When you're in the beginning stages of a relationship, everything is bliss. They don’t call it the honeymoon stage for nothing.
You’re incredibly happy and everything is brand new. Who doesn’t love something brand new?
Yet, after a few months or years go by, sparks can simmer and the fire may not be blazing as hot as it once was. Often, couples struggle to get over that mid-relationship hump.
When things aren’t all shiny and new, and the excitement of the beginning fades out, we’re left to face our partner for who we both really are, and what our future together really holds.
It's important when you fall in love with someone that it's not toxic or harmful to your life. Although you are a team together, you are still an individual person.
Of course, there are tons of men in the past I have gone crazy over, but looking back, they were unhealthy, unstable and hindered my growth.
Now, being in a relationship for three and half years, I realize I’ve had to develop habits and routines to maintain our overall happiness and growth, individually and together.
My relationship is nothing but healthy. Every day people ask me how my boyfriend and I are so “perfect.” To be blunt, we don’t see ourselves that way.
We’re all just humans, and no human is perfect. To keep our relationship healthy and on track, it's important to remember these habits, and utilize them in our everyday lives as a couple:
1. Stop worrying about other couples.
Other couples may seem to have more time to travel or more money to spend on lavish dinners, but it doesn't make them any stronger or happier when it's all taken away.
It's important to stop comparing yourself to other couples and what stages of their lives they are in.
Just because another couple is moving in together doesn't mean you and your partner are financially or emotionally ready to do the same. Just because other people are getting engaged and married doesn’t mean you guys are at the stage to do so, either.
Life is not a competition, and you are not competing for best couple of the year award with anyone at all.
Stay at your own pace and focus on building with your partner.
2. Never discuss your relationship/partner with other people.
It's important to never bad-mouth your partner to anyone, not even your own mother.
When you get into a fight with your partner, take an hour or so to cool off from the initial situation before you jump to any hasty conclusions.
When you talk badly about your partner to anyone, those people will remember this situation and red-flag it in their minds. I find it usually comes back to bite you in the ass later on.
You never want someone to look down on your partner, especially for something you may have blown out of proportion when you were angry or upset.
3. Always make time for sex.
Life can get really crazy and hectic, especially when you and your partner are working and/or going to school.
When you're meeting deadlines and cramming for exams, sex is usually the last thing on your mind.
It's important to remember that although sex is not the whole part of a relationship, it's an important part of it.
Being physically attracted to someone is not the key to love, but being sexually active is a key factor to keeping the spark between you and your partner blazing.
4. Respect each other.
You may not agree on everything in the world, like what's for dinner or even big issues like who to vote for in the election, but you have to respect each other's beliefs.
If you don't respect your partner, no matter how hard you try, subconsciously you'll be against him or her instead of on his or her team. Your mind will work against you, and eventually, you’ll just get annoyed and fed up with dealing with the differences all together.
If you don’t respect your partner, you shouldn’t be with him or her in the first place.
5. Communicate on the forefront.
There's no reason to feel the need to ignore each other when problems arise. It's important to face things head on, together, rather than wallowing and overthinking alone.
Stop saying, "It's okay," and "I'm fine," when deep down, you know that's far from the truth.
Being honest and open is important to creating and maintaining a healthy relationship.