Relationships are not easy. More of them fail than succeed. We’ve all had our fair share of failed relationships, and I certainly fall into that category as well. Most people don’t figure it out until later in life. The irony is that it actually takes a few failed ones to eventually figure out how to make it work. Because the fact is, it takes work to maintain a long lasting relationship. You can’t just mail it in. You need to show up. Every day. Some are easier than others. I wanted to write a blog post about what I’ve learned about relationships, and quite honestly, that could fill a book. But I wanted to really narrow it down to handful of things I felt were non-negotiables. I asked myself, what things have I done in the past that killed my previous relationships? What did I need to look for and make sure I do regularly to make it work long term? While everyone’s list may be different, I believe that if you aren’t doing these 7 things, you’re destined to a failed relationship. I suggest speaking to Giordana Toccaceli, she is a relationship coach and can help you get on the right track.
1. Not Having Any Patience
Life is too short to sweat the small things. One of the biggest things I’ve realized since hitting my 40s, is that I just have no time to stress about things that don’t matter. What once would get me all riled up, today doesn’t really mean much. I don’t care who you are with, they do some things that drive you nuts. And that’s never going to change. You’ve got to embrace the fact that whoever you end up with will possess mannerisms, traits, or habits that don’t jive with you, and that’s ok. Because let’s be honest, so do you. Who cares if he leaves his shoes out. Big deal if she takes a little longer to get ready then you’d like. The sooner you just embrace the things that make you different, the easier it will be to avoid arguments and save the stress for the shit that actually matters.
I should say too much jealousy, because a healthy amount can actually be a good thing. It means you think others dig your mate, and that only makes you want them more. But too much jealousy can be relationship poison. I’ve known WAY more people that are not OK whatsoever with other people eyeing, oogling, or checking out their significant others, and early on in my life, I was very much the same way. But it wasn’t because I actually thought the person I was with was going to leave me, or cheat on me with anyone. It’s basically a lack of confidence (see #4 below). Confidence in yourself, confidence in your relationship, and confidence about who you’re with. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fine line between what’s appropriate and not when it comes to checking out other people, but nobody should be losing their shit if someone respectfully is checking out your significant other. Hell, I love it. And so should you. Being with someone that is desired by others can be a healthy thing. It keeps you on your toes, increases your attraction to your mate, and as long as the two of you can talk and joke about it, can help keep the fire burning for years.
3. Not Being Spontaneous
Predictable is boring. Boring is no fun. No fun means no excitement. That whole part about relationships being work? It starts with spontaneity. Who doesn’t love being surprised? Even more so when it involves you moving out of your comfort zones. Don’t mind the fact that just the act of doing something like this makes your significant other feel more loved, but it helps keep your relationship fresh. It’s not easy, and it certainly gets harder as time goes on, but it’s all about effort and making a conscious effort to think of things you haven’t tried before. I’ve always believed that if you can maintain excitement in your relationship, everything else can fall into place. Nothing beats having things to be excited about. Makes everything else in life better.
4. Lacking Confidence
Lacking confidence is an incredible turnoff. I never realized until later in my life how sexy confidence is. I wish I could go back in time and knock some sense into my younger self. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you do for a living, how much money you make. Starting tomorrow, every single person can increase their attractiveness by simply carrying themselves with confidence. And don’t confuse this with arrogance which is quite the opposite. People that carry a confidence about them are always a draw. Personally, professionally…it just works. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, chances are there are some things about you that warrant carrying a level of confidence that can benefit you in your current or future relationships. Find it, and use it. It works.
5. Not Making Her/Him A Priority
Life gets busy. Work, family, friends, chores, etc. When you get into a long term relationship and get comfortable, your significant other can be the easiest one to put on the backburner. It only makes sense. They love you unconditionally, and well, when you have shit to do, it’s just easier. The problem with this, is that it’s a long silent killer. It’s not going make huge waves over the short term. But over time, it can become another relationship killer. Whether it’s once a week, month, the frequency matters less than the consistency of making your mate a priority. As long as they feel the effort is there regularly, that’s worth it’s weight in gold.
6. Not Having Any Common Interests
This may be at the top of the list. Here’s the most dangerous thing about not having some common interests…it doesn’t matter in the beginning. When you meet someone for the first time, and for those first few months, it’s all new and exciting. Just being with the person and finding someone you can fall in love with will be enough. Not liking the same movies, music, food, etc., it’s not as big of a deal. But it will be. And someday it will catch up to the both of you. Because the newness eventually wears off, and if the two of you don’t have a good deal of common interests, you’re doomed. Music, movies, food, sports, religion…whatever it is, make sure there’s something for you guys to have in the latter years.
7. Not Being Best Friends
A lot of people might snicker at this one, and I would have too. That is, until I actually ended up with my best friend. Yes, it’s cheesy, maybe a bit cliche, but for those of you that did end up with your best friend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Yea…maybe it’s not necessarily a “relationship killer” but it is absolutely a “relationship maker”. When you have news (good or bad) and the absolute first person you HAVE to tell is your guy/gal? You’re best buds. Never get tired of being in each other’s company? Besties. Rarely ever want to not be away from them (although of course you should every once in awhile)? Best friends. Foundationally, having an incredible friendship is the backbone to any long term relationship.
Those are my 7. What say you?