All we really want in life is someone to call our own, and this is a universal fact. When we hear of people who have been dating for seven, eight years, it gives us serious relationship goals! But only those people in that relationship know that it’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication and of course, love, to make it! It’s like seeing someone’s love story, but not exactly knowing the script. Well, here it is then - the unadulterated version – what being in a long-term relationship is REALLY like!
1. Humble Beginnings
Ask anyone who has been in a long-term relationship – when they started dating, they didn’t know how long it will last. They (just like any young couple) could only hope that it will go the distance. But what set them apart from others is that they didn’t just wish for it, they also worked for it.
2. The Ugly Word?
Compromise is not an ugly word. So, we don’t even know why it’s made out to be one! Naturally, when you love someone, you will make many a compromise to make it work with them. Whether it’s in little ways like eating Chinese food way too often for dinner, because it’s their favourite cuisine, to relocating because your love has found a great job in a new city – compromise is something real lovers are no strangers to!
3. The Friendship Equation
When you are steadily seeing someone, it’s only natural that your worlds intertwine! This means you meet his friends, he meets your friends, you know the drill. What no one really talks about though, is the fact that in this process, sometimes you let go of certain friendships. Don’t get us wrong. It doesn’t mean you go around saying goodbye and farewell, now that you have a boy in your life. It just means that there’s someone important in your life, and the friends who matter, accept this, and more importantly, welcome him into the circle. But the ones who don’t, probably get left off! So much so, that there’s even a research to prove it: On average, having a new romantic partner pushes out two close friends from your inner circle. Though you can disagree with this one, most long-term couples will vouch for it being true! Something to think about, eh?
4. The Power Balance
It takes two roles to make a relationship work - the nurturer or caregiver and the powerful or aggressive one! Both are equally important and keep the harmony going in a relationship. But what couples who have been together for long know that you probably don’t is – these roles are not absolute! Each partner (depending on their personal circumstances) assumes one out of the two roles to keep the balance.
5. Taking Breaks
Even the most strong, mature couple you know has at some point felt like letting go. Often, when the boat is rocky, a couple needs to take a break and re-evaluate their relationship. This is totally normal. And whether these breaks last a few hours or a few months really depends on the two people involved. But if you think long-term couples haven’t been through exactly what everyone else has, that’s totally untrue! Just that they knew how to tide over the massive waves.
6. What If...
When you’ve been with someone for really long, your imagination is starved of exciting scenarios. Yes, often your heart and mind play tricks on you, and you actually question why you are dating the person you are when there are so many fish in the sea? You go into the ‘What Ifs’ of life – what if you had dated that other guy you always found cute? What if you meet someone new in the future? Again, this is only natural! You are human, after all, and it’s normal for your mind to wander. It most likely happens to your partner too! But the beauty lies in the fact that day after day, you still choose to be together, no matter what.
7. The Little Things
We always focus on the grand gestures of life – we hear stories of our friends getting proposed to with huge diamond rings, of entire surprise parties being planned, of huge bouquets of flowers, etc! But when you are in a relationship for a long time, the little things become the big things. This is a secret all steady couples already know! He may not buy you huge teddy bear, but he always keeps your migraine medicine with him...you know, the little things; the life-changing and ever-important little things.
8. The Big Decisions
When you’ve been with someone for so many years, you tend to involve them in the big decisions of your life. Want to go abroad to study? Want to take a loan? You can’t make these decisions without respecting your significant other enough to get their advice on it! That’s how the steady couples do it - that’s how they make it work!
9. Communication Is Key!
Have you ever looked at a couple and wondered how they even make it work, given that they literally have opposite personalities? Well, the truth is – they communicate! Even though long-term couples fall into a healthy pattern where they don’t need to spell every little thing out, they can only achieve this by breaking the unhealthy pattern of not being expressive enough.
10. Learning Along The Way
Think about it this way, the more the number of years, the more mistakes to learn from. The only difference between couples who actually make it and couples who don’t is that the former learn from their mistakes and the latter, well, their relationship becomes one!
11. Comfort Zone
Couples who have been dating for long tend to get into a comfort zone. While this can be a good thing, it often means that they stop making an effort for each other. This is also okay, as long as it’s only a phase. Most couples go through this, but eventually go back on track – candle light dinners, freshly shaved legs and all!
12. Debunking Myths
The coolest thing you will find in a couple who have been together for a long time is that they don’t play by the book! Yes, they know most of the things you hear are actually hogwash. For instance, never go to sleep angry! They both must have slept angry a million times, and that meant waking up much calmer and more in the mood to talk about things! Don’t try to teach them a game they have already mastered.
13. Love Dose
Never, and we stress on this, NEVER keep dating someone if you feel the love is over. If you wake up every day and realize, you really do want to meet this person today – you want to make them smile, you want them to make you laugh, you want to hang out and you want to talk - then you’re probably in love! Eventually, nothing else stands a chance when two people love each other - not the distance, not your busy schedules, not your family and not anyone else. Call us the eternal saps, but love trumps all...and that’s the whole truth about being in a long-term relationship. :)
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