Being in a relationship requires a lot of investment — an investment of time, effort, emotions, and mental effort to understand your partner. If couples staying together for 1-3 years is already difficult, how much more for those married couples and growing old together?
My partner and I are in a relationship for 7 years already. Mind you it’s not easy and not always happy. But here are the major lessons we learned each year that kept us together.
Commit To The Long-Term (2012-2013)
If we’re going to be in a relationship, we’re going to marry each other soon. This is our mindset even before we started our relationship. We don’t want to waste our time investing in each other knowing we won’t be together until the end.
We started our relationship young and seems like puppy love, but we think of our future. Right from the start, we made things clear that we both want a committed, long-term relationship.
We enrolled in different schools when we took up college. He studied and a scholar of BS Marine Transportation in the northern area in our city, and I studied AB Mass Communication downtown.
His schedule was pretty tight as a scholar. He’s not allowed to use phones, not allowed to leave the dorm, and visitors are only allowed every Sundays. It’s a military training life, isolating students from the outside world.
It’s difficult for us to communicate, but we find ways. He found ways to communicate to me, update me of what’s happening to his life, trying to share school events in a very short available time, and doing his best to try and talk to me. Whenever they can leave the dorm to buy groceries, I go with him to buy his necessities, have a quick lunch, and just savor every stolen time.
And like in movies, I still text him, update him of my life even if he won’t see the messages for a few days.
Because people make mistakes. It’s not always happy, no perfect relationship.
There will be a lot of misunderstandings, bickering in a relationship, and people who’ll want to separate and break each other apart or ruin the relationship. There are challenges, compromises, mistakes that will be made. But the most important thing is to forgive each other.
Never forget the mistakes so that you won’t repeat them. What’s done is done, but forgive. And by that, you forget the pain. You forget the hurt and negative feeling.
Be Understanding (2015-2016)
Things won’t go the way you always wanted. There are circumstances you don’t want to happen and responsibilities you both have to do. Sometimes he’ll cancel plans because something came up. Or you’ll expect too much from him.
As part of forgiving, understand his situation. He’ll understand yours when something comes up on your end. And after, both should find ways to catch up despite the busy schedules.
Don’t be the naggy girlfriend who rants whenever your partner doesn’t give you what you want because of a valid situation/reason.
Be Thankful (2016-2017)
You’ll come to a point where the relationship seems to be dull and boring. The things you do for each other becomes a robotic routine. You question the relationship if it’s still worth it or if it’s time to let go.
In my opinion, things become boring and routine if you’re ungrateful of the little, simple things. The spark is gone because you let it fade out.
But if you’re thankful — for the “I love yous,” for dropping you off, for meeting you even if the location is far from his place, for the dinner treat, for the jokes he cracks so that you two could have a good laugh — relationship will be fun and back alive again.
Support Each Other (2017-2018)
Give each other some space, but support each other’s endeavors and dreams.
There are things he wants to achieve by himself, and you have goals you want to tick off by yourself. You both have individual plans before you decide to settle down. Support each other, but grow together.
Try to compromise and meet each other half way. Don’t think that your plans would clash and won’t work out. Instead, think what you two could adjust so you can both achieve your own dreams, but still be together.
Create New Memories (2018-2019)
Feeling dull in your relationship? Go out! Travel, talk, have fun together, relax together. Create new memories! Spend quality time together especially if both your love language is Quality Time.
Whenever the situation is going down, try to go high up again. If things aren’t working so well for the two of you, communicate and fix the problem. Don’t throw it away and walk out.
Those are the major lessons we learned in our relationship. Some may not be applicable to the other because every relationship is unique and in a different situation. But for us, these worked.