Six Things Being in a Relationship Taught me
If I have not gone on about it enough since I came back to blogging in 2018, I broke up with my ex two years ago. I understand that we were only together for seven months and we were only seventeen at the time and as I look back on it now we were quite young and the thought now of being with him for the rest of my life is quite possibly the most impossible thing that could ever happen. Even though I spent quite a lot of my time not really liking him, when I look back on our time together now I have realised that being in a relationship with him has actually taught me quite a lot of things and that I should not regret this relationship because of the things it taught me.
1. Someone who does not give you that much attention is not that interested in you
In the talking stage before we became an official couple, I felt that he would always put the effort in with me. He would always want to come to me about things that he would not tell anyone else and would always want to make sure I was okay and if I was not he would always do his absolute best to cheer me up, even if I was in a place where absolutely nothing could cheer me up. He was even like this at the beginning of the relationship, however as time passed by he started to become a bit withdrawn at times and I felt that he was not that interested in spending time with me and if we did spend time together it was often when we were with our friends and not alone. I think that because this was my first relationship, I, for some completely unknown reason at the time, thought this was a completely normal way for me to be treated. Let me tell you, if your partner, or someone who you are talking to or dating, is not paying you that much attention and predominantly talks to you when they want something, you need to let that person go. They are not the right person for you and there will be someone out there who will give you that attention. Just because you might feel you have to stay with this person for one reason or another, it does not mean that if you leave them you will not find the right person for you. That person is out there for you somewhere, you just have to find your way to each other, which you will not do if you decide to stick with the wrong person.
2. Never go to sleep on an argument
It is fair to say that in our relationship we did have our fair share of arguments. Sometimes they were just a thing that happened and could not be prevented from happening. Other times they could have been prevented from happening and these were often the arguments that completely blew up. These arguments tended to happen at some point in the afternoon, often around 4/5pm, which then meant that when one of us made our final point, we then would not talk again. I guess this was because we were both quite stubborn people and anyone will know that when two stubborn people have an argument, it is highly unlikely that one of them will willingly back down first. However, if you are in a relationship and you are both incredibly stubborn, as it is getting towards the time you would usually go to bed, please try and resolve the issue before you go to sleep. If there was one thing I hated in our relationship was that, even though I am incredibly stubborn, I would always want to try and clear the air before going to sleep, however that would often result in me apologising for something that was not necessarily my fault. Do not apologise for something that was not your fault. The most you can do is to try and clear the air with each other as at least this way when you wake up the next day you will hopefully know where you stand with one another so that first conversation you have the next day should (hopefully) not be awkward. I can remember having an argument with my ex once, I cannot even remember what the argument was about, and it was quite a big argument and we never cleared the air with each other before we went to bed so the next day I really wanted to speak to him but had no idea how to approach him and I am pretty sure that from then on our relationship continued to go on a downward spiral. I am not saying the same will happen with your relationship if you do not clear the air before going to bed as our relationship was always destined to end at some point anyway, however clearing the air is always the best thing to do as then at the very least the next day you will know where you stand with the other person and the conversation should be less awkward.
3. Actually talk about how you are feeling and do not make them guess
I will be the first person to admit that during our relationship I was not the best at saying how I was really feeling and would always want him to try and guess how I was feeling because in my head if he could guess how I was feeling that meant he really cared about me and that we were right for each other. Obviously this is not actually true and your partner being able to guess how you are feeling does not necessarily mean it is because you are right for each other. In my experience, making them guess how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way just leads to more arguments which are completely unnecessary. I now wish I had been more open with him and tell him why I was feeling sad or why I was annoyed at him, instead of making him guess. Your partner is not a mind reader (unless they are genuinely a mind reader, in which case tell them to get in touch with me so I can learn how to do that) and this game of 'guess how I am feeling, if you cannot guess then you do not love me' is not a good way to treat your partner. I know from past experience of being on the receiving end of this that it is incredibly annoying and just ends in whoever is being made to guess how the other person is feeling getting annoyed and walking away to try and calm down because they get frustrated. But if you actually tell them how you are feeling, chances are this will not end in an argument as the other person will want to talk things through with you in a calm manner.
4. Be completely honest with one another
Honesty is probably one of the main things that you need to have in your relationship. Like I said in my previous point, if you do not tell each other how you are feeling then this just leads to arguments. Also, trying to hide secrets from the other person never works and they will always find out the secret, whether it is good or bad. If your partner has done something that annoys you then you need to tell them because keeping these feelings in to yourself, even if it means avoiding an argument at the time, the more things build up inside you, the more likely that at some point all of these feelings are going to come out in one go and end up in one massive argument. Obviously, honesty can hurt people at times, so you really need to be careful with your choice of words and the timing of what you have to say, but the truth does always come out and if you take the time to sit down with your partner and talk to them in a calm manner and try and keep your conversation as calm as possible, this should avoid an argument, or at the very least avoid a massive, completely unnecessary, argument.
5. If you get caught in the heat of an argument, take a step back to breathe and come back when you have calmed down
This piece of advice is definitely something I wish I had known whilst I was in this relationship. Whenever we did argue, as we were both quite stubborn and would not back down, the argument would get more and more intense. I think that if I had known this and had decided to just take a few hours to just completely calm down, think about what we were actually arguing about and whether it was completely necessary for the argument to have happened or for it to have blown up as much as it did, then we would have been able to resolve things in a calm manner. I am one of those people who says things in the heat of the moment and regrets it once I have had the chance to think about what I said. I think that if you are having an argument with someone it is important to take the time to have a breather, or at the very least take a deep breath before replying to something that gets you really angry, as it is always in these instances that you can regret saying something or what you say can cause the argument to blow up even more than it already has. Taking the time to have a breather means that you are less likely to say something you are going to regret and the argument can maybe turn into more of a calm discussion that you are not going to fall out over.
6. Trust your gut. Always.
My gut feeling before I got into this relationship was that there was a very high chance it was going to end and that we should stay friends instead of becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. I so wish I had listened to my gut in this instance as it was 100% right. I was going through a few things in my family and personal life while me and my ex were in the talking phase, which I am fairly certain he was aware of and I kind of feel like he took advantage of this in us becoming a couple. I honestly believe that if I had been in the right head space at the time our relationship started that we would not have ended up together and we could possibly still be friends right now. However, these things happen for a reason and I believe that this relationship happened because I needed to learn what is right and wrong in a relationship in order for any relationship of mine that does happen in the future that is long term and maybe the one where I find 'my person' to succeed.
I am really interested in knowing if any of you have learnt the same things from your past (or current) relationships, or if you have learnt anything that I have not mentioned in a relationship. Please share these below so myself and others can see these and learn from them. Even though it is a new year and we do not need to look back on the past when only the future is important, I still think that there are things from everyone's past that they have learnt from that needs to be addressed so they can share their experiences with others in order to prevent others from making the same mistakes they did - even though we all learn from our mistakes and mistakes are important in shaping us into the person we are becoming.
Happy New Year everyone and I hope 2020 is a good year for you!
Love Beth xx