Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well.
Today I want to talk about relationships, or more specifically, how the bloody hell you make them work.
I’ve written a lot about breakups, heartbreak and moving on, which is equally as important, but what about when you’re actually in a relationship, and trying to make it work as best you can?
Going through shitty breakups, and awful relationships, has shown me exactly what I do and don’t want; I do want someone who likes Indian takeaways. I don’t want someone who turns nasty after they’ve had a drink. I do want someone that is kind and caring. I don’t want someone who wears bootcut jeans (if you’re up for a bootcut jean wearing man/woman, that’s fine, but for some reason I just cannot get on board with them).
I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly a year (sweet Jesus), after splitting up with someone last year who I was with for 2 years.
I love my boyfriend very much, but fuck me he’s not easy to be with. Neither am I, I’ll hold my hands up; I’m loud, I tend to stain bed sheets and white towels with fake tan and mascara, I can get annoying after half a bottle of prosecco, I spend too much money on ASOS and Deliveroo, I moan, I’m a nightmare when I’m hungover and when it’s my time of the month, everything from a slow person on the checkouts at Sainsburys to the way my boyfriend has laid the duvet will wind me up.
Our worlds are very different, and you could say we are total opposites; he likes bands that about 6 people have heard of including him, I like David Guetta and the X Factor winners Christmas singles. He thinks when we go out for the day, I should throw on a bit of mascara and be done with it, whereas 3 hours later I’ll still be tonging my hair and constructing a smokey eye. I like cocktail bars, he’s happier in a quiet pub.
Those are just where our differences begin, and maybe we sound like chalk and cheese which I suppose we are, but it does work. Sometimes it doesn’t, don’t get me wrong, but generally speaking, he’s my best friend.
It hasn’t been without difficulty; we push each others buttons, and we are both very fiery and opinionated characters and sometimes our debates can get very out of hand. He can be a complete wanker, and I can be a highly strung brat. Can’t everyone?
What I’m trying to say is, relationships don’t work because you’re the exact same people with the exact same interests; when you get to know someone intimately (I don’t mean knowing what their genitals look like, though I suppose there is that too; I mean knowing all their weird little quirks), problems arise, because relationships are no walk in the park.
They require constant work and effort, for literally the rest of your lives. Both parties have to be invested, and care about the other person, or it just ain’t gonna work.
After going through one of them horrible phases most people go through in a relationship, where you have a solid month or so of squabbling, arguing over the most stupid things and feeling like your relationship is on the edge of a breakdown, and coming out the other side, I thought I’d put together a blog post, and more importantly a list of things that I think, are how you can make a relationship work, and more importantly, be a bloody great one.
Pick Your Battles
By this, I mean try not and get pissed off about the small stuff; I can tell you from first hand experience, that with men especially, the more small things you bring up (how they put their socks NEXT to the washbin instead of IN the washbin again, or how you think they gave you a lairy look at dinner), the less likely they are to listen to the big things.
I definitely need to listen to my own advice, and do this, because I am the QUEEN of picking pointless battles; and then regretting it straight after I’ve finished crying because we only watch films he likes and therefore I’ve decided that this means he doesn’t give a shit about me or want to be with me.
Try and take a deep breath and count to ten when they wind you up, and save it for when it’s something that really matters!
Have Your Own Time
I’m not sure about you, but when I spend too much time in someones pocket 24/7, I start to get annoyed at little things they do, when I normally wouldn’t. I find that sometimes having a weekend where I go out with my friends and plan an entire weekend with them, means that the next time I see my boyfriend we have a much better time and appreciate each others company more because we haven’t seen each other for a few days, and I haven’t had an opportunity to get wound up because he’s giving me the stinking side eye after I pour my 3rd glass of prosecco.
It’s also a really attractive thing knowing that the person you’re with has a life without you; you want to know that they have other stuff going on and you’re not the centre of their entire existence.
Integrate Your Lives
I was with someone before who did not want me to be any part of their life; I was a complete outcast in his life, rarely mixing me with his family and friends, separating the two very obviously, and quite frankly that’s not what a relationship is about.
