Lessons learnt from being in a romantic relationship. what does it really mean to us and how can we overcome the challenges that it can bring
I am not a relationship expert, but I have been with my partner, who is also my first love and first serious long-term relationship, for couple of years now.
Our journey together hasn’t been a smooth one, nevertheless throughout the years we have supported one another physically, mentally and emotionally. Both of us have managed to grow and develop on a personal level and learn from the mistakes made along the way.
There is still much room for improvement of course. I guess the number of years spent together doesn’t justify how well you really know the person next to you. That’s because, as with everything else in life, people also tend to change with time.
Particularly, being in our twenties, my partner and I are continuously looking for ways to improve ourselves, travel, build careers and make plans for the future. As they say ‘The world is your oyster’ . Our path together is yet not clear or certain.
However, an important a point to remember is that
while being in a romantic relationship we need to be also adaptable, patient and willing to make compromises.
Sounds like a lot , doesn’t it? Why can’t we be just happy without all of those ‘requirements’ on top of everything else we need to do and think about.
Perhaps there are some cases of romantic relationships out there where partners are so in tune with one another, that not only the love but also mutual understanding and respect keeps their bond strong and less prone to damage. They don’t seem to work as hard to make things happen, because everything appears to occur naturally for them. Or at least that’s how it seems.
I admire such couples, though I don’t personally know many of them. What’s important to remember nevertheless, is that we are all different, as individuals, and therefore as couples. Making comparisons with those who appear happier and more successful may not prove very useful.
What’s more, no matter how perfect everything looks from the outside, there are going to be certain issues and problems that only the two people in a romantic relationship know about. These remain personal and are not always shared even with close family or friends.
So let’s face it, the majority of us, in one way or another, will have to work hard on maintaining a healthy and long-lasting romantic relationship.
The high divorce rates are not a particular optimistic topic. But why is that? Perhaps people marry because they THINK they have found the one, and that this person is all they NEED and WANT. Then of course as time progresses, and as mentioned earlier, people tend to change, or as it also happens, we start to see the true nature of the person next to us. The one that was there right from the beginning but we were too blind to notice due the initial attraction and overwhelming feelings of what we call love. Yes, love may indeed be there, but it is not enough to keep your relationship strong over the time.
Being in a romantic relationship also doesn’t mean that you should rely on your partner to make your life easier.
Remember that you are still responsible for your own happiness.
Life goes on, as so do the many other challenges that come with it. You just have a companion by your side with whom you can walk the journey and share your experiences.
Moreover, if we realise right from the start that no matter how perfect the partner may seem to be, there would inevitably be some challenging periods in the future. If we accept the fact that our partner is just a human being, like us, with his/her own imperfections and faults, and that the road we need to walk together won’t always be easy and smooth, then we are already moving in the right direction of thinking.
The majority of romantic relationships require some work. But most importantly we must remember to not only love but also truly respect and value one another.
Without mutual respect, trust and willingness to listen and understand from both sides, it will be impossible to keep the relationship stable.
How can we keep the fire burning
Being in a serious long-term relationship for the first time, made me question ‘How do we keep it alive and interesting, just like in those moments when we first began dating?’. First of all, both people need to agree to take part in this, so talk to your partner about what you could do to add some variety to your everyday routine.
Being a woman, I guess have a slightly idealised view of what it means to be in a relationship. I love watching romantic comedies and always end up with tears in my eyes during those sweet, heart-breaking moments of the movie. But I also try to be a realistic about it, as there aren’t always happily every after endings in life.
Still, I believe some romantic gestures are important to bring life back into a relationship that has become a little worn out, dull or simply too comfortable.
DO SOMETHING romantic with your partner at least every three months.
Ideas include: a dinner date at restaurant, a day out together, going to the cinema or theatre, watching a concert or a musical together (just like you might have done in the good old times when you first met). Every romantic gesture counts, even just a bouquet of flowers, or a romantic note for your loved one. I personally love these, or any other small romantic gestures that are made without the need for a special occasion. It’s a perfect way to reignite the fire of love, happiness and excitement and improve the quality of your relationship.
Have something to share? Please feel free to continue the discussion, with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.