be easier. In fact, anyone who tells you that relationships are low-maintenance probably hasn't experienced a mature, adult relationship yet.
I have been with my current partner for almost two years now, and despite the fact that I love him to death, I can honestly say that our relationship has been the most difficult thing I've ever dealt with in my life.
The reason relationships are difficult is simple: You need to be open to small changes for one another, and people don't exactly accept change with open arms.
In the beginning, everything goes smoothly because the commitment level hasn't reached its peak just yet. When it does, each person in the relationship will need to subtly adapt for their significant other for the connection to thrive.
I'm not saying that you should do a complete overhaul of your personality, because at that point, you should call it quits on the relationship completely. All I'm saying is that you should both be willing to work on a few things to better your relationship.
Here are six things you should be OK with changing once you get into a relationship:
1. Social Patterns
The first thing I realized I had to change when my love and I started getting more serious was certain aspects of my social life. I couldn't go out constantly and party with my friends like I used to, and he couldn't do the same with his friends either.
I'm not saying you have to shun your single friends away when you start dating, but I am saying that you should be a bit more mindful of your settings when you're not single anymore.
As time goes on in a relationship, your single-life routine to which you've grown so accustomed will eventually morph into something completely different. You have to remind yourself that this is completely normal.
Change is intimidating to anyone, but in reality, change inspires growth. You should be willing to change a few minor things in your daily routine for that special someone, and they should be willing to do the same for you.
This kind of change usually comes along with a defensive attitude, but you should be willing to change certain habits for your significant other to allow your bond to flourish.
In a relationship, you allow someone to see you for who you truly are. Naturally, they might notice some bad or unhealthy habits you didn't realize you had. For example, when my significant other and I started dating, I inspired him to eat healthier and exercise more, while he inspired me to stop drinking and smoking.
Allowing your significant other to assist you in changing your bad habits will not only benefit your relationship, but it will also benefit you as an individual later down the line.
My significant other and I are currently doing "the long distance thing" with each other, and honestly, it totally sucks. After having many conversations about the topic, we eventually decided that one of us needed to move.
We were both willing to relocate for one another. In the end, we decided that we enjoyed the suburban lifestyle, so he is moving to be closer to me.
The important thing, though, is that we were both willing and able to pick up and move to better our relationship. Starting over in a new place can be intimidating, but it's a small price to pay for love.
A person's attitude is one of the hardest things to change, but it might be necessary for a relationship to be successful in the long run. Everyone on this planet is born with flaws, but you should be willing to address and adjust those flaws for the person you love.
I am a New Yorker at heart, meaning I get defensive easily, I have a loud voice and I yell every chance I get. On the other hand, my love is from the Midwest. He prefers to stay calm and quiet while we have our disagreements, and he gets pretty upset when people express their anger in a loud or obnoxious way.
When we argue, I have to remind myself that he needs to hear my frustrations more calmly to truly understand what I'm trying to say.
At the end of the day, both people in a relationship need to be willing to tweak some parts of their attitudes for the relationship to last.
Before I got together with my current love, I saw my future in a different light. It was just me and my individual goals. Whether they involved my career, my health or even socially-driven goals, I was the only one in the picture at the time.
Now that we're together, I always keep him in mind when it comes to what I want for our future. Now, it's me and him together as we walk this journey of life in true partnership.
You shouldn't give up on your dreams, but you should keep in mind that certain goals you set before your relationship might change slightly, or even drastically, as you get more serious with your partner.
You just need to remind yourself that this kind of change is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it's for something positive.