Scrolling through your social media, you might see perfectly tanned couples kissing on the beach, or running through the streets of Paris. While you might want a movie-worthy love in your life, waiting for a perfect Prince Charming is likely going to waste your time and end in disappointment.
Even if Zac Efron doesn’t suddenly appear in your apartment, you can still find a relationship that feels like a Nicholas Sparks movie, minus all the drama.
For any good relationship, trust is essential.
And it has to go both ways. This means no looking through each others phones, stalking who likes their pictures, or checking up on their ex girlfriends Facebook page. Even if you’ve been duped in the past, holding on to fear and acting on trust issues will only drive your partner away from you.
You should want each other, not need each other.
If somebody needs a relationship to feel fulfilled, it’s usually a sign that there are bigger issues at stake. You both should add to each others life, but should never feel like you simply couldn’t function without the other. If you rely too heavily on your partner it’s easy to become upset or feel as if the feelings aren’t mutual.
Help each other reach their goals, rather than hindering them.
Being successful and busy is not synonymous with being single. Your partner should acknowledge and support you working hard and striving for goals, even if that means they can’t binge-watch Netflix with you in bed on Sunday. Helping each other succeed will allow you to grow together, and make your relationship stronger.
As cheesy as it sounds, you should be able to be yourself.
Whether that’s burping, terrible puns, or a nervous tick – your partner should understand that you’re human. A good relationship doesn’t require that you love every aspect of your partner, only that you accept who they are – flaws and all.
Accept that you might not get along all the time – but that you’re ultimately on the same team.
Even the people we love the most can aggravate us. While bickering shouldn’t be a daily occurrence, it’s natural to have conflicts. The important thing is that both people want to understand each other, and work through whatever issue is going on. This can mean you have to take a step back and try to understand the situation from your partner’s perspective – whatever that may be.
They build you up, and never tear you down.
One sure sign of a toxic relationship is when your partner berates you or criticizes you constantly. If they make small comments about your appearance or character it’s a red flag. Your partner should bring any issues they have to you in a mature manner – backhanded remarks and jokes tend to escalate.
Both parties in the relationship should express appreciation where it’s due, and vocalize what they like about their partner. Any partnership can become strained when one person feels taken for granted, and one easy way to prevent the problem is with open communication.
Communication doesn’t need to be a constant.
With our phones practically glued to our hands, it can be hard to accept that your partner doesn’t need to text you at all hours of the day. In fact, a phone call or FaceTime can cut out hours spent texting. You don’t need to know what kind of cereal they had for breakfast, or that they were three minutes late for their first class of the day.
Your conversations will be much more meaningful and sincere when they don’t need to drag on for hours on end.