My mother is not one to mince words and when I asked her for some relationship wisdom she was ready to dish out her best – regardless of how uncomfortable it made me – admittedly we talk about a lot of things, but number 4 on her list was a bit of a surprise.
In honor of all the work she did to bring me into the world, here are her top tips for making things work. Thanks, Mom!
Learn to compromise. You may not like to eat a certain item all the time, or go to a certain place all the time like your partner, but look at your relationship long term. Sometimes, its best to give in a little here and there along the way for the long-term benefits of having your partner happy and you both together for a long time. Trust me, he’ll either realize that you’re compromising from time to time and emulate that behavior (which is good), or be just a happier person because his needs/likes/preferences are being treated with equal respect and that emotion cycles around back to you! Either way, it’s good!
Your partner should enhance you, not bring you down. That person should make you want to climb higher, be better, etc., instead of saddling you down with problems and issues because quite honestly, you can do that all by yourself!
Your partner should be your best friend. Trust me, there will be many pitfalls in any relationship. You want your friend by your side going through it all with you. It’s easier to make up with someone you generally really like and respect too. Even when they make you mad as hell, you’ll want that extra element of “friend” and “buddy” in your head, to remind you of why you’re there in the first place. And why you’re staying.
You can (literally) have sex with anyone! Once that lust-driven-gotta-have-him-he’s-so-hot feeling passes (and it will), you want to feel like there’s an interesting exciting person staring back at you that satisfies points 2) and 3) above!
We certainly have some differences of opinion, but I know I can always count on her to give me the “real talk” when I’m not sure whether I’m being a little crazy or if he’s just being ridiculous. My parents have been through a lot over the years with four kids, numerous animals, and houses to take care of, but they’ve always been loving and kind toward each other (at least in front of all of us) and I hope that my relationship will be as strong when I’m decades in. Mom’s can offer a lot that friends can’t (mainly the benefit of hindsight) and I really appreciate the time that I’m able to spend with mine and the honesty that she brings to the table about all things.
Thanks, Mom! Couldn’t have done it without you!
Also, thank you CafePress for the image!
Valarie is from Georgia. No, she doesn't have an accent. No one in metro-Atlanta really does. You can read her thoughts, using non-regional diction, at thinkingaboutdoing.tumblr.com.
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