Every choice that you make in life will have a notable impact on your future.
Making the right choices becomes even more important in a relationship. Not only will the actions impact your wellbeing, but they will also determine the fate of your significant other.
Happiness in a relationship isn’t a self-materializing benefit. It is something that you’ll have to seek proactively. To make the relationship work for both of you, the right choices will need to be made early on. Here are some of the vital decisions you’ll have to make if you’re keen on achieving longevity and romantic bliss.
1. Boundary Setting
If you decide not to enforce boundaries in the early stages of the relationship, you will soon feel the negative consequences of that choice.
The absence of clear boundaries reduces the possibility of a healthy relationship. Remember that while you see yourself and your partner as one entity, you will still need to function as individuals. Knowing which lines you don’t want to cross early on helps for the establishment of trust, respect and mutual satisfaction.
Boundaries aren’t necessarily about limiting your partner. They show what you feel comfortable with and what you don’t. They also are an expression of your values and beliefs – two things that a significant other will need to respect.
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation about boundaries early on. If your personal limitations scare someone away, chances are that they weren’t the right person for you.
In our quest to overcome loneliness, we are often eager to overlook red flags. Such decisions, however, tend to come back with a vengeance in the future. The right choice would be to set relationship parameters early enough. Someone who cares about you will respect these (and you should do the same for them.
2. Make the Conscious Choice to Be Friends
Some people will never go beyond the stage of being lovers. While this is important for a relationship, finding friendship in your significant other is even more crucial.
When you make the conscious choice to build a friendship with a romantic partner, you start investing time and effort in getting to know them.
Passion and chemistry are not enough to ensure a long-lived relationship. You also need compassion, trust, common interests and good communication.
If you cannot share some troubling piece of information with your significant other, you will probably feel unfulfilled (emotionally) in the relationship. Your partner has to be the first person you turn to when you have good news, when you have bad news, when you need reassurance or advice.
A friendship takes time to develop. Focus on building your compatibility and learning as much as possible about each other. Friendship and chemistry bring the best of both worlds together and you shouldn’t prioritize one over the other.
3. Actively Accepting Your Partner for Who They Are
Some people view their romantic partner as a project. They have a strict notion about the characteristics and qualities of a significant other. As a result, such people initiate attempts to change their partner right from the start.
Anyone who wants a happy relationship should make the choice to accept their significant other as they are.
Believing that you can change your partner during some stage of the relationship is very dangerous. This indicates a lack of acceptance of who they are today. You see their shortcomings, you acknowledge those and you believe that the power to change another human being is in your hands.
Guess what – some things about your partner will never change. Chances are that they will continue being messy or a little bit passive for life.
If you cannot choose to embrace all strengths and shortcomings of another human being, you should not be together. True, you can encourage someone else to become a better version of themselves. Such encouragement and motivation, however, need to be grounded in acceptance.
Change should stem from positive motivation. Otherwise, you risk coming off as too shallow, too pushy and in love with the idea of a specific person and not the partner that you have right now.
4. Decide to Have Realistic Expectations
People who have been single for some time tend to have pretty unrealistic expectations from a relationship. They fall in love with a fairytale vision of what a partner should be like, what they should do and how they should express love.
In real life, however, people are not a cliché derived from a romcom.
Try to have realistic expectations. Chances are that you wouldn’t be invited to candlelit dinners every week. Maybe your partner doesn’t intuitively make magic happen in the bedroom. And that’s ok. As long as you communicate your needs and they’re willing to listen, you can make it work.
Passionate chemistry in the bedroom is great but it doesn’t happen automatically for everyone.
Sometimes, you’ll need to offer a bit of guidance. Communicate. Experiment. Tell them what you want and change things up. Get some sex toys. Make sure you explore and compare different penis, vaginal and anal toys, including inflatable plugs that are great to prepare for backdoor play. There are endless possibilities to try with your partner.
That’s just one example and you can certainly do many more things to bring the state of the relationship to where it needs to be. Humans are flawed. Your partner isn’t a cardboard cutout of the perfect lover. You also aren’t flawless. Realistic expectations reduce the risk of major disappointments and enable lots of growth in the future.
5. Be Fully Present
A final important choice you have to make is to be fully present, whether you’re still in the honeymoon phase or you’re going through a challenging period.
Life can easily get distracting.
You probably have a demanding full-time job. You have friends and relatives who may need your help and assistance on a regular basis.
All of these can make you distracted in the relationship. If you are just going through the motions, however, you risk losing the closeness that has taken so much time to establish in those early days.
Even if you have a very exciting project that takes up all your time, make the conscious decision to be present in the relationship. Spend your time off with the person you love. Get them involved in the project and share the excitement.
These are the little moments that create valuable memories. A relationship isn’t based on the grand gestures and the milestones. While important, these are not determining for everyday dynamics. Being present and spending some quality time together (even if that’s just one hour per day) will give you the closeness to overcome big challenges.
It’s equally important to be present and offer support whenever your partner is going through similar moments. Back them up and encourage the pursuit of their passions. Be a calming, peaceful presence whenever they’re agitated or anxious. When you do those things, you will potentially get the same treatment in a time of need.
A relationship is built on many little things. Collectively, they determine just how close you’re going to be. Don’t underestimate the importance of everyday choices, even if these appear insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Your actions will provoke certain outcomes and you need to take responsibility. The earlier you do, the higher the potential for a healthy relationship developing.