I’m not saying that every time you see your friends, your partner should be there and vice versa, and the same goes for seeing your family. Bloody hell, I love an opportunity to have a girls night out and have some time off! However, it’s normal to bring your partner out to a night out with friends if everyone else is bringing their partner, it’s normal to bring them over for Sunday lunch at your parents house every once in a while, and it helps improve your relationship.
When you see your girlfriend/boyfriend around your family and friends, I actually think it really helps to strengthen your relationship as they’re becoming a serious part of your life, and involved in your day to day. Integrating your lives, but still maintaining boundaries and having time to do your own things is very important.
Don’t Take Shit
Again, I have put up with MORE than my fair share of pure shit in a relationship in the past, however I’ve learnt that standing up for yourself and holding your own is the key to a successful and happy relationship.
Of course, do not be with someone who you constantly have to stand up to because they’re being a nasty bastard (more on that below), but everyone is guilty of pushing the limits in a relationship and seeing how much they can get away with, myself included. You need to put your foot down as early on as possible, so that your partner knows you won’t take any of their shit and respects you for it.
A relationship will never work if someone is constantly getting taken advantage of, or being walked all over. Speak up when you feel you’re being treated unfairly, or your boyfriend/girlfriend is being unnecessarily snappy and rude. The sooner boundaries are laid down, the happier you’ll both be.
Choose The Right Person
It’s all well and good listening to tips on how to make things work, and putting all your effort and energy into something – but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and putting your energy into the right person.
I have wasted so much time (Although, I try not to see it as wasted time because you learn from everything you do, even bad times/mistakes), with people who aren’t worth it, and I wish I could go back and shake myself.
You can punish yourself constantly for a relationship not working, but actually, a lot of the time it can be down to the fact you’re not with the right person, or that person is simply an utter twat.
Does the person you’re with make you happy, care about you, treat you well and encourage you to be the best possible version of yourself? If they don’t, then you should consider the fact they’re not the right person for you, and that maybe you should let that relationship go, as difficult and painful as it might be.
Those are the things I’ve learnt (so far) that help make having a boyfriend/girlfriend etc work. It’s not easy, that’s the thing. It really, really is not bloody easy.
Social media doesn’t help; you see all these deeply in love couples going on amazing holidays or wrapped round each other in photos or getting engaged with girls flaunting huge, blinding diamonds in every photo whilst they throw their perfectly blow dried tresses back and you sit there, on your own in your bedroom, wearing flannel Minnie Mouse pyjamas, spot cream all over your forehead, eating a Flake and getting it everywhere, crying because you’re currently not on speaking terms with your boyfriend and you’re wondering how the fuck all these girls on your Instagram feed have achieved these amazing relationships.
The thing is though, it’s not an accurate representation of reality; at least, not 100% of the time. Couples argue, it’s what they do; I’ve never met a couple in my life that’s never argued or disagreed or hated each other for even 5 minutes.
The most important part of making a relationship work is not comparing; people move at different paces and you should go with what’s right for your relationship. I’m all too guilty of comparing and feeling like I’m not enough or my life isn’t or my relationship isn’t because I’m constantly on social media convincing myself that everyone else is living in perfect harmony and bliss compared to me.
No one is; even those youtubers you watch who do daily vlogs and you think that they’re happy and in love 100% of the time… It’s not true. As soon as the cameras off, she’s jumping down his throat cos he’s deleted her Sky Plus recording of Bake Off to make way for his Ross Kemp On Gangs and then he’s sleeping on the sofa tonight because she’s called him a selfish prick. Trust me; it happens.
I suppose the whole point of this post was to tell you that my relationship isn’t perfect, no ones is, but there are ways that you can try and make things a little bit smoother.
Don’t let people’s Instagram lives convince you that you’re the only couple in the world who goes to sleep on non speaking terms sometimes, because trust me, you’re not; relationships are about balance and there’s always going to be bad times to go with the good; it’s just about making sure those good times outweigh the bad ones.
As always, speak soon.
All my love BGP xx