If everyone wants a relationship, and everyone wants those relationships to be happy, who is going to talk about the parts no one wants to talk about? Well rest easy, because what follows this is five things no one tells you about being in a relationship.
The psychologically damaging effects of cuddling.
I am going to paint a picture for you. Let your imagination grasp if it can, an image of two lovers new to a relationship embraced in the spooning position. One. We will call this the little spoon, is engulfed in a sensation of comfort, warmth, and safety. There is no world outside of that sensation, and no pain is contained within it. And then there is the big spoon. What do you get as the big spoon? I will tell you what you get. A numb arm and hair in your face. No matter how many times you rearrange your head thinking “surely this time I’ve gotten all of the hair underneath my cheek,” there will always be another strand that you did not realize was still there. And as the clock moves further into the 45-minute-long dead arm and hurting side, your eyes list lazily staring into nothing as you lay and wonder at your misfortune; wondering how best to tell your partner that you need to get up and get a glass of water. It is uncomfortable is what I am saying.
2. The Way Your Partner Organizes
A big part of Being In A relationship is realizing that your partner enjoys leaving the milk in the door of the fridge, instead of on the shelves. Like some sort of ghoulish horror, the likes of which man nor God has ever seen before. OK to be fair not this exact scenario, but being in a relationship, a meaningful relationship generally means eventually moving in with each other.
When you move in with each other you start to become much more aware of their habits and routines. How they do things versus how you do things, sometimes they play rebel and eat ice cream with a fork, sometimes they crushed their Ramen instead of cooking it in the pot like you are supposed to, and sometimes, just sometimes, they enjoy having the TV on loud enough to where everyone in the eastern hemisphere is aware that you are watching The Real Housewives of America AGAIN.
This cannot be understated; you really need to understand what moving in together means. It means fights, it means snoring, it means using the same bathroom, it means monotony.
3. You Need To Be Able To Communicate
Communication is key for number 3, but communication is difficult. Let me be clear, I am not talking about surface level communication. Knowing exactly where you want to eat at any given time and voicing that in an obvious way, is not the communication I mean. I mean communicating problems in your relationship. I mean explaining in a concise and digestible way what you are feeling in your heart and in your mind.
It is amazingly simple to say, “The key to a good relationship is communication”. As I am sure you have heard roughly 1000 times, it is however difficult to communicate effectively. Communication isn’t just saying to your partner “I had a good day” it is talking about your likes and your dislikes; it’s explaining your passions, it is bearing yourself to your partner and hoping that they will accept it.
And while we are on it, people do not always accept you. That is a part of it. Love can be a ruinous game, but it can be tremendously beneficial as well. Being In A Relationship is a gamble almost every time.
4. Your Partner Was in a Relationship Before
Number four is a little bit different, but talking about each other‘s past relationships. This happens more often than you might think. Everyone holds their current partner against prior partners. And sometimes conversations about those ex partners can come up, this can make your partner feel incredibly intimidated, or somehow devalue them.
There’s must come a point with being in a relationship where you’re willing to look past the differences between your current partner and your ex partner. New relationship, new rules, new understandings. Stop thinking about if your previous partner would’ve liked a certain activity and think about if your current one would. Take a chance on something new!
That’s part of the fun of building a new relationship. Building a connection to an entirely new human being? What more does life need to be.
Number 5. The Law of Diminishing Returns.
Buckle up for number five because this one is a whopper. Imagine for a moment that you have a magical freezer. This freezer’s power is simple, every time you open it, it’s restocked with your absolute favorite food. So every single time you open up that door, it’s going to be great! For a couple of weeks. Then one day you’re going to wake up, walk to the kitchen, open the fridge, see that food again and realize something. You realize that you want anything in the world other than that food again. Not because there is anything wrong with it, you’ve just become accustomed to it. It doesn’t excite you anymore.
This is an extremely simplified explanation of the law of diminishing returns. If experienced enough, the thing you used to enjoy you find that you don’t enjoy it as much. This can and does occur in relationships. The antiquated notion that you were going to feel as attracted in the future to your partner as you did when you first met, is unfortunately somewhat untrue.
Generally speaking, this can happen. And when it does happen, you need to be ready for it. You need to calmly explain what it is that you’re experiencing to your partner, and then you both need to work together to resolve it. I promise you talking about these things with your partner is not as scary as it seems. Like I said up top, everybody loves love. And everybody is willing to work for love. Just make sure you’re working together.
P.S Being In A Relationship is hard work, but the right one is going to be worth absolutely worth it.
Eric Anderson is a fledgling, (but passionate) journalist and photographer for Society 19 and Marker. What began as a hobby is now a driving force for a new career path. He lives and continues to write non-stop in Boston. His first article was published in 2022 by Society 19. Reach out to him today.