Being in a relationship again is kind of weird – but in a good way.
As much as I was really beginning to enjoy hanging out in my sweatpants and being totally disgusting when hidden behind the walls and doors of my apartment, I have to admit that I’m a much bigger fan of having the companionship I've found in Red. It’s such a drastic change from my last relationship that I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with the urge to find a way to go back in time and smack myself upside the head. We just laugh all the time. There’s no nitpicking (except for the occasional, fun pick-at-each-other-sprees we tend to go on – but it’s all in fun, really), and I feel genuinely appreciated every minute that we’re together, and the warm feeling stays with me all day long.
Last night, after consuming far too much food, we laced up our sneakers, put Daisy’s leash on her and hit the pavement for a walk/jog together. I've never done that before. I've never wanted to spend that time with someone, and it’s a little bit overwhelming. I’m not an expert on relationships, but I've had enough of the shitty variety to be assured that I've got a good thing in my life right now. I’m not 100% convinced that I know how to keep a relationship on solid ground, but I think I've learned enough over the past few broken hearts to have a bit of a grasp on this notion.
1. Always think the best of each other. Believe strongly in the good, and doubt the bad.
2. Talk. (Crazy, right?) If you can't talk about it, you have no right doing it - whatever it may be. Sex, love, relationship, whatever. Just talk.
3.Go to bed angry. Go to work angry. Stew, if you must. Have a sip of coffee by yourself, and deal with it when you’re ready. It’s highly unlikely you’re going to solve whatever you’re facing when you’re both overtired, or when you have 15 minutes until you leave for work. Whoever said you should stay up arguing until 3:30 AM, sleep-deprived and frustrated was an idiot.
4. Don’t complain about your partner to your friends. They don’t love him (or her) the way you do, and they’re less likely to forgive, assuming they ever do. If your friends hate your significant other, it makes your relationship a lot harder. Trust me on this. The same goes for your parents. Need to vent? Talk to his Mom. She'll forgive him. Yours probably won't.
5. Let. Shit. Go. Seriously. Those little things will drive you crazy, so check it where it needs to be and move on whenever possible.
6. Finally (even if a little contradictory to my point here): If it’s that bad, just leave. You’ll both be happier. Life's too short for a shitty relationship. Someone great is waiting.
I strongly believed for most of my life that being alone was the worst thing in the world. It’s not. Being lonely in a relationship is the worst thing ever. Feeling unfulfilled or unappreciated breaks you down, and it sucks the life and energy from you. My year of singledom was enlightening, occasionally lonely, but it has been and will likely remain to be one of the most educational, fulfilling experiences of my life.
And I can’t wait to see what this next phase brings me.