Have you noticed that all of the stories we get told as children all seem to have the same ending. Oh there are bound to be a few differences, but most of the stories all follow the same tried and true formula popularised in film by Disney: Prince meets Princess + Falls In Love + Battles Adversity = Happily Ever After!!
Is it any wonder then that generation after generation of boys and girls enter adulthood thinking that getting the girl/boy is how the story ends. Why do they never say, that really, this is how the real story begins?
The analogy may be a little tired, but I do believe the truth is that keeping a relationship thriving and growing is like tending a tree in a garden. It takes work and commitment, and sometimes a bit of luck, but that only makes it more rewarding to watch it grow.
Of course we could all do with a hint or two in the right direction too. So this month I am going to give you my top 5 tips for how to keep your relationship going strong in the 21st Century.
Tip 1. Stay Flexible
I mean this both figuratively as well as literally. Its important to keep things fresh and interesting, and not to let yourself or your partner fall into a strict and rigid routine. Spontaneity and fun can be like food to a growing relationship. Don’t settle for going to the same bars or clubs, and don’t stick to what you know you like to do together, always be willing to take a chance and try something new. If you usually have a romantic night in, then one night you should go out with your mutual friends for a night on the tiles.
When you are alone together there is also plenty of opportunity to test out your new flexibility, and I am not (only) referring to the bedroom. You need to define the roles in your personal and sexual relationship and then, have all the fun in the world mixing it all up.
I am also thinking they say that variety is the spice of life, and the more flavour you add to your budding relationship, the better the taste.
Tip 2. Communicate!
I know what you are thinking, this is a joke tip? I mean relationships are all about communication?
You would think that, but you would be wrong!! Have you ever noticed how you can have long conversations that amount to practically nothing, just chatting about random bits and peices of information. That is not communication. That is fluff.
Talking to your partner about the things in your life are the meat and potatoes of any relationship (another food analogy, I must be hungry). Needless to say there is nothing more vital than sharing yourself with your special someone. When we talk about our hopes and dreams we let a person into our lives, we expose ourselves little by little. It can be scary to talk about the things we worry about. No one is saying it isn’t, but silence means death to a relationship, simply because it means you have nothing to say. This leads me almost perfectly into my next tip.
Tip 3. Laying down the Ground Rules
This is a common pitfall of any relationship, by believing that you are both instinctively on the same page of the relationship and you know what you are and what you are not allowed to do.
Some of these are pretty much simple. For example, don’t call your partner fat if you want to have the same number of teeth you started with, and try to avoid making comments about their mothers. No good may ever come of that.
But there are also some important things that you need to have straight before you begin. Classic example is the attitude to ex-partners. Sometimes you hate them, sometimes you like them, other times they should never be mentioned. It is nothing less than a minefield, which is why you need to take that plunge and talk about how to deal with them together.
You see how easily attitudes can change in just one scenario. Well there are billions waiting for you down the road! I’m not trying to scare you, just telling you to be prepared to talk about what is and what is not allowed in your relationship, you never know it might end up saving you a lot of grief further down the road.
Tip 4.Take each Day as it Comes
OK I am going to be honest, there was a time when I was newly out where I was imagining wedding bells on the third date. Sad I know, but coming from a love starved background I always felt like I needed that sense of permanence.
My terrible mistake here was that I tried to force my relationship to be something it wasn’t, by making it feel like more than it did.
The real treats of life are all about enjoying yourself with the people you love, and that means that you may need to loosen the reins a bit and see where life takes you. I am not saying that wedding bells are out of the question, I am only asking that age old question, ‘whats the rush?’
I hate to break it to you my sexy readers and many people may disagree with me, but I believe its important to just lie back and wait for the future to come to you, and not to feel like you have to chase it down like a fugitive on the run.
Tip 5. Be Happy
You would think this would be common sense and I really hope it is. But it goes without saying that you need to be happy.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t about being a Stepford couple in any way shape or form. There will be times when you fight and when you annoy each other to the brinks of sanity. That being said, that’s how you know you love each other. But love has the power to blind us to our partners faults, and we could find ourselves making excuses for why we are in this relationship if it doesn’t make us feel happy.
When you begin to resent your relationship, it’s easy to deny the truth. We have all kinds of preprogrammed lies in our heads to deal with it, phrases like ‘it’s a phase’, or ‘he didn’t mean what he said’ and even sometimes ‘we will ride this wave’.
There are lots of times in a relationship where it may be necessary to fake it. Telling him how much you love the socks you got from him for Christmas, or telling her that you are happy to wake up early to give them a lift to work. But happiness with yourself is the one thing that you should never have to fake, and if you are then that is something you need to talk about with your partner straight away and either work on it, or perhaps decide to go your separate ways. If you really do love each other, then you also owe it to your loved ones to be honest and you owe it to yourselves to be happy.
To all you boys and girls who have a special someone waiting for them when they get off the computer, give them an extra big hug tonight and tell them how much you love them. Always remember that there are two people in your relationship and the only ones who call the shots are the both of you.
As for me, the man of my dreams is currently across town, and I miss him just a little bit. We don’t see each other as much as I would like, but since we both live such glamorous, jet-setting lifestyles we find it hard to fit it in. But when we do make the time, we make every single moment count, and we never forget to be thankful and loving to each other.
For now this is Jason, missing his boyfriend, signing off.
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