After 6 years in a relationship here is my advice

As I sit here tipping this post into my Macbook I can't help but feel a little like a badly dressed version of Carrie Bradshaw, no Manolos, no Cosmopolitans, no New York. Just me and my best advice on relationships.

Relationships are something I never discussed here because I truly believe that every person is different and that that makes every relationship different. However, I've been in a relationship for almost six years and I feel like that, in some way, allows me to sit here and write about my experience. This is only my truth, this is my point of view and it probably won't apply to your experience, yet, it might, and that is why I am writing this post.

Relationships are not easy, even though they may seem easy due to what people post on social media. Like anything else, we share the highlights but when we are together and when we are alone things get tricky, fights come up, we also get closer and we overcome problems together, we change and we evolve we shift shapes to fit better with one another and that is where my first piece of advice comes from. We can't expect the person we fell in love with to always remain the same. It's human nature, we evolve, life and our choices change us and consequently the person that we are changes with them. We wouldn't like to be in the exact same place that we were years ago today, we can't expect our partner to stay the same throughout the years. That isn't healthy, that isn't good for you or for the other person if you keep pushing the person that you love to be the person you fell in love with maybe you are not in love with them but just with the idea that you have of them, and if that is the case, I honestly think that things won't work out between the two of you. It's best to end a relationship than to expect people to go back to what they were before so that they fit you better. 

At the same time Don't expect the person to change who they are. People change, as I just stated, but I don't believe people can change everything about themselves, much less for someone else, regardless of how much they love the other person. If you are dating a shy person they won't become an extrovert overnight. If you are dating an extremely religious person they won't stop going to church, if my boyfriend ever expected me to stop wearing makeup, well, it wouldn't happen, it's something that defines we and that makes me truly happy. You need to love the core of the person you are in a relationship with, otherwise, it won't work. 

Another point I want to discuss here is that Fights will come up, the way you deal with them is what will define the future, not the fight itself. Relationships are not as easy as the internet makes it seem, and people fight, its normal, its human nature. When people ask me how do we (me and João) overcome our fights or do we fix our problems, the answer is simple, we are both here for the long run, we both know we want to be together for many more years and so, when we get into a fight we remind ourselves of this. The fight probably won't matter in 5 years, so why spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it? And if you feel like it will, try to be as honest as you can, talk about how you are feeling, make the other person understand your point of view the best way they can. 

Following that, I need to state that Learning how to say I'm sorry and mean it, is also a really important thing to do. I must admit this is one of my biggest flaws, I am the type of person who thinks is always right, and even though I can put myself into somebody else's shoes easily I have a hard time admitting that I was wrong, that I made a mistake and that the issue is my fault. Learning how to apologize has been a hard and interesting journey when it comes to my relationship and even after almost 6 years, I am quite far from being great at it but it's something I think is essential to make any relationship work, if the same person is always apologizing and the other can't even see what they have done wrong, chances are, the person who is always apologizing will get tired of filling that role and it will probably fall out of love with the other person. 

And now for the most chiché advice ever: Communication is key! There is a reason why this is the most commonly given advice when it comes to relationships if you can't communicate with the person you are in love with, things won't work out. You need to learn how to talk to each other, to know how to deal with the person when they are sad, or mad, or happy or excited, to know how to support them. Communication is much more than what you say, it's your body language, your actions, everything that you do that affects the other person in any way. Getting to know someone in the way you do in a relationship should also teach you how to communicate with the other person. Another thing to do with this topic is that you shouldn't hold back, if you don't like something or if something is upsetting you, just speak up, don't hold anything in, because (and I talk from experience) when you hold things in eventually you will explode and that will originate a terrible nasty and unnecessary fight. Speak your mind, listen and be heard as well.

I feel like after this post I need to reinforce that my relationship is not perfect, it's filled with ups and downs, because life is not perfect and after all a relationship is nothing more than sharing your life with another human. It won't ever be perfect, but it will be one hundred per cent worth it. 

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