Let me start by saying that I am not perfect and that these are ideas and goals I strive to reach every day. Every day I wake up and remind myself to do my best at these things. It has worked out well for me.
I’m going to dive in with the topic that so many people seem to have trouble with but rarely talk about (myself included!). Intimacy. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or otherwise. You don’t owe anyone any of your sacred moments in intimacy if you do not feel comfortable sharing them. Understand your safety zone, understand triggers or warning signs when you’re approaching what isn’t okay with you. If you feel afraid in your expression (emotionally, physically, or otherwise) then absolutely don’t feel obligated to share it. Take the pressure off of yourself and each other. The best part of a relationship is being witness to the unfolding beauty of a human experience. The right person (friend or lover) will completely understand. On the other hand, feel as free as you are! The right person (friend or lover) will embrace this!
Respect each other’s independence, it’s something you should value. You have to nurture your alone time so that each of you can contribute something different to your shared reality. It’s okay if they don’t respond to your text (or 100 texts) immediately. We each have our own individuality to cultivate. It’s okay if YOU don’t respond to their text right away too.
The point is not to change anyone but enjoy the qualities that attracted you in the first place; whether it be a platonic or romantic relationship. Every person in this world is experiencing an individual journey that is completely unique to them. Try to remember that there’s no way to know where they’ll end up or where they’re supposed to be right now. Expectation is a dangerous world to walk in, and it will almost always leave you disappointed or hurt. No one will ever be perfect, it’s not the point, so try not to hold others (or allow them to hold you) to standards that you wouldn’t even hold for yourself. However, if you find yourself completely unable to be empathetic or understanding to the qualities you find distasteful, consider it your cue to exit the relationship. If negativity is blinding you to the positive, then you are no longer contributing towards a loving experience for either one of you.
However, I have found over the years (of my once tumultuous relationship) that almost any difficulty can be overcome if both parties are willing to COMMUNICATE AND LISTEN. I cannot stress how important this is in any kind of relationship. Work towards creating an environment where each of you feel safe and comfortable to speak about what’s on your mind without having to edit (because every relationship will hit rocky terrain. It’s normal!). Your significant other, or friend, will do their best to understand or work towards understanding what you mean. If they’re not willing they’re not worth your time. Humanity is filled up enough with close minded people. Let’s try opening our ears.
Don’t forget to laugh and play. Don’t forget to be friends. Don’t forget to be lovers. It’s exhausting to constantly be aware of how you interact, build, and create a relationship. Again, we aren’t perfect! Give yourselves a break and remember that you actually enjoy having fun with each other. Make time for it. It’s easy and good for you!
Love each other fiercely. Build each other up. Believe in each other’s dreams.