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15 Things Serious Couples Understand

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15 Things Serious Couples Understand

Before I met my wife, I had never been in a relationship which lasted more than a few months. The thought of being with the same person for a long period of time somewhat frightened me, but as I write this, I can’t remember why. That’s because the past six years have been filled with the most amazing love I could have possibly asked for. I won’t go on and on about what a fairy tale I’m living, but in all honesty, because we follow the points in this article, my marriage is as close to a fairy tale as can be.

1. Living separate lives, together

When you first enter a relationship, all you want to do is be with that person. Nothing else matters; friends, school, and work all take a backseat to your new-found love. Not only that, but either side of the relationship might feel slighted if an offer for a date is rain-checked for a night. As you grow together, you realize that it’s important not to get too attached and let other aspects of life pass you by, and to let the other person have the same freedom that they allow you.

2. Compromise is necessary

Once it’s been established that each person in a relationship accounts for two individual lives, it’s important for each to see the world from the other’s perspective. You can’t just have it your way 100% of the time; sometimes you have to do things you don’t exactly want to do. However, compromising can lead to whole new experiences you never would have had if it weren’t for your significant other. I wouldn’t be caught dead at a craft fair by myself, but going to one with my wife is another opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. The same goes for when I drag my wife to a Yankees game. By compromising, we introduce each other to a new world that we otherwise would never have known.

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3. Understanding is vital

Along with compromise must come understanding. It’s one thing to compromise and be okay with your partner spending the night out with friends, but it’s much more important to understand why they need that time. Understanding a person’s needs is just as important as letting them have their way at times. By doing so, not only are they fulfilled, but you also are comfortable in knowing their intentions.

4. Jealousy ceases to exist

The best relationships work under the knowledge that there is only one person out there for the other. This understanding is truly important in allowing each other to grow separately and individually. It means that one can spend time away without the other constantly wondering what they’re up to. There’s a huge difference between not being able to wait until the other is home so you know they aren’t messing around, and not being able to wait until they’re home because you want to hear all about their night.

5. Grudges must be dropped

In order to move forward in a relationship, you must let go of the past. There’s no point in forcing your partner to carry a burden because they made a mistake months ago; and if it’s something that continues to pull at you, the relationship is doomed anyway. Bringing up past arguments only serves to rehash negative feelings. Serious couples realize each party will make mistakes, and they will grow closer as they let each other’s faults slip away.

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6. Apologies and forgiveness work hand-in-hand

True apologies work in two stages: the act of saying sorry, and the act of changing your behavior. Forgiveness also works in two stages: the act of showing forgiveness, and the act of letting go. Like we discussed, holding a grudge is nothing but detrimental to a relationship. Of course, if a party doesn’t hold up their end of the apology, it needs to be revisited. But the point of apologizing is to improve as a person and as a couple. Even the best relationships require hard work.

7. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Just like letting go of grudges, serious couples don’t let petty annoyances get on their nerves. If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you can’t nitpick at the tiny things. And, like with grudges, if something small really pulls at you, the relationship isn’t meant to be. The mark of a true relationship is the fact that each of you knows everything about each other and looks past their insignificant negative factors to see the overall good person that they are.

8. Communication is key

Keeping feelings bottled up is a surefire way to ensure an explosion. Serious couples survive so long because they talk to each other. They lay their feelings out on the table and make it clear when something bothers them. Just like with apologies, an open line of communication serves to improve the relationship.

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9. Communication must be pure

A common problem in society today is people have trouble discussing the “tough stuff” in person. Text messages, emails, even phone calls can all exacerbate an issue if one party takes something the wrong way. The most loving couples know they can face each other head-on in order to solve their problems, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to do so.

10. Honesty is the best policy

We all have secrets, and everyone has baggage. But the best part about being in a serious relationship is that you can let these secrets out, since you have someone to help carry your load. And as far as being honest with your significant other, there’s no reason not to be. From a logical standpoint, why would you want to spend time with someone you can’t be yourself around? And from an emotional standpoint, loving someone means being able to bare everything to them, good and bad.

11. Cultural norms are meaningless

My wife and I were together for five years before we even lived together, let alone got engaged. While this was partly due to her being in school and other aspects of our lives, we simply never felt pressured to jump into something we weren’t ready for. In those five years, I can’t begin to tell you how many of our friends moved in with a partner, broke up, and had to move back home; or how many got engaged and broke it off; or how many had kids before they were ready. We’ve taken it slow, but it’s because we wanted to know we were ready for the next step. On the other hand, we did push our wedding up a year, because we were ready much sooner than we thought we’d be!

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12. Keeping it fresh

Everyone’s heard the saying “the honeymoon’s over,” which, to me, is a euphemism for “we’re in a rut already.” I don’t mean to be rude, or make it sound like my relationship is perfect, but that’s how that sounds to me. People in serious relationships never quite “get used” to each other; but that’s because each of them is always doing something to surprise the other. Something as simple as cooking a nice dinner, going out to eat on a Tuesday, or getting flowers “just because.” Making sure you never fall into a routine is how you ensure you never hit a snag.

13. Fidelity is never a question

Of course, serious relationships require fidelity. I guess this should go without saying. The running thread through this article is simply, if you have doubts about being with only one person, you’re not taking the relationship seriously. People in serious relationships can look at each other and know they couldn’t ask for anything more from this world besides the loving embrace of their soul mate.

14. Focusing on the future

Couples who plan together, stay together. They don”t just go about their day-to-day life, eventually reaching the points where they “should get married” or “should start a family.” They actively plan these momentous occasions. It’s part of the fun of being in a serious relationship: making commitments to take the next steps in life together.

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15. Unconditional love thrives

We’ve touched on it in some of the other entries, but unconditional love transcends all else. True matches made in heaven are full of a love that is never-ending, through the good and the bad. There are no doubts, no hesitations, no hangups. You see past the other’s mistakes, and you love them with every fiber of your being, without question.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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