1. “A great relationship doesn’t need work”
Starting a romance with somebody is easy, but if you want it to last, you and your partner have to put in the effort. Both sides have to discuss their expectations with each other, agree to deal with challenges and problems together, communicate frequently, set aside quality time for each other, and much more. This does not happen spontaneously. It takes drive, energy and commitment.
Some couples may not see this as “work” because they enjoy doing their part to keep the relationship together, so if your relationship is starting to feel like a chore, it may be time to ask why. Is your partner making unrealistic demands of you? Do you feel that you’re “working” harder than he is? When something starts to feel like a burden, it’s easy to lose interest in it, so don’t wait too long to figure out what the problem is.
2. “All you need is love”
Love may make the world go ’round, but it’s not enough to keep your relationship strong. As well as love, you need to have mutual trust, respect and support, loyalty, a commitment to shared goals, compassion and understanding, patience, and honesty. Without most or all of these elements, it’s not easy for a relationship to stand the test of time.
3. “If my guy really knew me, he’d be able to figure out my moods”
Even if he knew you inside out, it’s not fair to expect him to be a mind reader. Most men prefer it when women are direct with them, so if you’re feeling sad, irritable or angry, just tell it to him straight, instead of hoping that he will know what your silence or moodiness means. Honest communication is essential in any relationship, not just romantic ones. Without it, you leave room for misinterpretation, and that’s how resentment begins.
4. “Honesty is the best policy”
Not always. In some instances, especially when you know that the truth will hurt your man’s feelings, you may want to put a lid on it. So, there’s no need to tell him that you think the new guy at work is hot, that you flirted with a cute waiter that afternoon, or that you had an amazing dream the night before that you were back with your ex. There is also no need to disclose the scandals you were a part of in your youth.
“What if my man is horrible in bed or has really bad personal hygiene?” you ask. “Surely I shouldn’t withhold the truth from him in those cases, right?” Yes, you’re absolutely right. But there’s a way to be honest with him about those things without embarrassing him or making him feel self-conscious. Something like, “Hey babe, you’ve been perspiring a lot lately. It must be the weather. Why don’t you shower so you feel better?” might work if he smells less-than-fresh. And if he’s a dud in bed, just explain to him what you like and how you’d like him to do it – but remember to take a kind and perhaps humorous approach so as not to make him feel uncomfortable.
When else to be totally honest? When you feel that your needs are not being met, or when there’s problem in the relationship that needs to be worked out.
5. “Once a cheater always a cheater”
So your guy cheated on the girl he was with before you. That doesn’t mean he will do the same to you, too. People who cheat can and do reform. Of course, if you’ve recently started dating someone who has a reputation for being unfaithful, then you should be wary (the guy obviously didn’t learn his lesson!), but if it was just the one time, then give him a chance. But, you should make it clear to him that you will not tolerate him being unfaithful, and that if he messes up, you’re out the door.
6. “We argue a lot, we must have a really unhealthy relationship”
Constant fighting is not a good sign, but it’s perfectly normal to argue every now and again. In fact, arguing is believed to be good for your bond. It’s healthy to be able to tell your partner what’s on your mind, and for him in return to disagree with you or share what he thinks. It is from these encounters that you learn more about each other and develop a better understanding of each other. And anyway, who wants to be with someone that you have to tiptoe around and hold your opinions back from?
7. “We both have to have the same views on everything”
Just like you don’t have to have every single thing in common with your partner, there’s also no need to share the same opinions. Our differences are what make us unique, and being with someone who doesn’t always think the way we do is a good way to learn and grow. If your partner expresses views that are vastly different from yours, don’t mock him – respect his thoughts and appreciate them for what they are.
8. “Our sex life is not great. Maybe we’re not compatible”
It’s true that a couple’s sex life says a lot about their relationship. But bad sex doesn’t necessarily mean that your union is doomed. If you two connect well outside of the bedroom but lack passion between the sheets, you may want to look at issues like performance anxiety, stress, fatigue, hormonal problems, or even inexperience. Your sexual expectations may not match up either. If your ho-hum sex life bothers you that much, speak to your partner about it, but avoid using accusatory language.
9. “Jealousy is a sign that my guy really loves me”
Jealousy is a sign of insecurity on your BF’s part. As long as he trusts you and you’re not doing anything to betray his trust, there’s no reason for him to act jealous and possessive. If he gets aggressive and confrontational or makes you feel guilty for talking to other guys or spending time with your friends and family, you should definitely see his behaviour as a red flag. Your guy may just need extra reassurance, or, if he’s been cheated on before, he may be afraid that you will do the same to him. Work with him to figure out exactly what he’s not comfortable with, and come up with ways to make him feel more secure in the relationship.
10. “Relationships must be 50/50”
Relationships are not about keeping score or creating a line down the middle to make everything even, equal or fair. Being calculative, or weighing what you give against what you take, can drive you and your partner to compete with each other. There’ll be times where you will not be able to do or give as much as your man, and vice versa, and one of you will have to contribute more than the other. To be in a relationship with someone you love is to be part of a team, and for the team to function effectively, you have to be open to each other’s needs as well as be honest about your own.
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