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I still believe that love is the most powerful force in the world. Stuff can be replaced. The ambitious and intelligent will make money. But to have someone in your corner who knows every horrible thing about you and will still stand by you...that is the single greatest thing in the world. It does not come around often, so when it does, you better hold on with both hands for dear life. Because in the era of social networking, the world will try to tear you apart.
I've been in enough relationships (and screwed them up, partially through my own mistakes and partially by choosing the wrong people) to at least understand the fundamentals of how they work. So I present to you, to do with as you will, the five most important things you can do to keep that special someone around.
5). Stay True To Yourself.
You cannot be with someone and not expect to make a few tweaks to your personality, but do not allow yourself to be changed so much that you're no longer the person who entered the relationship.
On the other side of that equation, don't fall in love with the person you think they can be. Fall in love with who they are.
4). Don't Be Afraid Of The Words "I'm Sorry."
Guys, you're gonna screw up. You're gonna go into things with the best of intentions and through no fault of your own, you're gonna screw up. If you're anything like me, you're gonna screw up a lot. When that happens, don't punk out and cause an unnecessary fight. Women are a lot more forgiving when we're honest. Just sincerely apologize, and move on with your life. I've often found that when you're willing to cop to your own mistakes, she will too.
And this will come at the most inconvenient time in the world, I promise. Right in the middle of the game. Or a boss fight. Or a movie you've waited months to see.
Anyone you're with is gonna respect your interests, but seriously, turn off the TV, pause the movie, or whatever you have to do. It will still be there.
And don't do that half-assed smile-and-nod bullshit. Actually listen. Pay attention to what she has to say. She trusts you enough to be vulnerable with you. You wanna see that relationship grow? Better listen. You'll learn something. Wanna see someone take off with your girl? Ignore this step. Cause if she can't talk to you, I guarantee there are other people waiting to listen to her.
2). Tell The Truth. In All Things.
Guys, I got something for you, and you're not gonna like it. It's the God's truth, though. And youngsters, I challenge you especially to take this to heart.
WHEN A WOMAN ASKS YOU A QUESTION, THERE IS ABOUT A SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT CHANCE SHE KNOWS THE ANSWER (They're not a hundred percent. They just want you to believe that).
Don't. Don't, DON'T compound a situation by lying. You tell the truth, you take what happens like a man. You lie, you jeopardize trust, and if you lose the trust, you can kiss her goodbye. Just tell the truth.
On the other side, if you're dating someone insecure, who is just bound and convinced you're lying no matter what...tell the truth anyway and stand by it. Go beyond that, though (this is really, really hard). Stand by her through her insecurity. Prove you're worth keeping around.
But don't lose yourself so much to her insecurity that it begins to take a toll on you. You can tell the truth. It's up to her to believe it. I learned this lesson the hard way.
1). Let Her In.
I confess that this is my biggest weakness. I do not do well letting anyone in. If I can stress any one thing that will make a relationship work, do not be afraid to let her into your world. Yes, in moments of anger, she will use it against you. She will apologize for it later, but she may use your vulnerability against you at some point. Probably in anger. You will probably do it to her too.
If you cannot let someone in, you can not truly be with them. You cannot truly build something together if you always have your guards up.
You cannot be with someone if you don't trust her enough to be vulnerable with her, and vice versa.
Throughout a healthy relationship, you will wound each other. You may do it over and over again. Figure out what you can and cannot forgive, and where your boundaries are. Know who you are before you open your life up to someone else. Be ready to learn as you go. Make sure they're as in it as you are.
And you can make it work.
Thanks for reading.