Having been the guy who was always dumped for the first 5 years of my dating life, I have had to do a lot of self-reflecting to figure out just what I was doing wrong. Yes, a lot of my relationships were failures due to the fact that I was young and I wasn’t totally sure what I was looking for, but experience has shown me that I had a lot of places I needed to improve upon. Below are the things I discovered over my years of dating that will make your relationships more stable and long lasting.
I am amazed looking back at how many guys I got into a relationship with before I became very good friends with them. I may have liked them, but in so many cases we weren’t very compatible, even on a friendship level. I know it is important how someone looks or if he is a good kisser, but it is very easy to look past something as simple as friendship, especially in a small dating world. But please, please do not let yourself do it! When it really comes down to a relationship, it is impossible to have anything long lasting or meaningful if you are not very good friends to begin with.
Sometimes it’s hard to pull your hot head away from a guy who is “almost” everything you wanted – I know from personal experience. But one of the most important things that I learned is to always take a moment to step back and ask yourself if this person is not only a good friend, but one of your best friends. Seeing through the fog of lust can be a difficult thing, but if the friendship isn’t really there after a few weeks of getting to know each other, then you are only setting yourself up for failure. It probably isn’t worth pursuing anything serious in the first place, so save yourself the time and heartbreak.
Treat Him Right
We always hear “treat someone how you want to be treated”, but when it comes to relationships this is complete bullshit. Everyone wants to be treated differently and no two people ever want ALL the same things.
Instead follow the, “treat him how you want to be treated” but try to put yourself in his shoes with that mentality. You should really treat him how he is treating you. Pay attention to the things he likes and does to you. If he gives you a shoulder rub then he may sincerely be doing it to be nice, but there are studies that show that people unconsciously do unto others what they want for themselves. So if he rubs your back then you should also rub his – literally. Even if he refuses the first few times, insist and I guarantee he will give in and be very happy in the end.
If you do this for not just back rubs, but all aspects of your relationship, then you will have a much higher rate of success. This can be things like making breakfast in the morning or cleaning up your room. Follow what he does and repeat. Making each other happy is essential and picking up on small queues like these can make or break a relationship.
Keep Those Cringe Worthy Thoughts to Yourself
When you meet someone who is really great, it is normal to have a million things running through your head about what kind of person he might be and what the future may hold. That is fine, but you crazy boy, keep those thoughts to yourself! I will admit, I have them too. I have even met guys and that very same day have had marriage scenarios running through my head.
Even smaller stuff like relationships or other territory that you haven’t talked about yet is an absolute no-no. This includes spilling your emotional baggage and lifelong history. You may think those are fine to share out-loud early-on, but chances are he might not think the same. You will likely only scare him away. Building a connection takes time, and spilling out too much before you have built trust can spell disaster. If you two are meant to last for a long time then there is no need to rush into the heavy stuff. So take your time and watch your words
Watch the Clingy
This one was really tough for me to learn, but it is extremely important. Being clingy can be fun for a little while, but it can make the other person annoyed pretty quickly. This one simple thing ruined a lot of potential relationships for me.
For example, It’s ok to send him a message or call, but if he doesn’t respond right away, be patient. Don’t send more messages, panic or find yourself jumping to conclusions. Remember that he has his own life, responsibilities and friends. He might take it as not only rude, but you will just come off sounding desperate. Sometimes caring too much and being overbearing can be a big turn-off. As tough as waiting can be at first, it shows that you are considerate and respectful.
This also goes for physical contact too. Hugging and kissing are fine, but you should try and read how much he really wants. Don’t overdo it. Giving each other enough space is important, even when you are spending time together. Adversely, if someone is being too clingy then speak up! This leads into my next point which is…
Learning how to communicate effectively is not easy. It takes time, practice and patience. This means not just hearing what the other person is saying, but actually listening to them and making an effort to improve yourself for one another. Good communication skills don’t’ just happen. You need to work and put in effort in order to get better.
Communication does not just mean speaking either. It includes reading a person’s thoughts and emotions. This can includes their body language and, more importantly, what they don’t say. I have had a lot of boyfriends who were not very good about saying what they really wanted – be it something small like going to a restaurant, or a serious decision like introducing them to my family. Being aware of each other’s feelings and cues both verbal and nonverbal is a skill that comes with time, but it is essential for a strong relationship.
Get Over the Three Month Hump
There is a big difference between love and lust, and telling the difference between the two can often be difficult to distinguish early on. You may have already heard of the “honeymoon phase”. This is strongest period of feelings and emotions where everything just seems to go perfectly in those initial three months of dating someone new. This is the period that we tend to throw aside the flaws and shortcomings of any given person because we are, as I like to refer to it as, “in lust”.
The honeymoon phase can definitely last longer than three months, but I have found that this period has the most amount of “relationship fog” that makes it difficult to see clearly. If you can get through the first three months and truly accept him for his true self then you just may have something worth-while.