10 Tips For A Better Relationship

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Recently I noticed that I see a lot more articles about finding a man than I do about how to stay happy with him and I realized it’s an area that needs more discussion.  So far I’ve held off writing relationship advice because I felt my experience was so limited. However after 3 years with the same guy I’ve learned a few things and want to share my knowledge.  Also I wanted to give you a few tips beyond the heavily overused nonsense of  Don’t have an open relationship or Never go to bed angry.  

  1. Write Down 5 Reasons Why You Love Him. Don’t just think of the reasons I want you to physically write them down on a piece of paper or in an email. Save that note or email for yourself because it will be very important during struggles or fights. After a big fight or when you’re relationship is struggling it’s great to have a reminder of why you fell in love with him in the first place. You’ll be giving yourself the gift of perspective. That list it will make it easier to determine if your fight was silly nonsense or a sign of something more serious.
  2. Make Your Own Rules. Every relationship is different and therefore you have to do what’s best for you as a couple. Don’t feel the need to follow arbitrary rules that other people have set just because that’s what society expects of you. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years and we still don’t live together. When some people hear this they are shocked and can’t understand why we’ve waited. These are usually the UHaul gays who move in after 2 weeks of dating. My response is always that we’re taking our time and we’re not in any rush. My honest opinion is that I see myself spending the rest of my life with Russ so an extra 1 or 2 years really doesn’t make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.
  3. Actions Speak Louder Than Words. I used to have a creative writing teacher that would always write ‘show me don’t tell me’ on all of my essays. I resented it at the time but as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to love the sentiment. Words are easier than actions. I’ve seen too many friends justify getting treated like shit simply because a guy says all the right things. Does he make you a priority or is he always canceling plans? Do you talk regularly or is it impossible to get him to respond to your texts? Don’t just listen to what he says listen to what he does. 
  4. Don’t Let Bad Feelings Fester. If he does anything that hurts your feelings or makes you angry say something. Don’t ignore it. Keeping your mouth shut only buries the feelings and they can start to grown and fester. For example, if you don’t like it when he calls you ‘baby’ say so at the beginning. Otherwise your resentment will grow and you’ll end up blowing up years later over a minor fact that could’ve been been nipped in the bud early on.
  5. Treat Him The Way You Want To Be Treated. Be proactive and lead by example. Don’t sit back like a princess and expect him to do all the work. You both need to trade off being the princess and the servant. If you want him to take you out more then why not make plans to see a musical or concert. Be an active member of your relationship. 
  6. Remember The Past Accurately. When we remember the past we often view the events through heavily tainted lenses. If the overall memory is positive then we can sometimes forget the negativities that always exist. Are you in a decade long relationship yearning for the endless parties and men of your single days? While you might have plenty of torrid tales don’t forget the lonely nights alone on your couch eating a block of cheese. Conversely, you may hold resentment for something your partner did to you in the past but conveniently ignore the part you played in the matter. There are very few things that are 100% good or 100% bad in life.
  7. Intimacy Is Underrated. Don’t forget to touch each other. Gay men have long realized the difference between love and sex. It’s one of the reasons why our community has led the way in open relationships. An open relationships is a wonderful thing however don’t get so focused on the sex that you forget the intimacy. I’ve found the key to intimacy is touch. A loving touch can do wonders. Show him you care by rubbing his feet while you’re watching television or putting your hand on his thigh in the car. When in doubt a simple hug and a kiss will always do wonders. Like I said above don’t just tell him you love him, show him. 
  8. You’re Still an Individual. This is an area where gay couples can learns from straight couples. Just because you are now part of a team doesn’t mean you have to give up yourself. I think straight couples are better at this because of the natural differences between men and women. It’s much more common place for a husband and wife to each have a few of their own interests. When it’s two men it’s easy to get caught in the trap of doing everything together. It’s healthy to develop and maintain your own interests apart from the ones you share with your partner.
  9. Just Because He Tells You A Problem Doesn’t Mean He’s Looking For A Solution. I first heard this on an old episode of Oprah and it’s a valuable lesson that I often forget. We all have bad days and want to vent our frustrations to a loved one. When your boyfriend complains about work most of the time it’s just to blow of steam. While you may have the best intentions, the solutions you offer up might be more annoying than helpful. He’s just looking for a sympathetic ear.
  10. When He Asks, “What do you want for dinner?” Give an answer. Make a decision! Don’t just give pathetic answers like, “I don’t know” or “Whatever.” Save yourselves aggravation and just pick something.

 

 

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