I've always gotten myself into complicated relationships. I've had my fair share of on-again, off-again relationships. I've stayed in relationships for far too long, with psychopaths and assh*les. I realized I did this simply because I didn't want to be alone.
I thought love was supposed to be complicated. I thought love was supposed to stress you out constantly. I thought love was supposed to be overly intense.
Sh*t. I was wrong this whole time.
It was when I got into my current relationship that I realized love doesn't have to be as messy as I thought. I've concluded love can never be perfect, but it also shouldn't be a burden. Love is simple.
To love someone means to care, to be honest, to trust, to be loyal and to accept. These concepts shouldn't lead to complications. If they do, it just means you shouldn't be together.
Here are some things to do in order to make a relationship simple:
1. Don't be with someone just because you're lonely.
I have made this mistake countless times. If you're with someone because you're lonely, you'll be too afraid of that person leaving you.
You'll be too wrapped up in worrying about the end, and you won't be present during the relationship.
2. Don't have too many expectations.
You should always set standards because you deserve the best. However, you shouldn't expect much from the other person.
You shouldn't expect that person to confess his or her love for you like Heath Ledger did in "10 Things I Hate About You." You shouldn't expect your dates to be as romantic as they are in "The Notebook." Having fewer expectations means having more fulfillment because you'll never be disappointed.
3. Don't be the damsel in distress.
It's a good idea to open your heart completely when you're in a relationship, but don't expect the other person to fix you. In a simple relationship, the other person will be there for you through the problems you have. He or she will support you and give you advice.
But he or she will never solve your problems for you. Only you can do that for yourself.
4. Don't let him or her change you.
The other person shouldn't want to (or try to) change anything about you. Everyone has flaws.
If he or she can't accept your flaws, complications will arise. In simple love, the other person should motivate you and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
But this is different from changing something about yourself. You are in control of your own mind and soul.
5. Don't think you can change him or her.
Just as he or she shouldn't change anything about you, you shouldn't change anything about him or her. There is always going to be at least one thing about the other person that isn't “ideal.”
The important thing to do is love this person regardless of his or her imperfections. If this person wants to change something about him or herself, it will happen on his or her own terms.
6. Don't search for problems that aren't there.
When your relationship is going well, it's natural to worry about something that could potentially go wrong. Don't let that take over.
Take your relationship day by day, but reach for a future together, too. If something negative happens, realize that communication from both sides of the relationship will help solve any issues.
You have to realize that arguments will arise from time to time, even in a good relationship. That is because every relationship will have faults and cracks.
But this doesn't mean love isn't worth it. Love is a beautiful thing, as long as you go about it correctly. Love doesn't usually happen the way it does in movies, but when you find something real with someone, those movies lose their meaning.
Don't strive for perfection in a relationship. Simply strive for simplicity.