After a few failed long-term dalliances, I’ve realised there are some things I can work on so that my next relationship stands a chance of lasting longer than a 13-hour House of Cards marathon. Cue my lessons in love.
1. Try to have a better relationship with yourself
Digging who you are, and making it a priority to engage in things you find interesting, will (a) go a long way in creating a happy life – coupled up or not, (b) make you an attractive prospect to potential suitors, and (c) make it much easier for you to tell potential suitors turned real-life nightmares to GTFO. Just be sure you don’t get all Kanye about it; no one likes a narcissist.
2. Make sure you focus on the positives
Fast-forward 12 months to when the shine’s worn off a little and the way they sneeze is so incredibly annoying, you start to plot their slow and painful demise. (No? Just me?) But, fun fact: We see more of what we look for, so aim to see more of the good stuff – think acts of kindness or the way they make you laugh, and that’s more of what you’ll get.
3. Let go of the little things
I used to get super frustrated at an ex because he would toss and turn in bed all night, and kick my beautifully fitted sheets and blankets to the floor, and then I would have to make the bed again. (Can you even imagine?) Anyway, the point is, getting hung up on little things that don’t matter makes for a really painful relationship. I’m all for airing concerns about bad behaviour, but after the whole bed-making fiasco, I’m also a huge fan of picking my battles. Some things just aren’t worth it.
4. Have amazing sex every single day (if not more)
Obvs. But seriously, make having what you and your partner deem to be a healthy sex life a priority, and your relationship will truly thank you for it later on.
5. It’s all about fighting fair
All couples fight. Well, maybe Bey and Jay don’t, I’m not sure, but all human couples fight and, if done correctly, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Stick to the issue at hand, critique the behaviour (not the character), learn to accept an apology, and move on.
6. Walk away if it’s not right
Often, we know things without knowing how, if you know what I mean – intuition is a generous signal giver. But we’re also good at ignoring said signals because of this belief: “We can make it if we just try harder/Being together is better than being alone”. I’ve used every excuse and wasted years with the wrong people, but no more! So if we want to get better at relationships we also need to get better at leaving the bad ones. Good luck, fellow lovers!
Credit: Jessica Martin.