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12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

There comes a point in everyone’s relationship where things just get weird. The level of weird is completely normal to the two of you but to onlookers and friends, it’s almost unacceptable behavior. Here are some things couples in long-term relationships do that are a tad bit weird to the outside world.

1. Your bodily smells are no longer a gray area

After a certain period of time, farts and burps just become amusing. On second thought, the ones that don’t smell like a decaying body or a fresh pile of crap, are amusing. Throughout the course of your relationship, the importance of hiding your farts and excusing your burps have slowly dwindled down because you both are more comfortable with each other. It is just another step deeper into a long-term relationship and this step is inevitable, so don’t try to stop it.

2. You both think it is necessary to narrate your pets life

There is something particularly amusing to the two of you for your animal to have a voice. On more than one occasion, either you or your other half has put words to their actions because it’s funny. They can’t talk, so we must talk for them.

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3. You have seen each other wear the opposite sex’s clothing

This one is something that everyone won’t admit to, especially the men, but everyone has seen and done it. Women across the world have a sweater or two stretched out because someone thought it was funny to prance around in it along with their bra on. Guys have seen many sweaters move from their side of the closet to their other half’s. It is a normal thing in a long term relationship. A stretched out sweater is worth being stretched for the memory of a guy wearing it in combination with a bra and grabbing his imaginary boobs.

4. Morning breath doesn’t bother you as much

When the relationship was new, you creeped your way out of bed to brush your teeth and crawled back in before the other woke up. Now, morning breath is just another natural thing you need to get over because everyone has it and you both have accepted it. Mornings just consist of “Morning babe” with a huge smooch on the lips or cheek, maybe more if it’s a good morning.

5. Binge eating and watching Netflix all day is acceptable in your household

You both have had Saturday mornings where you rolled out of bed, made food, taken your dog out to pee as you narrated him finding his perfect pee spot, cooked breakfast and stayed in your PJ’s watching Netflix. This goes on all day and both of your stomachs are bottomless pits of hunger. This is perfectly acceptable because there is two of you doing it.

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6. You use each other as an excuse to skip out on plans

You both just want to have a night in to watch TV and drink where it’s cheaper than $8 a beer. This is usually when one of you pretends to be the bad guy and has to act like you don’t want to go so the other person looks like they are legitimately trying to make the plans. In another occasion if both of you want to look like the good guy, one of you plays sick. In reality though, you are both terrible people and have accepted this because you rather watch Netflix in your sweats than pretend to be a good person anyways.

7. You can communicate telepathically

There are weird things that you do with your eyes when you are both at social gatherings, getting stopped by sales people or in a crowded place somewhere. There are expressions that mean stay away, I’m having a bad day, I”m hungry. If one of you suddenly lost the ability to either talk or hear, both of you will be fine off of facial expressions.

8. You both laugh when the other falls…and then stop when they don’t get up

There have been times at the beginning of your relationship where the other one falls and you rush to their side. Now, if one of them is…knocked down sideways because the dog ran right into them, for example, you now immediately die of laughter. You both laugh at each other falling down, tripping, or slipping. It is all good fun unless you don’t see them get up.

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9. You both aren’t embarrassed to relive your childhood

The two of you on countless occasions have built forts, played with light sabers through the house, played with Legos, even if you don’t have a child, and have scared each other by hiding around the corners of the house. It’s normal, and it’s fun. Anyone who doesn’t accept this from the two of you are basically put on the list of “let’s make an excuse to get out of plans with them”.

10. You send each other text message when you are in the same area

There have been times where the both of you are sitting on the couch, or sitting at dinner and have sent a text message instead of physically talking. You have also use texting instead of getting out of the current room you are in to get your significant other’s attention.

11. Your bathroom is no longer a sacred domain

There was a point in your relationship where the bathroom was a place of solitude. Now, opening the door and doing what you need to do while your other half is in there is perfectly normal. Unless you’re the type of couple that likes a little mystery in their relationship…and mystery meaning that you don’t want to know what the other’s fresh poop smells like.

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12. You people watch and make up stories

When you go out to eat or go to the mall, small talk is no longer needed because you know a lot, too much actually, about that person. The two of you now focus on people watching and making up stories of their lives to match what they look like. Sometimes it gets to a deeper level of weird and you narrate their conversations.

Featured photo credit: Couple having crazy fun on the beach- Iztok Alf Kurnik via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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