30 Things Before Thirty – Love Better
I titled this just simply love better because I think in my almost thirty years on this Earth that not only did I learn how to love, but I learned (and am still learning) how to love in the best ways possible.
I’ve been through many ups and downs with love as many people have, but I’ve learned a lot of the downs I experienced could have been avoidable. A lack of communication, breakdown in understanding, and my overall un-willingness to grow as a person sabotaged my love life. That being said love can look all sorts of ways to different people, but finding clarity in what I wanted was #1.
Love Yourself First
This was so crucial to learning how to love other people in my life better. Not just my significant other but my friends and family. The minute I started loving myself more actively instead of utilizing self-depreciation, I was able to open myself up to so much more. The biggest hurdle I had for this one was to realize that I’m pretty amazing at life. I always cut myself down and told myself I wasn’t good enough. Turning that corner has helped in multiple aspects in my life.
I used to handle my relationships a lot differently. I think immaturity drove me to be a lot more selfish, inconsiderate and uncompromising. Those are three things (+communication) are what I’ve found to take my relationship to “the next level.”
- Selfishness – Realizing that you are not the only person with thoughts and feelings in this partnership. It’s okay to not always get what you want.
- Consideration – I feel like whenever I go to the store or am online shopping, before I check out I think of what my partner would want, if anything. That sounds like such a simply thing, but it may not have been something that I was programmed to do in my early twenties.
- Compromise – This was on that was really hard to learn. I’ve mentioned in several posts that I struggle with stubbornness. I also think I’ve learned to let things go but there are still sometimes that I want to dig my heels in. The one goes hand in hand with the other two.
- Communication – I think of myself as a very blunt, straightforward person, but in high school and my early twenties I wasn’t as much especially with my feelings. I would make ex’s guess what I was feeling or thinking when I could have just opened my mouth. Nowadays I realize that if I’m uncomfortable or unhappy, I need to open my mouth.
I’ve mentioned things I’ve learned in my twenty-nine years of life before but let me make sure to add this disclaimer: I am still learning. I still struggle with these things like any normal human. I think that to be able to change behavior, we must know that we are doing it first. That is why I write these posts, to help others and to remind myself.
I am still selfish. Let me say that a little louder.
I AM STILL SELFISH.
It’s a human mode that we can sometimes autopilot into. That doesn’t mean we are bad, we just let animal instincts kick in and worry about #1. It is an active decision and an active choice to go against that selfish-ness. It can help grow a relationship by putting someone else before you, at least every once in awhile.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sometimes be selfish. If you believe strongly in something, you shouldn’t have to go against your own beliefs for love. This is where the other things on this list come into play. Make sure you’re managing your own expectations when it comes down to it.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but kindness doesn’t seem to be an inherit trait in everyone. Could be something as simple as putting the seat down for your partner. The things on this list don’t have to be wildly life changing, just more of an observation of what I’ve found myself doing in the past. Treat your person the way you want them to treat you. Simple as that.
Compromise can help solve a dispute, include a combining of the minds as well as help with the selfishness we talked about earlier. It is the one that I have worked the hardest on. I’ve also realized that this aspect is incredibly important for my partner to express as well. If my partner is unwilling to compromise or won’t even consider it, that’s where I draw the line; thankfully Chris is always up for compromise.
Communication is one that I’ve actually worked through not in my personal relationships, but in my work relationships as well. It’s helped me to become a better leader at work, a better listener/helper to my boss and yes it has also helped for me to understand my partner at home. It can sometimes clash with my poor memory, but that’s why I’ve taken to writing everything down. There is always a solution to everything.
So before clicking away from this page, make a list of things like this that are important to you. Do you experience them in your current relationship? Is something missing? Can you communicate that to your partner? Or create a list of what you are looking for. That can help narrow down the search.