How many articles/advice columns have you read about relationships? Dating in college/high school etc.? How many of those have told you the most essential thing? How to actually make them work.
Dating tips invariably end with warnings that say: “He/she doesn’t have to be the one!”, “Just have fun while you’re in it!”, “Don’t date someone who lives close by, because when it ends, it’ll be much harder to get over!”, “If they hold you back, leave them immediately!” and more and more. Stupid, stupid.
So we get into relationships just to get out of them? Is that what this has come to? Our grandparents and great grandparents didn’t have social media or a sheaf of online articles that told them How To Have The Best College Experience and Is He The One?!?! Take This Quiz To Find Out!
They just…did stuff you know. Showed up. Wrote letters. Said hello. Looked at each other.
Making any sort of relationship work is hard enough nowadays, what with college, family, social media, money worries, media and more. But if I were to give some advice, it would be this*:
1. When you feel butterflies, flutter with them. This might seem like nonsense, but there is someone who shall make you feel like you’re floating just by looking at you. When you absolutely cannot stop thinking about somebody like that, you know it’s right, for you.
2. Be ‘old fashioned.’ Set aside your phone when you meet your SO. Engage them in conversation, hear about their day and so on. Genuinely enjoy their company; be friends.
3. Don’t get into a relationship with the end in sight. When things last, they can be beautiful. Don’t think about the ending before you’ve reached the middle. There shouldn’t be spoilers in relationships…
4. If you’re not invested, they won’t want to be either. Give as much as you can, and if it ends, you’ll know it just wasn’t meant to be. Show up, be there for them, be a solid person who can be relied upon.
5. There’s no right or wrong time. Whether you meet them in college or high school or the 3rd grade, there’s no right or wrong time. It’s only what you make of it, I promise.
Relationships aren’t easy experiences; a lot of work goes into them. People don’t seem to want to put the work in: there are barriers and boundaries that they erect. And if it doesn’t work out with one, it’s on to the next. Dating isn’t as serious a commitment as marriage, but being committed to another human being simply because they’re another human being is a lovely thing in itself.
Making it work takes time and effort. Don’t give up!
*This article was written with only amusement and sunshine on the author’s part and it addresses people in serious, committed relationships. If you’re not the serious relationshippy kind, that works too! These tips work with best friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and pets, you name it.