In my opinion, there are three things required for any romantic relationship to last.
The first is trust – trust is the foundation. Without trust, you’ll never be able to get anywhere with another person.
Trust translates to a sense of security, and without one of those, you’ll never truly be able to feel comfortable.
The second is a physical connection. Chemistry between the sheets can solve a lot of the petty problems you might face outside of the bedroom.
Mind you, body language is more of a romance language than French or Italian could ever be, so – at those times when words seem to be at a premium – you’ll always be able to compensate in other ways.
And last, but certainly not least, the third thing necessary for any successful relationship is communication.
Verbal communication. In order to get what you want out of a relationship – or life, in general – it’s important to be able to articulate properly, first.
No matter how well you think people know you, take it from me, they can’t read your mind. And this is especially pertinent with respect to your significant other.
When people start spending a lot of their time around one person, it’s only natural to build up the type of rapport that doesn’t require words.
For instance, let’s say you’re out to lunch with your significant other and he or she gives you a certain look – I’m sure you’ll know exactly what it means.
But, still, even if you and your significant other have reached a point in your relationship where you can read each other like books, it's important to maintain sound levels of communication and not take it for granted.
A lot of times, people get blindsided by the person they feel the most comfortable around, because they become complacent about things like this.
Communicating properly isn’t always the the easy road, but with respect to your relationship, it will pay dividends down the road. And it will require effort, along the way.
Sound communication requires conversations, and asking questions – and having the answers to these questions. But, most importantly, communication requires listening.
And, I can’t help but get the feeling that most women feel that men are incapable of listening. In response, this leads to miscommunications, because women don’t feel fully comfortable expressing how they feel.
Ladies, if there’s something you’re not happy with – be vocal about it – because if you’re expecting us to be able to fix it: Take it from me, we’re not mind readers.
When you suspect that I’m angry, ask me what’s wrong.
If you’re sensing tension, it’s best to discuss it. Grudges over petty sh*t have a habit of lingering when they go unattended to. If you’re sensing something’s amiss, address it.
If you’re dating a respectful dude, he’ll do the same. Relationships are give and take.
When you think I’m being an assh*le, call me out.
The only way to learn from mistakes is to be aware of those mistakes. If we do something stupid – which surely wouldn’t make headline news – let us know.
If we truly care about you, and your feelings, we’ll make a concerted effort to avoid repeating those mistakes.
When you’re tempted to talk to your friends about the sh*tty thing I did, talk to me instead.
There’s no need for a middle man. If you’re upset about something we said or did, nip it in the bud.
Even if you’re concerned about it “creating an issue,” if the issue is necessary – you’re only going to delay the inevitable.
When you want to hang out, ask me.
There are times when we don’t want to act too invasive – or suffocate you – so we’ll intentionally back off, figuring that you’ll let it be known when you feel like making plans.
However, this could lead to a long Cold War of silence and crossed signals. If you want to spend time with us, just ask.
When you suspect I’m doing something wrong, confront me.
Everyone gets curious – and, at the same time – everyone gets insecure, every now and then. Having said that, these same curiosities can quickly become paranoias – which plague relationships.
If you suspect any foul play, just ask. If we’re not doing anything wrong, we shouldn’t get defensive over an innocent question.
When you want some alone time, let me know before you just disappear
It’s completely healthy and understandable for human beings to want alone time – especially when they’re invested in a committed relationship with another person.
If you’ve been spending a lot of time with us, and we’re beginning to grate on your nerves, trust me – we’ll understand.
It’s completely fine to let us know that you’re taking some time to yourself; however, if you disappear without advanced notice, it just might be our instinct to try and smother you with more attention. It won’t end well.
When you want to move to the next step in our relationship, don’t hold it in and resent me.
If you get the feeling that you’re on a different page than we are, with respect to the progress of our relationship, it’s best to hash it out.
Even if you’re unsure how we’re going to react to it, those type of harbored emotions can take a toll on your overall psyche, so it’s best to get them off your chest before they really start to affect your mind.
When you want me to be more affectionate, tell me.
Sometimes we’ll try to act too cool – or become insecure about how transparent we are with our own emotions.
It’s a defense mechanism, albeit a shallow one at that, and if you feel that we’re putting up walls it couldn’t hurt to try and pry us open yourself.
Nine times out of 10, we’re just a little apprehensive about coming off as “too forward” with our feelings.
When you hate the world, don’t close yourself off to me.
Everyone has bad days. Relationships are so invaluable because – when these bad times come – you know you have someone by your side, to get through them together with.
If you hate the world, let us hate it with you. We’re here to be your greatest ally, not another part of the problem.