One of the things we as girls spend the most time doing is thinking about our relationships. And for the right reasons, too. What goes on in our relationships affects us deeply, and dictates our physical and mental well-being. Below are 14 relationship mindsets that all girls should have before they turn 30.
1. 30 is just a number
It is so obvious, yet it is so easy to get caught up in the number mindset. We as girls tend to take this number too seriously. For most of us, the 30 blues don’t hit until it happens, and then suddenly life starts looking different. While this is good if it helps develop a positive sense of urgency for what you want in life, don’t decide on the pace of your relationship based on pre-30 or post-30 benchmarks. Relationships grow organically and everyone’s journey is not the same. The quality of your relationship should be the yardstick for when you want to take it to the next level instead of how old you are or how long you have been in the relationship.
2. Don’t be whiny
Having a complaining attitude can be one of the biggest turn-offs for people around us. The same applies to relationships. If you constantly find yourself complaining about every small thing, it’s time to reflect upon this mindset.
3. Be a problem solver
Once you have identified that you have been complaining a bit too much, and causing discomfort in your partner, as a result, think about what you can do to be more positive. What is the complaining about? What will it take to fix it? You will be surprised at how much better your quality of life will be by implementing simple changes such as speaking in a more positive tone, and calling yourself out whenever you find yourself complaining.
4. Don’t ignore the warning signs
Steve Jobs once said, “And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on”.
Don’t drag on a bad relationship if you don’t see positive changes over time. If it is not making you happy today, most likely it will not make you happy tomorrow. The state of a bad relationship doesn’t improve after marriage or having kids. If you are in a happy relationship, you should feel happy. If you feel happiness is missing try to find out the root causes, and work it out with your partner. If he is unwilling to participate or doesn’t live up to his promises, move on.
5. Be a good listener
While it is crucial for a woman to be heard, try switching gears and lend your partner an ear. You will be surprised by how much insight into your partner’s thinking you will gain by simply listening to him.
6. Remember that communication is key
Whenever you find that you are upset with yourself or with your partner, communicate. A lot of smaller conflicts can snowball into bigger problems if not resolved quickly. Communication is one of the biggest keys to enjoying a happy and fulfilling life.
7. Have a career of your own
Don’t make your relationship your career. Your own career should be your first priority. Like with everything in life, whether or not a relationship will work is not a guarantee. But sometimes the much-needed strength to break out of an ugly relationship comes from standing on your own feet. Financial independence not only boosts your own self-esteem but also creates a sense of respect for you in your partner’s mind.
8. Have a life outside of your relationship
It is great to do activities with your partner. Probably the most fun trips that you take over your lifetime are with your significant other. But don’t forget to have fun with your friends, and sometimes just with yourself. Your relationship should not debilitate you such that you feel like you can’t do anything without your partner. Remember at times, some unavailability can add the much-needed spice in a relationship.
9. Compromise but don’t sacrifice
While it is okay to compromise on little things such as what movie to watch over the weekend or which restaurant to pick for a date night, do not compromise on things that are against your values. There is a very thin line between compromise and sacrifice. Take care not to sacrifice your happiness just to appease your partner.
10. Remember to give space
It is important to give space to your partner. Sometimes that is all it takes to resolve a conflict or deflate negative feelings. Spending time doing activities by yourself is equally important to doing them with each other. If your partner asks for space, do not hesitate to give him that.
11. Don’t work on threats
At times, things won’t go your way. For example, you might be ready to take your relationship to the next level, but your partner is not ready for that yet. It is very easy to resort to threats in situations like that, but they only damage the bond you two share. Communicate how you feel to your partner, and work with him to reach a mutually satisfying decision. In the matters of heart, pressure only leads to unhappiness.
12. Watch out for the my-way-or-the-highway mindset
Do you find yourself going into a passive aggressive mode every time something does not go your way? If so, watch out for this mindset. This leads to unhappiness not only on your partner’s end but also makes you unhappy. A relationship involves two people working together to create mutual happiness. If one of them feels like bowing to other’s wishes all the time, the bond crumbles. Only love and understanding for each other’s feelings can bring two hearts together.
13. Don’t try to be a boss
At times, you will come across situations where you feel like your partner is not doing things he ought to do for his own career or for the betterment of your relationship. While it is important to identify these missing pieces, care should be taken to not come across as controlling. If you find your partner expressing discomfort with how you talk to him, try changing the tone.
14. Don’t forget who you are
You will still be the same woman when you turn 30, except wiser and stronger. In making things work with your significant other, sometimes you might tread the slippery slope of forgetting what you stand for. If you find yourself in that state, ask yourself what is important to you. What do you want from life? In this journey called life, two people are only travelers down the same road. Don’t be lost in the path so much that you forget what your destination is. If at some point you find that your paths have changed or don’t converge, it is never too late to change. Remember it is to be happy that two people come together.