What I Have Learnt From My 18 Month Relationship

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Before I met Matt I was never really into the idea of a relationship. I was happy to be single and a relationship hadn’t even crossed my mind. When I met Matt, everything changed and during our time together I’ve realised how much I would hate to be without him. I understand more now than ever why having a boyfriend is the best thing in the world, he’s my best friend, my partner in crime and the best thing that’s ever happened to me (Even when he throws his dirty laundry everywhere). I’m not here to tell you why having a boyfriend is the best thing in the world. In fact, today I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned throughout my long term relationship and let you guys know exactly how difficult it can be sometimes. 

For all you out there who already know what it’s like to be in a long term relationship and how difficult it can be sometimes. Relationships aren’t easy at all but then nothing worth having is ever easy. I am be a handful sometimes and really quite difficult to deal with and Matt can be the biggest annoyance ever and some days I like to just ignore him.. and that really is okay. That doesn’t mean there are issues in your relationship, you’re entitled to a break and a chance to breathe. I know when Matt needs space and when that happens I’ll happily let him go off and do his own thing, he loves his freedom and that is something I will never ever take from him. I’m not the type of girlfriend who doesn’t let him talk to or have female friends, go on nights out and get very drunk or even sleep in his own bed alone a few times a week. We’re so young, there isn’t any need to keep each other trapped, we just enjoy each other’s company.

So, with that being said. Number 1 of the things I’ve learned throughout my relationship is: Give each other freedom. 

It’s a human to want to breath alone. Being in a relationship means that you’re constantly thinking of your partner, whether it comes down to what they have eaten that day or whether or not they need something from the shop. Sometimes having so much love and attention can be exhausting and at this point, I totally recommend doing your own thing for a few hours. Go out with your friends, read a book or have a bath, do something that is a 1 person job and give yourself a chance to remember you aren’t stuck in your relationship and not to forget the things you enjoyed doing before you go into a relationship. 

Number 2: Ensure you’re spending enough time together. 

This sort of clashes with the first tip of giving yourself time to breath. However nice it is to have time to breath you need to remember that quality time in a relationship is crucial. It’s time to reconnect, remind each other of how loved they are and relax. There is a fine line between spending all your time together or no time at all and that’s why it is so important to maintain a balance throughout the relationship. It isn’t all about one person, a relationship is built of love and trust with two people involved. So remember to give your partner your undivided attention a few times a week. I’ve found that if we don’t keep a balance it put’s a lot of pressure on the relationship and each other, talk through it. 

Number 3: Talk. 

It’s incredible how many couples don’t talk through their problems and instead ignore them and wait for time to pass. This isn’t going to work, you both need to communicate through your issues otherwise you’ll end up resenting each other simply because you aren’t discussing your worries and concerns enough. Sit down and have a chat, no screaming at each other or causing a whole fuss, just simply talk about the things you’ve been upset about or have worried you. However, don’t just talk about those things, remember to share the things you’ve loved doing with your partner, how happy they make you. Give them a reminder that they are still loved, wanted and respected. 

Number 4: Sex.

So many people believe that a relationship shouldn’t rely on sex and I do agree with this, to an extent. Yes, a relationship isn’t built up on how many times a week you’re having sex but it does help more than you would think. I’m not saying you must have it every single day but a few times a week. Sex really does help to feel close and intimate to your partner and it’s incredible to feel so attracted to somebody and sometimes you just need to be reminded how attracted to them you really are.

Number 5: A private life is a happy life. 

There is no need to broadcast on Facebook your arguments and private life. Obviously you need to discuss it with someone but that shouldn’t be the 748 friends you have on Facebook. Matt and I have never done this and we will never do this but there are so many people who do this and happily share every detail of their relationship on social media. For me, I believe this is unhealthy and shouldn’t be shared with the world. Don’t get me wrong, Matt and I both have people we go to talk to about our relationship for advice when we can’t talk to each other but they’re our best friends. A private life really is a happy life, the little people know will just mean that there is less information for them to use. If someone thinks the relationship is bad or borderline ending, it’s possible that someone might come along and ensure that the relationship does end. The less people know the better. 

Number 6: Treats aren’t one way. 

It’s baffling that so many girls think it is totally acceptable to receive gifts and be treated like a princess but your partner deserves them too. It doesn’t matter whether there is an anniversary, birthday or any other occasion, if I see something that Matt would like I’ll pick it up for him because he deserves to be appreciated just as much as I do. I don’t want Matt to go out and buy me expensive gifts either, I’m so happy when he comes home with a my favourite chocolates or sparkling water. Just because they’re expensive gifts does not mean they your relationship is any better than anybody else’s relationship.

Finally, Number 7: Trust.

Relationships aren’t built on just love, trust is such an important part of a relationship and if you don’t feel like you can trust your partner perhaps you’re in the wrong relationship. Don’t get me wrong I do get jealous but my jealousy does not mean that I don’t trust him or believe he just wants me, it probably means that I’m being stroppy and want his attention but he’s giving it to other people (Yes, I do sometimes need a little more attention than usual).  Let your partner talk to whoever they want, be friends with whoever they want and if you do feel that something is happening that you aren’t comfortable with then refer back to number 3 and talk. 

Relationships are incredible and there is nothing I love more than cuddling up with Matt and our favourite pizza to talk about our day and just enjoy each others company. A relationship shouldn’t be easy and they aren’t but they’re definitely worth while. Loving Matt for the past year and a half has been the best and most rewarding experience I have ever had. Remember that every relationship is different and if you don’t need to spend that much time together, it’s okay too. Your relationship is for you to figure out and if you recommend using a few of the things I’ve learned then by all means go ahead. 

Thanks for being my best friend, handsome. 

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With love, B x