It’s funny that you ask that because I feel like I talk about my relationship with my partner, Luke, on here constantly. But hey, maybe you only read one blog post that didn’t involve him. No worries. But, yes, Luke and I have been together for over 11 years now and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
This relationship has taught me more about what makes for a good relationship above any other I’ve had (including family, friends, etc). It’s hard to give just ONE piece of advice. There are lots of advices I’d give. But if I could only give one, it would be this:
HAVE HUMILITY. It sounds simple but it is incredibly tough. As humans, we don’t like being the one who is wrong or having made a mistake. It makes us feel bad and so we try to avoid it via defending ourselves. But proving yourself right is not what will fix the situation. Listening to your partner and owning your shit will.
Luke and I had a friend who was a handsome and VERY intelligent man who made a great living. The thing he wanted more than anything was a good relationship. But anytime he got serious with a guy, it usually ended in a year or less (even though he was so great on paper). I have no doubt that it was due to this friend NEVER being able to be wrong. If you even remotely disagreed with him, he’d debate you to the death of it. Bottom line: people don’t want to be with people who can’t be wrong.
When I think about relationship, I think about the phrase “To error is human.” If being human means to fuck up, then relationship means being two people who will fuck up together. So it’s okay to be wrong. When you have humility, your partner feels validated, loved and honored. When they have humility with you, you will understand and appreciate this incredible component of a healthy relationship.
Okay… one last piece of advice (just for fun): that whole “never go to bed angry” thing is the WORST piece of advice for relationships!!!! Anytime someone tells you this, slap them… hard! When a fight gets heated, we get stuck in an emotional state of mind which then stops our ability to have any sense of rational thinking (which is necessary to solve problems). Plus, as we stay up late, we get tired which can make us even more cranky on top of that emotional state of mind.
The best thing to do is sleep on it. Resting can help bring back that rational state of mind by giving you time to calm down and reflect on what has been said and done. So, go to bed, give yourself more time if you need, and come back to the table when you (you guessed it) can your own shit.