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Cold World: 9 Ways To Have Your Relationship Survive The Hook-Up Culture

The world is getting smaller and smaller, which means competition is only growing fiercer and fiercer. We live in an age in which we can have just about anything we want the very minute we want it.

What it’s sadly teaching us, though, is to take things for granted.

Worse yet, it’s teaching us to take people for granted. We always assume we can get a replacement or an upgrade.

We’re always assuming there's something better around the corner -- the grass is greener where we're not standing on it.

The truth is when you find a good thing, you need to learn to appreciate it and hold on to it.

Relationships are hard, but they make life worth living. It’s not just about finding the right person; it’s about understanding what that person means to you and understanding what needs to happen in order to ensure it's forever.

Here are nine tips to keep your relationship breathing and beating amongst today’s hook-up culture:

Never do things out of spite.

People -- our generation especially -- are ego-driven. We do what we do to feed and protect our egos. Our favorite sort of defense happens to be a good offense, so we often do things entirely out of spite.

We do things to hurt and annoy people all the time. It’s sort of our way of saying, “This is what you get when you screw with me.”

Unfortunately, spite just about always solicits retaliation. Once you begin the cycle, it almost never comes to a complete stop.

If your aim is to hurt the person you love, maybe you aren’t ready to be in a relationship.

Either say what you mean or don’t say anything at all.

Relationships do require playfulness and are, in large part, a game. Although, you need to keep a balance between mystery and directness.

You don’t necessarily want to show your hand, but at the same time you want to make sure your partner knows you’re still in it to win.

People often say things they don’t mean. Sometimes it’s because we’re too scared, sometimes it’s because we’re too proud. Other times, we think it’s a good idea to "test" how much someone knows us or loves us by saying things we don’t mean at all just to get a reaction.

People can’t read minds. If you want something, say it. If you’re feeling some way, explain it. But also make sure to speak up about all the things you do love. It's just as important.

Don’t pick on each other’s insecurities.

We all have our insecurities -- each and every single one of us. No matter how smart, how beautiful, or how incredible we really are, we always manage to find a flaw in ourselves.

It’s unavoidable; no one's perfect. Some insecurities are rational. Others aren't. No matter what, you should never pick on your lover’s insecurities. You’re only doing it out of spite to begin with, and are just reinforcing those insecurities.

Why do your best to make your best friend feel ashamed, embarrassed, weak, flawed and unwanted?

Look, but don’t touch.

There isn’t a man in the world who wouldn’t like to get into the pants of a beautiful woman. And there isn’t a woman in the world who wouldn’t like to sleep with her very own Christian Grey.

You're always going to want to sleep with people you're attracted to; it’s human nature. It’s the way we’re designed.

You can fight it all you want, pretending like you’re not interested, but, in the end, you'll have to accept you like beautiful people and you're physically attracted to them.

You can’t pretend you’re not interested because it'll eat you up inside. You’re lying to yourself, and you know it. Instead, enjoy the fact you enjoy women and then go Christian Grey your own girlfriend.

Be honest -- but not brutally honest.

It’s not possible to be entirely honest with your partner all the time, and you don't have to be. But you do need to be honest when it matters.

The honest truth has a way of hurting our egos. Being in a relationship is, in large part, lying when needed and being completely honest the rest of the time.

Be honest when your partner deserves it and tell him or her what he or she wants to hear when you it needs to be heard. Don’t lie for yourself; lie for the person you love.

It can be hard to distinguish the two, but nothing in life is entirely black and white. So get used to it.

Keep your sex life exciting.

If sex with your partner gets boring, you aren’t trying hard enough to keep things exciting.

Relationships tend to head south as soon as the sex goes south -- not because sex is what holds relationships together, but because we often believe when passion dies, so does a relationship.

This, of course, isn’t true, but we’re only human and sometimes we can’t help the way we feel.

Do yourself a favor and avoid such confusion. If you don’t know how to spruce things up, check out Google. You’ll be surprised what you can find.

Pick your battles.

People butt heads and argue from time to time -- some more often than others. It’s inevitable. The sad part is relationships often end after the most trivial arguments.

Sometimes the battle isn’t worth disrupting the peace. More often than not, what we’re arguing over is a matter of opinion and nothing else.

If your opinions differ, you ought to be happy, not frustrated. You get a chance to see things from a different perspective.

Be spontaneous.

Do things out of the blue. Be romantic for absolutely no reason. Try new things, push beyond the confines of your comfort zones.

Human beings are creatures of habit. However, when it comes to relationships, habit leads to boredom and boredom leads to questioning the relationship.

People thrive on change -- it’s what allows life to exist in the first place. Without change, nothing would exist.

Without novelty, our lives would feel stagnant. In this case, our relationships start to feel stagnant.

We’re always looking for the next step, next adventure, next chapter in our lives. Be spontaneous and the book you two share will be a hell of a page-turner.

Don’t give up too soon.

There are countless options and opportunities in today’s world. We can often get what we want almost before we even know we want it.

With countless options, people don’t especially feel a need to make things work.

We don’t like friction. We don’t like things that require too much effort, too much focus, too much sacrifice.

Things with such requirements are the only things in life with an actual value. Everything else that comes easily comes with little to no satisfaction.

Relationships take work. The hook-up culture we’ve created makes it easy for us to make some extremely poor decisions -- such as giving up on the love of your life.

Not all stories have happy endings. Sure, a happy ending is always a possibility… but you have to be smart enough to make decisions to get you there.

If you want a lasting relationship, you have to be willing to work on it. There are no shortcuts. It’s never easy. But in the end, it’s always worth it.

For More Of His Thoughts And Ramblings, Follow Paul Hudson On Twitter And Facebook.