How to keep a relationship

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Any relationship takes work, even at a young age. It requires commitment from both sides as well as genuine interest in the said relationship. People cannot expect to just let the relationship happen, for life isn’t quite that easy. Coming from my own experience, I can safely tell you that relationships are difficult, no matter how in love with the other person you are, because there are so many outside factors to consider before and during the relationship that could in fact affect it; some of the “easiest” relationships are actually the ones in which you feel busy when you’re doing something with your partner. However, there are four easy “keys” to keeping a relationship together:

Communication is vital to any and every relationship. You must keep in contact with your partner no matter how often you see him, or her, because it’s what couples do. Couples always know what the other’s doing so that they’re not left in the dark; couples who don’t exactly live near each other need to use verbal communication in order to keep the essence of their relationship in place. Additionally, this involves understanding each other. If your partner is trying to tell you something, you need to listen, and then make your points clearly (don’t speak in riddles or hide things from him/her). If a couple has good communication, then they are very likely to last for a long time.

Compromises need to be made in the heat of a relationship. You can’t always have everything your way because there is now someone else who has a significant role in your life besides yourself. For example, let’s say you want to go to dinner and a movie one night. If your partner only wants to see a movie and then eat at home, you shouldn’t press too much or argue; instead, be happy that he or she wants to go to the movie at all, doing something that you wanted to do, and go with it. When you compromise, you’re taking your partners feelings and opinions into consideration when you make a decision, and this too is necessary in order to have a good relationship. Remember, there are two of you in this, not just you.

Compassionate couples usually last longer than cold, stiff ones. Being compassionate is actually relatively simple. All you need to do is be there for your partner when he or she needs you the most, such as if he or she shows up at your house crying, or calls you and says that something’s wrong. Let’s say you’re doing your history homework and your girlfriend calls, sounding depressed. Instead of telling her “Sorry, but I have work to do,” you should close your book, get comfortable, and hear her out, and even talk her through the tough time she’s having. So what if she keeps you up all night? If it makes her happier in the end, then it’s completely worth it, because it means that you’re putting that much effort into the relationship by treating her with that much compassion. Homework can wait.

Finally, patience is something that all couples in this day and age could probably use some work on. No, I’m not just talking about hanging around at a caf for your boyfriend to show up for twenty minutes, but if your partner is trying to change an old habit for you, then be patient with him or her. If you call out your partner for something you don’t like in him or her, don’t expect your partner to immediately change; instead, wait for a little while, see if he/she’s trying to change, and take it from there. Nothing is ever solved instantly in a relationship, but don’t fear: Good things come to those who wait.

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